A February Fiesta and a Musical March!

February and early March is set to be a treat for music lovers throughout the city, as we at The Bangalore School of Music once again have the pleasure in welcoming Ms. Maria Forsström, mezzo-soprano and vocal coach from Sweden, back to Bangalore. This time, she is joined by one of Europe’s most hailed chamber-musicians, Mr. Bengt Forsberg, concert pianist and a long-time member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Maria Forsström is equally at ease on the opera stage as in the symphonic repertoire or at a Lieder recital. First having studied church music, piano and conducting at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and at The Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory – she then realized she wanted to be the instrument herself and started singing at the age of 33. She is much appreciated for her intelligent musicianship and huge enjoyment of exploring different musical styles from early Baroque, the languid soundscapes of the late Romantics, to newly commissioned music. She has performed and toured extensively with Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra dell ’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra and Novaya Opera, Moscow, to mention a few.

Bengt Forsberg studied at the Gothenburg School of Music and Musicology, where he first majored in organ, receiving his soloist’s diploma as pianist in 1978. He went on to continue his training with Peter Feuchtwanger in London and Herman D. Koppel in Copenhagen.  Much of Forsberg’s renown is focused on his work as a chamber musician, both in Sweden and abroad. Among his regular partners are prominent instrumentalists such as the cellist Mats Lidström and the violinist Nils-Erik Sparf.  His collaboration with the mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has been particularly successful and they regularly perform all over the world. They have also made many joint recordings, which have received great international acclaim, including a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.

Maria and Bengt will present several concerts, workshops and masterclasses – at different venues across Bangalore. Some highlights of their programme include:

February 28th piano and voice students and faculty of the BSM will have a unique opportunity to participate in a masterclass with Maria and Bengt, open for observation to the public. Do take this opportunity to see two world-class musicians and pedagogues in action.

On March 1st – From Carmen to Duke Ellington – will be a musical journey from old Italian arias, through German art songs to jazzy tunes by Duke Ellington. A sparkling symphony of sound!

March 3rd, the Bangalore-audience will hear of Franz Schubert’s song-cycle Winterreise, by many regarded as the ultimate piece composed for voice and piano. This performance will be the first in India where the cycle is performed by a female vocalist. This concert is presented in collaboration with Bangalore International Centre and Furtados.

The programme on March 4th, at Alliance Française de Bangalore, ends the festival, with music at twilight – the Blue Hour – compositions of love, longing and more…. The selection of music will include “Quatre poèmes hindous” by composer Maurice Delage – with music written for four cities on the Indian subcontinent – Lahore, Madras, Benares and Jaipur.

We are very thrilled to, in collaboration with the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, be able to present these brilliant musicians to the Bangalore-audience and have lined-up an exciting programme for every taste and desire. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience two amazing musicians in action!

Says Maria – “I am very glad to once again be back in Bangalore! The audience here is always very appreciative and knowledgeable, and I particularly look forward to meeting budding musicians and hopefully be able to support them in their learning journey”.

“This will be my first visit to India, and I am particularly happy for it to be to Bangalore, where our colleague and friend Jonas Olsson of the BSM has done, and is doing, commendable work for nurturing the Western Classical art form. I do look forward to the many events, and hope this will be the first visit of many” – states Bengt Forsberg.