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Musical World

Gunnar Idenstam

  • Composer
  • Organist


Gunnar Idenstam, born in 1961 in the far north of Sweden, is a concert organist, composer, arranger and folk musician. In 1984, he was awarded 1:st prize in the prestigious improvisation competition "Grand Prix de Chartres" and since then his career has taken him to many parts of the world.

As an interpreter, trained in the classical French tradition by among others the legendary Marie-Claire Alain, he has a special love for the music of Bach and for some of the French cathedral repertoire. His style as a composer/improviser is a felicitous amalgamation of art music, folk music and the more symphonically oriented rock music that represents something not previously attempted in organ music. As an arranger he reproduces all the colours of the symphony orchestra on the organ, for example in transcriptions of orchestral works by Mahler, Debussy and Ravel. He also arranges different kinds of popular ethnic music like "Riverdance". As a folk musician he stands quite apart in his transposition of the idiomatic details of the Swedish folk music tradition to church organ or harmonium and keyboard.