Sjogren, Johann Gustav Emil

1853-

 

Talented Scandinavian composer; was born at Stockholm, Sweden, where his father was a dry-goods merchant. He went to work for a local piano firm when very young, and at the same time followed the musical course of the Conservatory of his native city, applying himself especially to the study of the organ, piano and counterpoint. He continued his studies at Berlin from 1879 to 1880, under the direction of Frederick Kiel for composition and August Haupt for organ. Returning to Stockholm Sjogren published collections of songs and also compositions for the organ and piano and choruses for mixed voices. Although urged by his teachers to devote himself wholly to music. Sjogren continued to hold his mercantile position until 1884. In that year he undertO9k a series of tours through Europe, visiting the great musical centers, Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Paris. In 1891 he was named organist of St. John's Church, Stockholm, a post which he still holds. In 1897 he married, and at present resides in a suburb of Stockholm but frequently makes long stays at Paris, London and Copenhagen, often giving in those cities concerts of his own works.

 

Sjogren became a member of the Swedish Academy of Music in 1892, and is highly esteemed as man and composer. He is a follower of Grieg, and by some is compared to Schubert, particularly in his organ-music, and by others to Mascagni. He has won much of his popularity with his songs, the best known of which are Der Vogt von Tenneberg; seven Spanish songs; and the Tannhauser songs. He has written much interesting chamber-music; symphonies; several piano-cycles; fantasie stücken; and religious music. Sjogren's most important works are four sonatas for the piano; twenty-four legends for the organ; chorus for the orchestra; cantatas; fugues; and the settings of numerous poems. He has set to music verses of Moore, Byron, Kingsley, Burns, Longfellow, Hugo de Musset, Heine and Geibel. His latest compositions are two songs, How Dear to Me the Hour, and Orientale, the last being a setting of some verses of Victor Hugo. His piano cycles, Auf der Wanderschaft, Erotikon, Novelleten, and Stummungen; and his Bacchanal, and Johannis-Kantate have all been highly praised.