Sodermann, August Johan



Noted Swedish composer; one of the greatest that his country has produced. Was born at Stockholm, where his father was the musical director of a small theatre. After studying with his father, Sodermann became a pupil of Hauptmann and Richter at the Leipsic Conservatory from 1857 to 1858, and at eighteen years of age was chosen by Stjernstrom, director of the orchestra at the Royal Theatre, Stockholm, as instructor of a troupe of musicians touring Finland. On his return from this tour Sodermann wrote his first operetta, The Devil's First Rudiments of Learning, given at Stockholm in 1856. He was appointed chorusmaster of the Royal Opera at the StoraTheatre, Stockholm, in I860, and two years later conductor, a position which he continued to hold until his death. He was also for some years a member of the Swedish Academy of Minsk:. Sodernsann was a most gifted prolific conjposer, and is said to have been strongly influenced by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. He composed the Swedish operettas, The Wedding at Ulfasa, and Regina von Emmerritz; the music to Schiller's Jungfrau von Orleans; a solemn mass, which is said to be his finest work; a concert overture; songs; Circassian dance; terzets for male voices and much incidental and vocal music, in the latter of which he particularly excelled. The Wedding at Ulfasa his first operetta, contains a famous vocal quartet, A Peasant's Wedding* Sodermann's mass has been performed in Stockholm. It is highly original and of great beauty. He wrote much music to the verses of Bellmann, the Swedish poet; many cantatas; ballads and sacred music, including an Agnus Dei and a Benedictus for the Roman Catholic Church service, which have been highly praised. Many of his works were published at the expense of the Swedish government after Sodermann's death, and at his death, in 1876, a national subscription was immediately raised by his countrymen for the benefit of his widow and children, as a mark of respect to one of Sweden's greatest composers.