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Nils-Eric Fougstedt

Nils-Eric Fougstedt (24 May 1910 - 12 April 1961) was a man of many musical talents: composer, Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, teacher, music critic and author of textbooks. He was also the conductor of several choirs, including the Finnish Radio Choir, which he founded in 1940.

Fougstedt studied at the Helsinki Conservatory under Erik Furuhjelm and took composition courses in Florence, Berlin and elsewhere. His early music represents the Classic-Romantic tradition, though as he pointed out, his aim was independence from any style or trend. From the 1950s onwards he also applied free tonality and dodecaphony. His interest in polyphony and form is a typical feature of his music, together with an idyllic-Romantic tone. The thematic structure was, for him, the backbone of a composition; he was not interested in Impressionism that flirts with the orchestra without any thematic material.

As a composer Fougstedt is known mainly for his orchestral music (such as his two symphonies and concertos for piano and cello) and film scores. He did, however, compose a wealth of lyrical choral music that still continues to arouse interest. His complete secular choral output is extensive and has been recorded on the Alba label.

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