String Quartet No. 11 (III Lamentations, Adagio)
Tempera Quartet
Alba Records (ABCD 308)

 Symphony No. 3 (VI Epilogue)
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Sakari Oramo
(Ondine Records CD-92-2

 Portraits of Country Fiddlers (I The Plucker)
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, cond. Juha Kangas
(BIS Records CD-766-2

Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, cond. Juha Kangas
(BIS Records CD-1356)

Pehr Henrik Nordgren

Pehr Henrik Nordgren (1944-2008) studied musicology at the University of Helsinki and composition as a private pupil of Joonas Kokkonen. In 1970 he received a three-year stipend to study with Yoshio Hasegawa at the Tokyo University of Art and Music in Japan.

Nordgren possesses a personal voice of great strength and originality, which has enabled him to travel through all types of musical fields. He is neither a conservative nor a modernist. He sees composing as an outlet for self-expression which, for him, goes deeper than speech. According to him, music operates at a narrative level. Formal development is a natural process, one which grows out of the musical material he is working with.

During the year spent studying in Japan Nordgren composed Turning Point for large orchestra, a dynamic piece demonstrating great clarity and economy of means. He also wrote several works employing Japanese instruments, including the Autumnal Concerto for traditional Japanese instruments and symphony orchestra.

Nordgren’s main works are his symphonies. The third, written in 1993, is an extremely powerful and unusual creation in Finnish music and has an uncommon form. Concertos and works featuring one or more solo instruments occupy a key position in Nordgren's output and he has composed nearly thirty such works, mostly for stringed instruments. They include the Concerto No. 5 for Cello and Orchestra (2005) and the Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra (2005).

Nordgren has long been composer in residence of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, and his collaboration with conductor Juha Kangas has been active. The four-movement suite Portraits of the Country Fiddlers was written for the orchestra, and it has been an incredibly successful homage to folk music – elements of which Nordgren included in his early works particularly. His numerous compositions for string orchestra include a Symphony for Strings, Concerto for Strings, Transe-Choral and Cronaca.

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