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About Staffan

Sheet music

Staffan Isbäck (b. 1955) attended The Royal College of Music in Stockholm where he studied guitar under Peder Riis and Ulf G. Åhslund, chamber music under Rolf la Fleur, instrumentation under Svante Widén and later, counterpoint and composition under Hans Eklund. Guitar is central to many of his compositions and arrangements, often clothed in chamber musical form together with other instruments or vocals, but also as a solo instrument. Staffan’s compositions include choral works, chamber music, music for the stage and music for symphonic orchestra – amongst other things a double concerto for oboe, guitar, and orchestra (first performed in 1989).

Renaissance lute music is of particular interest to Staffan and you will find many pieces for the lute (alto guitar) on this home page, complete with scored variations, as well as personal interpretations for guitar of Baroque music and “imaginary suites” – music where Isbäck acts co-composer and has completed unfinished fragments of melodies and composition sketches.

My own music, a contemporary form of art music, strives towards a” musician’s” touch – an accessible lightness and simplicity, with a distinct energy. I have often returned to older forms such as the rondo, the passacaglia, the sonata or other form variations. I tend to focus on melody, singability and simple coherence, but at the same time a seriousness and introversion. Having long experience of singing in choirs, I have also written several pieces for choir and arrangements for a capella choir or choir with orchestra, including work done in the context of a long collaboration with the Nicolai Chamber Choir and Christian Ljunggren who first performed my “Forellsånger” for choir and string quartet and recently “Missa brevis”, performed in Storkyrkan (The Great Church or Church of St. Nicholas in Stockholm).

Music by Staffan Isbäck has been performed in the USA, England, Scotland, Germany, Estonia, Taiwan, Albania, Sweden, Norway, Finland and the former Soviet Union. Four Spells were represented at Båstad Chamber Music Festival, and music festival in Moscow (Mikael Bellini/Sven Åberg). Sonatina for Oboe and Guitar was performed at Örebro Chamber Music Festival 1995 by Helen Rosing and Arne Brattland. Duo Dialog was dedicated the Sonatina for clarinet and guitar in 2010. Music by Staffan Isbäck from CD Equlibrium was chosen for “CD of the week” on Swedish radio P2 – Aurora 2006. As a guitarist, Staffan has been accompanist to several singers at Folkoperan – Bengt Gustavsson, Anna Söderbäck, Tua Åberg. He has participated on tours and recordings with Stockholm’s Student Singer and Nicolai chamber choir. As a musician he has done tours and recordings with the group Ensemble TRE. The recording of Missa brevis with Vokalensemblen Sundbyberg under the leadership of Rikard Lindberg Karlsson received highest rating in BBC music magazine, highest rating in Ralph Vaughan Williams Journal and very good reviews in the music magazine OPUS.

CD recordings:

  • Equilibrium (Artic records arcd 2005-007)
  • Ensemble TRE (nosag cd 214 Naxos Sweden)
  • Interferens (proprius record prcd 208)
  • Et in terra... (Swedish Society ascd 1186)
  • Duo D'Amore (Duo D'amore production 2009)