Symphony and Chamber OrchestrasEach of Sweden's 25 counties has at least one symphony or chamber orchestra supported by the county council. There are a few orchestras that receive their money directly from the government. The oldest of them is the Royal Opera House Orchestra in Stockholm, established around 1900. Other examles of comparatively 'old' symphony orchestras are those in Göteborg, Stockholm, Norrköping and Malmö. The Symphony Orchestra of the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation was formed as late as 1967. Additional chamber orchestras can be found in Oskarshamn, Västerås and Örebro. They usually perform in their respective regions. In 1990, more than 10 000 performances supported by the county councils were held. It is estimated that about one million people attended the performances. At the same time, professional symphony and chamber orchestras gave about 1 000 concerts and had an audience of some 600 000 people. In addition to the large, professional orchestras there are numerous small ones. Although their members largely consist of amateurs, they often have professonal leaders, and they sometimes invite renowned musicans for guest performances.
Symphony Orchestras Links
ChoirsSinging in a choir is a very popular form of social and cultural activity in Sweden. It is estimated that there are about 600 000 active choir singers, which is quite a lot considering the small population in Sweden. Many choirs are organized by a church congregation. Mostly they perform at services and at evening performances. Besides, churches are often used as concert halls for 'secular' music.
At the local level, municipal music schools play an important part in musical life and many Swedish children attend them. Adults who want to learn how to play an instrument may instead join a study circle, which also are subsidized by the government.
Folk Music & JazzA fairly limited number of jazz, rock and folk music groups receive grants from the government. There is a national organization for folk music, the Federation of Swedish Folk Musicans (Sveriges spelmäns riksförbund). In the summertime there are special festivals for folk music.
In many cities there are jazz clubs with jazz music of usually high quality. Two good clubs in Gothenburg are "Nefertiti" and "Jazzhuset". If you happen to be in Stockholm you should try "Fashing", a very good club with many international guest performances. During summer, there are several jazz festivals in various parts of Sweden.
Folk Music Links
Rock and Pop - a Swedish ExportSince the 80's, Swedish rock and pop music has been quite successful internationally and groups like Roxette, Europe, ABBA, Stakka Bo, Dr Alban and Ace of Base are taking joyrides on pop-charts all over the world.
Roxette - Per Gessle & Marie Fredriksson
ABBA made its breakthrough in 1974 with the song"Waterloo". Afterwards they produced hit after hit. ABBA paved the way for many other Swedish rock bands, the most successful of which, so far, has been Roxette.
In connection to pop and rock music, a mention should be made of a Swedish institution - the People´s Park. You´ll find one in almost every town and during the summer, a lot of concerts are taking place in these amusement parks.
The Hultsfred Festival in the province of Småland is the largest and most famous of the music festivals. Several kinds of music are represented and you can listen to both Swedish and international artists.
Rock and Pop Links
Photo 2: Copyright © EMI
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