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Eric Ericson in memoriam

Many artists sustain a limited level when it comes to practicing their form of art. A popular artist tries to reach a wider audience. An artist with very high ambitions rather devotes himself to what is demanding.  Eric Ericson possessed the unusual ability to appeal to those interested in choirs on different levels. Through his capacity as a teacher at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm many completely inexperienced students were able to partake of his knowledge, just as highly proficient choir leaders got the opportunity to develop themselves on more advanced levels in master classes led by Eric.

He also conveyed some of that knowledge in his book Choral Conducting (Kördirigering), (together with Gösta Ohlin and Lennart Spångberg), which was at that time published by Sveriges Körförbunds Förlag.

Eric had close contact with the so-called Monday Group and shared the members´ interest in early music, which they studied while attending courses in Basle. Composers Sven-Erik Johanson, Ingvar Lidholm and Sven-Erik Bäck also had a superb instrument for their works in Eric´s choirs.

But of course it was through his achievements as a leader of the Chamber Choir – which later came to bear his name – as well as the Swedish Radio Choir and Orphei Drängar, that he came to play a major role in Swedish musical life and beyond. Eric made a name for himself as a transmitter of a characteristic sound ideal and a propagator of an enormous quantity of great choral works. Innumerable choir leaders the world over have for this reason taken an interest in Swedish choirs and Swedish choral music, which latter in its turn has often come about as a result of a flourishing choral movement– to a large extent inspired by Eric Ericson.

I recall one of many telephone conversations with Eric when he once again was going to lead a course in choral conducting and needed material for it. – Sometimes it must be hard to be so much in demand, I said – Eric´s comment to this was: “(sigh) sometimes it´s tough to be a legend!”     (Translation: Robert Carroll)

 Roland Horovitz / Gehrmans Musikförlag

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