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With a strong sense of rhythmical language, tone color, and sonority, composer and conductor Joel Engström strives to create music closely connected to physical sensation and sensory experience.
Two times second prize winner at the European Young Composers Competition in 2006 Belfast and in 2012 in Rotterdam, Engström has received international recognition for his compositions. Other notable honors include performances of his wind piece “Procession 2.1” by Gotlands Wind Orchestra at the International Society of Contemporary Music’s (ISCM) festival in 2009 and a radio broadcast of his wind ensemble piece “Cantus Eternus” by the Stockholm Wind Band.
From the Fryksdalen region of Värmland, Sweden, Engström’s musical roots include progressive hard rock, ambient, brass band and orchestral music. His compositional training includes studies at Gotland’s School of Composition and the Royal Conservatory Stockholm with Mats Larsson Gothe, Henrik Strinberg, Per Mårtensson, Per Lindgren and Karin Rehnqvist. His conducting studies have been primarily under the tutelage of Berit Palmqvist, Tom Brevik and Michael Bartosch. Engström was also awarded the pretigious Lions Club Scholarship in 2009.
Engström’s projects include compositions for orchestral, chamber, and opera ensembles, as well as his current position as conductor and artistic director of Immanuel Brass Stockholm. Engström’s compositions have been premiered and featured on Swedish and Danish radio as well as festivals and concerts in Scandinavia, the UK, Germany and Croatia.
Engström has also organized music festivals including the “Ljudvågor 2009” in Visby and the “Festival for Composition and Conducting 2011, LjudoLjud 2011” in Stockholm.
“As a composer, I’m fascinated by the moments when the music becomes self aware. When the collaboration with the musicians transforms the piece from something abstract and controlled into something that is concrete and unpredictable. When music is a combination of the composer’s and the interpreter’s minds, it can sometimes develop a will of its own.”