Bäauml;ck, Sven-Erik, significant Swedish composer; b. Stockholm, Sept. 16, 1919; d. there, Jan. 10, 1994. He studied violin at the Stockholm Musikhògskolan (1938^43); also had training in composition from Rosenberg in Stockholm (1940–45) before pursuing studies in early music with Ina Lohr and Wenzinger at the Basel Schola Cantorum (1948–50); later had advanced composition studies with Petrassi in Rome (1951–52). He played violin in the Kyndel (194CM4) and Barkel (1944–53) string quartets, as well as in the Lilla Chamber Orch. (1943–48). After conducting the “Chamber Orch. ’53” (1953–57), he was director of the Swedish Radio music school at Edsberg Castle outside Stockholm (from 1959). In 1961 he was elected to membership in the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. In his compositions, Bäck experimented with serialism and, later, electronic sound. His liturgical works are particularly notable.
DRAMATIC: Opera: Tranfjädrarna (The Twilight Crane), a symbolist subject from Japanese Noh drama (1956; Swedish Radio, Feb. 28, 1957; first stage perf., Stockholm, Feb. 19, 1958); Ett spel om Maria, Jesu Moder (A Play about Mary, Mother of Jesus; Swedish Radio, April 4, 1958); Gastabudet (The Feast; Stockholm, Nov. 12, 1958); Fageln (The Birds; 1960; Swedish Radio, Feb. 14, 1961). ballet:Ikaros (Stockholm, May 1963); Movements (Swedish TV, Feb. 27, 1966); Kattresan (Cat’s Journey; 1969); Mur och Port (Wall and Gate; 1970; Stockholm, Jan. 17, 1971); Genom Jorden, Genom Havet (Through the Earth, Through the Sea; 1971–72; Stockholm, June 17, 1972). ORCH.: Sinfonia per archi (1951); Sinfonia da camera (1954); Fantasy on Dies sind die Heiligen Zehn Gebot (1954; rev. 1957); Violin Concerto (1957); A Game around a Game for Piano, Celesta, Percussion, and Strings (Donaueschingen, Oct. 17, 1959); Ar-kitektur 60 for 2 Wind Orchs., Piano, Double Bass, and Percussion (1960); Intrada for Small Orch. (Stockholm, April 26, 1964); Arkitektur 65 for 2 Wind Orchs., Piano, Double Bass, and Percussion (1965); Cello Concerto (1965); O Altitudo II (1966; also for Organ as Altitudo I); Ruoli per orchestra (1968); Aperio for 3 Orch. Groups and Tape (1973); Ciklos, concerto for Piano, Strings, and Percussion (1975); Sumerki, serenade for Strings (1976–77); 4 Motets (1978; also for Strings); 3 Dialogue Motets for Cello and Strings (1984); Ekvator for Orch. and Tape (1988); Pro Musica Vitae, concerto for Strings (1989). CHAMBER: 4 string quartets (1945, 1947, 1962, 1981); String Quintet (1948); Préambule pour Pierre for String Quartet (1949); Sonata for Solo Flute (1949); Nocturne for 3 Recorders, Percussion, Lute, Viola da Gamba, and Violin (1953); Trio for Violin, Cello, and Double Bass (1954); Nature morte for Viola, Bassoon, and Percussion (1955); Sonata for 2 Cellos (1957); Favola for Clarinet, Percussion, and Piano (1962); Postludium for Flute, Piano, and Percussion (1967); Sentire for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1969); Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello (1970); Decet for Wind Quintet, String Quartet, and Double Bass (1973); Fa-Ce for Bassoon and Harpsichord or Piano (1975); Signos for 6 Percussion (1979); Trio in 1 Movement for Piano, Violin, and Cello (1984); 3 consorts for 2 Trumpets and 3 Trombones (1993). Piano: Expansive Preludes (1949); Sonata alla ricercare (1950); Danssuit for 2 Pianos (1951); Impromptu (1957); Tollo I for Piano Duet (1974) and II for 2 Pianos and Microphones (1975); Sonata in 2 Movements and Epilogue (1980). VOCAL: Ur Johannes for 3 Voices and Organ ad libitum (1944); Ur Johannes 9 for Voices and Organ (1947); Svanesang for Chamber Chorus, Flute, Viola, and Timpani (1947); Gladje i Gud, cantata for Soloist, Voices, and Organ (1948); Dithyramb for Woman’s Voice, Unison Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1949); Sinfonia sacra for Voices and Orch. (1953); Uppbrottets massa for Soloist, Unison Voices, Organ, and Percussion (1967); Neither Nor for Soprano, Piano, and Percussion (1971); Där fanns en brunn for Chorus, Flute, Clarinet, Cello, Percussion, and Piano or Organ (1973); Just da de langsta skuggorna... for 4 Singers and 10 Instruments (1974); Naktergalen och Hoken for Chorus, String Orch., Piano, and Percussion (1975); Te Deum for Chorus, Brass, and Organ (1980); Annus Solaris for 2 Soprano and Tape (1980); various choral pieces.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire