Benjamin Staern (b. 1978) has established himself as one of the leading Scandinavian composers of the younger generation and the music is performed in Scandinavia, Europe, USA, Canada, Russia and Japan. Early musical experiences with studies in cello, piano and percussion in his youth. Studied musicology at Lund University and subsequently composition at the Malmö Academy of Music during 1998-2005 with professors Rolf Martinsson, Hans Gefors, Kent Olofsson and Luca Francesconi.
Staern has a deeply personal style with an output including orchestral, chamber works, solo pieces, electroacoustic music and opera stages. An interesting aspect of his work as a composer is his unusual ability to associate tones and timbres with different colours and tints. This is a variant of a phenomenon called synaesthesia which is fundamental in his perception and the creation that reflects his sound world as well as in many of his work titles (Yellow Skies, Colour Wandering etc.)
He was composer-in-residence with New European Ensemble 2010-14 on invitation from artistic leader and conductor Christian Karlsen that resulted into works like Tranströmersånger (selected poems from the Sad Gondola – collection by Nobel-prize author and poet Tomas Tranströmer), Bells and Waves (Chamber Symphony) winner of the SMFF Award 2011 in the category ”most important work in chamber music/smaller ensemble” and a multimedia work SAIYAH in collaboration with Yoko Seyama for large ensemble, electronics and scenografic light sculpture at Norrlandsoperan for the MADE-festival in Umeå during Cultural Capital of the Year 2014. Worried Souls (Clarinet Concerto) was awarded the Large Christ Johnson Prize (Stora Christ Johnson-priset) from the Royal Swedish Music Academy (Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien).
Following the success as ”composer in profile” of Båstad Chamber Music Festival 2016, the first opera The Snow Queen, based on a fairytale by H.C Andersen, was staged at the Malmö Opera in December 2016 with sold-out performances and rave reviews. Staerns second opera HILMA: an opera about hidden art (libretto: Mira Bartov) that was performed at Modern Museum in Stockholm and at the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Looking ahead is a composer weekend at Konserthuset, Stockholm with 13 major works within the scope of 20 years as composer including two world premieres.
Ung Nordisk Musik
Stockholm New Music
Nordic Music Days, Reykjavík & Helsinki
Malmö Chamber Music Festival
Njord Biennale, Copenhagen
Svensk Musikvår, Stockholm
Suntory Festival, Tokyo
MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Swedish Wind Ensemble
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Gävle Symphony Orchestra
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Malmö Opera Orchestra
Kungliga Hovkapellet, Stockholm
Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Örebro
New European Ensemble
Stockholm Chamber Brass