Thomas Åberg was born in Stockholm 1952 and works there as composer. Most of his works are written for the organ and are characterised by their rhythmical joy, simplicity and humour. His music has been performed by organists at festivals throughout Europe and also in Japan and the USA. He also tours as concert organist with his own works.
Here from a recital in Washington National Cathedral 1998 on YouTube
Most important teachers: Märta Söderberg (piano), Tore Nilson (organ) and Stig Gustav Schönberg (composition).
Thomas Åberg began composing in the mid-1970s, and his début came in 1978 with a performance of music by the keen young enthusiasts of the Skeppsholm Group which was then active. From the beginning he had none thoughts that his music would be performed by musicians outside this group. But after composition studies with Stig Gustav Schönberg 1981-83 his works were noticed by organists such as Gotthard Arnér, Lennart Svegelius, Per Thunarf who performed several of them at their concerts.
More detailed ”bio” written by Carson Cooman (USA)
”Thomas Åberg: Perspectives on His Life and Work”
Sensational recording project in the US:
Carson Cooman records over 70 of Åberg’s organ works.
Write-up on Toccata No. 8
The Diapason – Journal of the Pipe Organ & Church Music (USA): Write-up on Toccata No. 8 (Åberg/Published by Noteria)
“He is one of our very best composers for the organ, be it for church or concert, and I would hope that every organist could play at least one of his pieces. It would leave you hungry for more!”
Jay Zoller, The Diapason (August 2017) – Journal of the Pipe Organ & Church Music (USA)
Toccata No. 8 (1985) – Publisher: Noteria – here performed by CARSON COOMAN in Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, MA (YouTube).
Most requested work by organists
Fantasy A-Minor (1980) – Publisher: Svensk Musik – here performed by Italian concert organist MARCO LO MUSCIO in Notre-Dame Paris (YouTube).
Write-up on CARSON COOMAN’S CD ”Legends in the Garden” – Organ Music by Thomas Åberg
Review of ”Legends in the Garden” CD, Fanfare Magazine:
“I am no lover of organ music. Not at all. Yet if anything might convince me to spend some more time with the King of Instruments, this disc would be it.”
Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine
Highlights – Åberg’s recitals with own works
- First solo concert, Stockholm 1981
- Recitals at Fromborker Organ Festival, Poland 1988
- Lectured at Sibelius Academy, Helsinki 1990
- Played two outdoor concerts with digital organ from the big stage of Kungsträdgården (a central park in Stockholm) 1992 & 1993
- Six concerts in Stockholm Cathedral during Stockholm Water Festival 1994
- Toured USA 1996; Recital in Washington National Cathedral 1998
- Guest at Southeast Missouri State University 2000
- Recital in the Mormon Church in Jerusalem, Israel 2001
- (Concert tour to California was scheduled to September 12-17 2001, cancelled due to the national tragedy in the US, September 11th)
- Recitals in Wilster & Krempe (Germany) 2004
- Composer Portrait, Allhelgonakyrkan Lund (Sweden) 2006
- Toured USA 2006; Recital Chicago 2011
- “Meet the Composer” in St. Jacob’s church, Stockholm, 2012 & 2013
- Performances at Harvard Memorial Church, Harvard University and at The First Unitarian Society in West Newton (MA) 2015
- Performances at Lund Sacred Contemporary Music Festival 2018.
STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society) since 1979 (voting member 1988).
FST (Society of Swedish Composers) since 1986.
(When you use their archives, remember the Swedish alphabet: … w x y z å ä ö = Åberg comes after Z)
Project for New Church Music in Sweden (2015-2018)
& Lund Sacred Contemporary Music Festival 2018
Grants & Awards
Konstnärsnämnden (The Swedish Arts Grants Committee) 1993, 1998;
ASCAP International Awards (USA) 1999;
FST – Society of Swedish Composers 1995, 2001;
STIM – Swedish Performing Rights Society 1987, 1990.
American concert organist and composer
Composer in Residence at The Memorial Church, Harvard University
JOHN GRACEN BROWN
American Writer, Poet
Visit abergmusic on YouTube
Listen to concert organists Carson Cooman, Marco Lo Muscio, Kevin Kissinger, Luca Masaglia playing works by Åberg. You can also lisen to Thomas Åberg playing own works in Washington D.C., Boston, West Newton and Chicago.
Charles Ives, Ned Rorem, Jean Guillou, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk.
Motto as a composer
”Feel free – Have fun!”