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Introduction to music

Christian Holmqvist is a musical pluralist. As a trained musicologist he knows his music history, and refers to different traits in different epochs in both obvious and more subtle ways. He choose his tools in consideration of what he wants to express in the work at hand.

Holmqvist's music combines a romantic emotionalism with classical structures and neoclassical pulsations. One may also find elements borrowed from the modern tradition, and jazz and popular music. Recurring features are a juxtaposition of melodic lyricism and dramatic outbursts. 

Holmqvist acknowledge especially Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, Debussy, Scriabin, Shostakovich, Einar Englund and Einojuhani Rautavaara as important to his development as a composer.

Holmqvist is mainly known for his many songs for voice and piano and has been called "The Finnish Hugo Wolf". He has also written well-received works for amateur choir. Holmqvist has composed 6 string quartets, a violin sonata and other chamber music, as well as music for solo piano including 2 sonatinas. Of orchestral works may be mentioned the Divertimento for wind band and the Petite Suite Baroque for strings. 

LISTEN to some of Holmqvist's works


DIvertimento for symphonic wind band. Performed by Akateeminen puhallinorkesteri & Kalervo Kulmala. Recording of the first performance in Seinäjoki in 1999.


På nattgammal is (On Brittle Ice), the first song from the song cycle Fem dikter av Jarl Hemmer (Five Poems of Jarl Hemmer), performed by Marika Kivinen & Patrik Komorowski. Studio recording from 2017.



A CD with a selection of Holmqvist's songs for voice and piano will be released by the Refrain Records 


(Information in Finnish only.) The recording was 

made with financial support from Suomen Kulttuurirahasto and Kulturfonden. The CD-release concert is held in Balderin sali, Aleksanterinkatu 12 In Helsinki 25.2. at 13:00. 

A concert including the duo work Götterdämmerung at the Tampere Biennale 2022 available on the net for a limited time. See

Updated 2/2024

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