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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 jokingly 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 (RRCD 003) with a selection of Holmqvist's songs for voice and piano is published by the Refrain Records label. Order your copy from 

(Information in Finnish only.)


Vocal music by Holmqvist is featured at the "Sunday with Södergran"-event in Turku 7.4.

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

Updated 4/2024

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