Introduction to music

Christian Holmqvist is a musical pluralist who choose his tools in consideration of what he wants to express in the work at hand. His music combines a romantic feeling with classical structures, neoclassical pulsation and a neoromantic, sometimes also impressionistic harmony. One may find 12-tone rows, clusters, complex narrative structures and other elements borrowed from the modern tradition. Recurring features are a juxtaposition of melodic lyricism and dramatic outbursts. 

For Holmqvist important composers are Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Debussy, Scriabin, Shostakovich, Einar Englund, Einojuhani Rautavaara and Anders Eliasson. In some works may be heard influences of popular music, such as jazz. 

Holmqvist is mainly known for his vocal works (song cycles and choral works). He has also written 5 string quartets, a violin sonata, and other chamber music, as also 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.



Due to the coronavirus

pandemic, no definitive dates for concerts or performances can yet be confirmed. 

Among works scheduled to receive a first performance during 2021 are the sonata for violin and piano and the song cycle Denna stora tomhet. 

An e-book (in Finnish) about the composer Einar Englund (1916-1999), written by Holmqvist, will be published by Fennica-Gehrman during the spring. Details to be announced. 

Updated 4/2021

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