Erik Westberg
Erik Westberg

Erik Westberg

Professor
Luleå University of Technology
Musical Performance
Music and dance
Department of Arts, Communication and Education
Erik.Westberg@ltu.se
+46 (0)911 72624
E105 Piteå

Erik Westberg (b. 1956) studied choral conducting with Professor Eric Ericson at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

Biography

He has been the leader of numerous choirs, including the YMCA choir in Stockholm and the Oslo Philhar­monic Choir, and he has also been guest conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Coro Nacional de España, Coro Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in Brazil and Jauna Muzika in Lithuania. He has also been Artist-In-Residence at Wollongong University, Australia.

Professor Westberg was the founder of the project Choral Singing for Peace and Justice: during the millennium celebrations, 8,000 choristers in 56 countries were involved in this project, singing the twelve-year old Irishman Shaun McLaughlin’s poem Across the Bridge of Hope, set to music by Professor Jan Sandström. Also, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble first held a concert with this centerpiece at Tonga, the first country in the world to enter the new millenium. Then, the morning after, they flew to Samoa – the last country to enter the new millenium and therefore ”they arrived the day before they left” – and once again the Vocal Ensemble held the concert, encircling time.
   BBC broadcasted from Tonga and it was seen by the world’s largest television audience in history. The project was supported, by the past present, Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan, President of Ireland Mary McAleese, Queen Silvia of Sweden, and King Tāufaʻahau Tupou IV of Tonga.

In 2003, Professor Westberg founded the Barents International Centre for Choral Music, an organization with two professional choir affiliations: the Barents International Chamber Choir and the Barents Vocal Ensemble, with members from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Autumn 2009 he was a visiting professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA.

Together with Benny Andersson, Orsa spelmän and Gunnar Idenstam, Erik Westberg conducted The University Chamber Choir in Piteå when they premiered Benny Andersson’s, for the occasion commissioned work, En skrift i snön [Scriptures in the snow] (lyrics by Kristina Lugn) during the inauguration ceremony of Organ Acusticum in Studio Acusticum 2012.

With the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble he has premiered over 40 works by, among others: B Tommy Andersson, Gunnar Eriksson, Mats Larsson Gothe, Paula af Malmborg Ward, Jan Sandström, Sven-David Sandström and Arvo Pärt. With The University Chamber Choir in Piteå and the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble, he has performed over 50 tours to Europe, North- and South America and Asia. His audio catalog includes more than twenty recordings from the record labels Studio Acusticum Records, Opus3, Naxos, and Caprice, several of which has received excellent reviews.

Professor Westberg was awarded the Johannes Norrby-Medallion in 1993 and the Norrländska Socialdemokraten newspaper’s annual culture award in 1997. In 1999 he was honored as Choral Conductor of the Year by KÖRSAM, the Federation of Swedish Choir Associations, and he received the Municipality of Piteå’s annual Culture Prize in 2002.
   In 2006 Professor Westberg was presented with His Majesty the King’s Medal of the Eighth Size with ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim, “For distinguished achievements in Swedish Musical Culture.” He received the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) award for Excellence in Teaching 2009.

He has been a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since 2008 and Professor of Choral Conducting and Choral Singing at the School of Music in Piteå at Luleå University of Technology since 2003.

Conducting activities

  • The YMCA choir in Stockholm (1982–1987)
  • Oslo Philharmonic choir (1987–1990)
  • The University Chamber Choir in Piteå (from 1990)
  • the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble (from 1993)
  • the Barents International Chamber Choir, the Barents International Vocal Ensemble (2003–2007)

Discography

  • 1994 – En hälsning från Musikhögskolan i Piteå, The University Chamber Choir in Piteå, etc. Luleå University of Technology.
  • 1995 – Fancy's Child, Pro Coro Canada, conductors Eric Ericson and Erik Westberg. Arktos.
  • 1996 – Musica Sacra, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble with Mattias Wager (organ) and Anders Paulsson (soprano saxophone). Opus3.
  • 1999 – Den blomstertid nu kommer, The University Chamber Choir in Piteå. Luleå Univerity of Technology.
  • 2000 – Across the Bridge of Hope, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble, Carmina Slovenica (Slovenia), Pritcha, Tatarstan (Russia). Luleå University of Technology.
  • 2002 – Across the Bridge of Hope, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble. Opus3.
  • 2003 – Music for a while, The University Chamber Choir in Piteå. Luleå University of Technology.
  • 2004 – A Star is Shining, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble, Mattias Wager (organ), Anders Åstrand and Daniel Saur (percussion), Daniel Pettersson (key fiddle). Opus3.
  • 2005 – In Concert, Barents International Chamber Choir. Caprice Records.
  • 2007 – En ny himmel, The University Chamber Choir in Piteå with Markus Rupprecht, organ. Luleå University of Technology.
  • 2009 – Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble, The University Chamber Choir in Piteå. Naxos Records.
  • 2009 – Shiloh, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble with band, orchestra, etc. Usiogope.
  • 2010 –  Korall, The University Chamber Choir in Piteå, conductors Anders Nyberg and Erik Westberg. Peace of Music.
  • 2010 – Pater Cælestis – Terra Mater – Vox Humana (CD-box), the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble with Matti Hirvonen (piano), Lars Nilsson (organ), Mårten Landström (piano) and David Wahlén (ackordeon), Studio Acusticum Records.
  • 2012 – Arabesques, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble with Norrbotten NEO. Studio Acusticum Records.
  • 2013 – Dreamlike, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble with Helge Kjekshus, piano. Studio Acusticum Records.
  • 2014 – Acqua Alta, Serikon, music director Daniel Stighäll, conductor Erik Westberg. Footprint Records.
  • 2014 – Originals, the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble with Mattias Wager (organ) and Carl-Henrik Fernandi (soprano saxophone). Studio Acusticum Records.
  • 2015 – To see a World, The University Chamber Choir in Piteå with Gabriel Kopparmark, piano. Studio Acusticum Records.
  • 2015 – Vita Nuova, Erik Westbergs Vokalensemble with Helge Kjekshus (piano), Daniel Saur (percussion) and Mattias Wager (organ). Studio Acusticum Records.

Awards

  • 1988 – Sweden–America Foundation’s scholarship for international studies
  • 1990 – Luleå University of Technology’s ”teacher of the year” for ”his excellent contributions to the undergraduate education”
  • 1992 – Royal College of Music, Stockholm’s conductor scholarship
  • 1993 – the Johannes Norrby-medallion
  • 1997 – Norrländska Socialdemokraten’s culture award
  • 1999 – Choir conductor of the year by Swedish Choral Directors Association
  • 2002 – Piteå Municipality’s culture award
  • 2005 – The Academy of Norrbotten’s SKUM-award
  • 2005 – Rosenborg-Gehrman’s choral conductor award
  • 2006 – H. M. The King's Medal in gold of the Eighth Size with the ribbon of the Order of the Seraphim
  • 2009 – The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education’s Excellence in Teaching-award

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