- Trombone, Conductor, Composer
- 2013.6 / 2011.6.13-20 and more
Christian Lindberg was a late starter as conductor. His original intention was actually to avoid becoming one, but after turning down an offer from the Northern Sinfonia five times, he stood for the first time in front of an orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, in October 2000. As the concert got a fabulous review in the Guardian, Lindberg accepted another invitation as conductor from the Swedish Wind Ensemble, and after that concert there was no return, as he was immediately offered the position as their chief conductor. Some months later he conducted the Nordic Chamber Orchestra for the first time and was suddenly faced with having accepted artistic directorship of two orchestras. As the chief conductor of these two orchestras, Christian has brought them to international fame, toured extensively with them in Spain, Germany, throughout Scandinavia and in Asia, and is involved in extensive recording projects on BIS, Altara and Caprice.
In an astonishingly short time, Lindberg has, side by side with his activities as soloist and composer, already conducted orchestras such as Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Umeå Symphony Orchestra, Jönköping Sinfonietta, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Danish Radio Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Jenaer Philharmonie, and Rheinische Philharmonie.
Lindberg has extended his contract with both his orchestras, and future guest conducting include Rotterdam Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi in Milano, Royal Flemish Orchestra, Musica Vitae, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Nürnberg Symfoniker, Greek Radio Symphony Orchestra, Linköping Wind Ensemble, Norwegian Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Poznán Symphony Orchestra, Coast to Coast Orchestra, Dala Sinfonietta, and Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie.
Lindberg will also record extensively on BIS, among others he will finish the series started by Leif Segerstam of conducting the 17 symphonies by Allan Petterson.
Christian Lindberg´s achievements for the trombone can only be compared with those of Paganini for the violin or Liszt for the piano. Having premièred over 300 works for the trombone (including more than 30 composed by Christian himself), recorded over 70 solo CD:s, and having an international solo competition created in his name in Valencia, Spain, Christian Lindberg is today nothing less than a living legend.
At an early stage of his career he joined Yo Yo Ma and Gidon Kremer as the BBC Music Magazine’s soloist of the year. In 2000, together with Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, he was voted by an international poll the greatest brass players of the 20th century. He was the first Swedish instrumentalist ever to be invited to perform as soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. And in May 2007 he was artist in residence at the Musikverein in Vienna – the ‘stronghold’ of traditional classical music. Christian Lindberg has worked with practically every major orchestra and conductor in the world today. For a trombonist to achieve all this before turning 50 is, to say the least, remarkable.
Lindberg took up the trombone at 17 inspired by the jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden. At 18 he gained admission to the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and after having played for only two years he got a position as trombonist in the orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. At 20 he left the orchestra, and has since built up a unique and impressive career as the first trombone soloist in history, as well as embarking on two new enormously successful careers as conductor and composer. At the same time, Christian and his wife have raised a family of four children, now grown up youngsters with their own careers.
Today Lindberg´s schedule is fully booked for years ahead. This schedule combines being chief conductor of the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and the Swedish Wind Ensemble with guest conducting of orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra of Milan, working on composition commissions from ensembles such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Choir; and continuing his solo appearances with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, the NDR Orchestra in Germany and Tokyo’s Yomiuri Orchestra. Parallel with all these activities, Christian Lindberg makes sure he can devote some valuable leisure time to his family of four youngsters and his wife at their country residence on a peninsula of the beautiful Stockholm Archipelago.
Christian Lindberg´s career as a composer is unusual. Already at six he composed music, but at the age of sixteen he decided to study harmony, counterpoint and composition seriously with Torsten Nilsson in Stockholm. Two years later, he wrote his first composition, a brass quintet, but after the first rehearsal Christian was so shocked and disappointed that he withdrew the piece, and decided never to compose again.
This was roughly the same time as he fell in love with, and took up the trombone, and instead of composing, he started to orchestrate, arrange and edit music by other composers. He also decided that his main goal would be to inspire other composers to write for trombone. Today he has arranged over 100 works for trombone, and over 80 trombone concerti have been dedicated to him by composers such as Berio, Takemitsu and Xenakis. However, after eager persuasion from his friend, the composer Jan Sandström, he broke his promise not to compose. At the age of 39 he accepted a commission from the string orchestra Musica Vitae. Sandström said:
Whatever you do, do not try to prove anything. Just write whatever comes to your mind without judging it as good or bad. Like when a 5 year old makes a drawing.
This first piece,called Arabenne, was to Lindberg´s big surprise a huge success both with the audience and the critics. Immediately after the first performance Christian was faced with two new commissions and an offer from BIS-records to start an extensive recording project with him as composer. Today Lindberg have recorded 3 portrait CD:s of his own music on BIS, and has received commissions from orchestras such as The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Verdi Orchestra Milano and the Australian Chamber Orchestra fo name a few. Particularly successful was his pieces Akbank Bunka, Helikon Wasp, The World of Montuagretta and Mandrake in the Corner.
Chick´a´Bone Checkout commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, received three standing ovations in a row at the premiere, something that had not happened to a contemporary piece in 14 years in Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Times gave Lindberg stunning reviews for this composition. Today Lindberg is booked up to 2011 with international commissions. His own philosophy regarding his work as a composer is simple:
I do not write in any style whatsoever! I purely listen to what my brain and soul tells me, and what I hear I simply put down on paper. To say anything more about my work would be pretentious nonsense.