A Modern Magician. Niklas Sivelöv, pianist.
“THE SWEDE SET THE PIANO ON FIRE!
My goodness what a pianist the Royal Danish Conservatory piano professor is.
Forget about dusty professor fingers. This Swede is an artist with capital A!”
(Thomas Michelsen, Politiken. June 2013 on Sivelöv’s performance of Stenhammar’s Piano Concerto no. 2)
Niklas Sivelöv is a unique artist. No matter if it concerns an intimate solo concert or a concerto with a large symphony orchestra, Niklas Sivelöv always keeps his audience spellbound, because when he enters the podium it is a matter of all or nothing.
”Art is created – life is lived – in the present, without thought of the day tomorrow”.
This is how Niklas Sivelöv expresses his artistic credo, which confirms that Sivelöv indeed is a romantic artist. Robert Schumann and Aleksander Skriabin are among his favourite composers, who seek boundaries and are barefaced honesty in music, they both are romantics at the mercy of God.
However Niklas Sivelöv does not limit himself to composers from one particular period. Bach, Beethoven and Schubert have since his childhood been significant musical companions. Intense work with especially Das Wohltemperierte Klavier has led to Niklas Sivelöv shedding a contemporary light into Bach’s musical universe. The foundation is here a style, where the rich sound of a modern piano – Steinway – enters into a fruitful combination of a musical expression dominated by rhythmical nerve and command of the musical form.
Among the 20th century classics Bartok’s and Prokofiev’s concertos occupy a special place, as well as Per Nørgård’s cosmic music for solo piano speak to Niklas Sivelöv. Hereto comes that Sivelöv is one of the few musicians on the classical music scene who masters the art of improvising – over familiar classical themes, Bellman’s popular melodies or quite free improvisations.
Finally Niklas Sivelöv is a composer. Since 1985 he has composed more than 40 works, of which many are for his own instrument the piano, including three concerti for piano and orchestra and 24 Preludes for piano (2010-13).
Niklas Sivelöv is a distinctly Nordic artist with an autonomic sentiment. He grew up in Skellefteå in northern Sweden where he began playing the organ already as 6-year old. His first own compositions soon followed and playing by ear. Not until he was 14 did Niklas Sivelöv receive traditional piano instruction and learned to read music. Studies with Gabriel Amiras and Maria Curcio among others followed, who as students of the pianistic pioneers Heinrich Neuhaus and Artur Schnabel, have contributed to make Niklas Sivelöv a modern representative for magic piano art where spiritual immersion and artistic courage bind together in higher unity.
Today Niklas Sivelöv has a repertoire of approximately 50 piano concerti and he performs on more than 25 CD’s of which several have been awarded prizes. And he has collaborated with a large number of leading conductors and soloists, including Mario Venzago, E-P Salonen, J-P Saraste, Alan Gilbert, Leonid Gorokhov, Martin Fröst and Patrick Gallois.
Niklas Sivelöv lives in Malmö and is professor at the Royal Danish Music Academy in Copenhagen.