Kristina Forsman, Stockholm-based composer, born in 1970 in Umeå in the northern parts of Sweden, lets a multitude of sources of inspiration take place in her music. The interest in the rhythmically playful forms an undercurrent in Forsman’s composing and can be heard, among other things, in the orchestral piece Ninata, as well as in the Berg beats for tin, saw, percussion and theremin.

Tight harmonies

But it is still the sonorous detail work that primarily distinguishes the music. It sighs and glides over small intervals. Dense harmonies open into simple consonances and then close again. As in the naked gasping string quartet Ghalán-ghalán. A similar dreamy and almost improvisatory character can be found in a work like Nothing is eternal, except change… for recorder and glass. And even when Forsman composes for muscular brass, as in Dekafonía, she chooses above all to work with small swirling movements and thin membranes of dissonances. In the orchestral work Tissisat – water that smokes, which is inspired by the blue Nile waterfall in Ethiopia where Forsman lived for four years as a child, a kind of slowly marching music frames a more rhythmic center.

Among the vocal music, one can mention the melancholic, beautifully undulating choral piece Rör mig, rör mig! with text by Forsman himself. Forsman has also written music and lyrics for children. The musical tale Tanketallen and the choral project Vem har tid? can be mentioned here. as well as the popular children’s show Dinosaurier! with the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet.


She has also worked with musicians and ensembles such as Mattias Wager, Duo dialogue, Linnéquintetten, Kerstin Frödin, Hovkapellet’s brass ensemble, Olle Persson, Hannah Holgersson, Kosma Ranuer, Tove Dahlberg and Mamadou Sene, as well as with dancers such as Helena Lambert and Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye (”Kaolack”) as well as authors: Niklas Rådström, Magnus ”Mankan” Nilsson and Eva-Stina Byggmästar.

The commissioned work Här och nu!/ Here and now! for Östgöta Blåsarsymfoniker premiered in March 2018, under the direction of chief conductor Christoffer Nobin. Among the other conductors Kristina Forsman has collaborated with are Stefan Solyom, Jukka Iisakkila, Toomas Kapten, Ragnar Bohlin, Gary Graden, Lars Fredén and Hans Vainikainen.

Kristina Forsman studied for, among others, Sven-David Sandström:

– He has meant a lot to me doing music at all. He inspired and encouraged me enormously, says Forsman.

Composition studies

After music teacher training at Ingesund’s Academy of Music and studies at Gotland’s composer school, she studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm with Pär Lindgren, Lars-Erik Rosell, Örjan Sandred and Lars Ekström. Visiting professor Bent Sørensen became so important to her composing that she later continued to take lessons from him in Copenhagen.

Over the years, Kristina Forsman has periodically worked herself as well as a music teacher in trombone and sung in a number of choirs. At the same time, this has given her important experience in her work as a composer.

Edition Suecia’s anthology Swedish opera duets & ensembles 1873–2013 contains excerpts from Kristina Forsman’s chamber opera Längtan’s tango… with a libretto by Forsman himself. Furthermore, in the anthology Swedish opera arias 1874–2009, you will find the solo aria Lizette’s song to text by Magnus ”Mankan” Nilsson.

Kristina Forsman has been awarded the Carin Malmlöf-Forssling Composer Prize (2012) by the Royal Academy of Music.

Kristina Forsman’s most played piece to date is Rain-Refrain. The music is recorded by Duo dialogue (Magnus Grönlund, guitar, and Dan Larsson, clarinet) on the CD The Swedish Guitar (Caprice).

– Tony Lundman