Sebastian Fagerlund (b.1972) has established himself as one of the most prominent European composers of his generation. He studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the guidance of Erkki Jokinen and received his diploma in composition in 2004.
Important aspects of Fagerlund's work are his interest in large-scale forms and a profound view of music expressing fundamental questions and existential experiences. Fagerlund was described by BBC Music Magazine as displaying 'boundless technical resource at the service of a considerable imagination.' A highly virtuosic instrumental feel and strong sense of musicianship is noticeable in all of his works, creating musical dramas in which powerful expression is combined with intensity and vivid communication, as well as an openness towards different musical traditions.
Works by Fagerlund have been commissioned and performed by major orchestras, outstanding conductors and musicians all over the world. His output spans opera, chamber and solo works, the most significant pieces being his operas and works for orchestra. Performers of his works include the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, NAC Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and he has worked closely with conductors and musicians such as Hannu Lintu, Anne Sofie von Otter, Edward Gardner, Nicolas Altstaedt, Dima Slobodeniouk, Pekka Kuusisto, Sharon Bezaly, Sakari Oramo, Christoffer Sundqvist, Osmo Vänskä and John Storgårds. Fagerlund has been guest composer at numerous festivals around the world, such as Aspen Music Festival, Baltic Sea Festival and Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival.
In 2011, Fagerlund was awarded Finland’s renowned Teosto Prize, one of the largest music prizes in Scandinavia, for his orchestral work Ignite. In the same year Ignite was also selected as a recommended work at the International Rostrum of Composers 2011 in Vienna. Between 2013-2019 he was artistic director of the RUSK Chamber Music Festival in Jakobstad, Finland. In the 2016/17 season, Fagerlund was appointed Composer in Residence at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His opera Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) was premiered at the Finnish National Opera as part of its 2017/18 season to great critical acclaim. The Financial Times described the opera as ‘Striking, Superb.’ In 2018, the recording of his Bassoon Concerto Mana received the BBC Music Magazine Awards in the Concerto Category. For the 2021/22 season, Fagerlund has been appointed Composer in Residence at the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland.
In 2018 the recording of his Bassoon Concerto Mana received the BBC Music Magazine Awards in the Concerto Category. In February 2019, Fagerlund’s cello concerto, Nomade, premiered at the Elbphilharmonie with soloist Nicolas Altstaedt and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester conducted by Hannu Lintu.
Fagerlund's music is published by Edition Peters and is available on record label BIS.