Aron Hidman

I was born in 1971 in Uppsala, Sweden. My childhood was spent in Uppsala and in Luleå and Umeå, in the north of Sweden. I first came into contact with music as a creative medium through my own experimentation with whatever instruments and recording equipment I could get my hands on and by emulating popular music e.g. The Beatles. By the age of ten I was writing songs and playing the guitar in various bands. This continued for about eight or nine years while at the same time my interest in classical music grew. By the age of about nine-teen writing pop music had ceased being interesting and instead I set about trying to teach myself composition.

My first attempts were derivative but after a few years of investigating both old music like Bach and Beethoven, and twentieth-century music like Stravinsky and Schoenberg and later Xenakis, as well as writing a lot of music I finally applied, in 1994, to a school of music at Framnäs, outside Piteå. There I studied for two years with Jan Ferm, who was actually my first real music teacher. I learnt a lot, not least from having more than twenty pieces performed and from for the first time finding out about the relationship between composer and performer. It was at Framnäs that I finally found my own voice as a composer, I think, and that gave me the confidence to apply to Piteå School of Music. Happily, I was accepted. The main reason for applying to Piteå School of music was of course professor Jan Sandström. Sandström showed an admirable understanding for what I was trying to achieve in my music, and also an affinity, at least to a certain degree, with my ideas about music and what I wanted it to express.

I was allowed great freedom in choosing projects and in forming my own style during these four years (1996-2000), something which I think was important in helping make me who I am today as a composer. Projects included working with: Umeå Symphony Orchestra, Norrlandsoperan (Umeå Opera House), Norrbotten Big Band, Piteå School of Music Chamber Choir and Erik Westberg, the percussion ensemble at the school, including Anders Åstrand, The [MëR] Ensemble and the Concert House in Stockholm, among others.

During these four years I also studied instrumentation with Hans Hjortek, who is one of the leading Swedish arrangers. These, often intense, sessions taught me an increased attention to detail and to the practical aspects of performance, but also gave me additional insights into the field of composition. In the third year of studying at Piteå School of music I and three fellow composition students started The [MëR] Ensemble, or just [MëR] - a new music ensemble made up of students, that performed music by the composition students as well as some some twentieth century classics like Riley's In C and Stockhausen's Aus Dem Sieben Tagen. The Ensemble played concerts at the school and in Luleå and Härnösand. In the spring of 2000 I had my graduation concert in the concert hall of Luleå University. The concert featured The [MëR] Ensemble with violin soloist Linda Andersson, Piteå School of Music Chamber Choir and Erik Westberg, Piteå School of Music Brass Ensemble and percussionists Rolf Landberg and Daniel Saur.

During these years I have received commissions from Umeå Symphony Orchestra, Dorotea Parish, and Umeå University. The piece Read My Mind was published by Warwick Music. and Topie was published by Gehrmans. Recent compositions include a violin duo, Chaconne, for Duo Gelland (Cecilia and Martin Gelland) for whom a double concerto is also planned, Threads for solo percussionist, for the American percussionist Don Nichols and Essay for string orchestra, written for Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra. Current activities include collaborations with British saxophonist Charlotte Bradburn and Swedish composer Marcus Fjellström.

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