Erland von Koch

Erland von Koch at his summer residence in Ornö, Sweden, in 1952.

Sigurd Christian Jag Erland Vogt von Koch (26 April 1910 – 31 January 2009) was a Swedish composer.[1]

Life and career

Born in Stockholm as the son of composer Sigurd von Koch (1879–1919), Erland von Koch studied at the Stockholm Conservatory from 1931 to 1935 and subsequently passed the advanced choirmaster and organist examinations. Between 1936 and 1938, he lived in Germany and France in order to pursue studies in composition with Paul Höffer, conducting with Clemens Krauss, and piano with Claudio Arrau. Later, he took private classes with Tor Mann in Sweden.[2]

Teaching at the Karl Wohlfarts Musikschule from 1939 to 1945, von Koch also spent the final two years of this period working as a sound expert and choirmaster for radio broadcasting. He composed much music for the Swedish film industry during a good forty years. From 1953 to 1975, he was lecturer in harmony at the Stockholm Conservatory,[3] where he was appointed a professor in 1968.[2]

Von Koch became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1957. He has received numerous other honors and prizes at both national and international levels for his compositions. He has written six symphonies (of which the fifth, Lapponica, is dedicated to the Sami people),[4] twelve Scandinavian Dances, one opera (Pelle Svanslös), and five ballets, as well as music for wind orchestra.

Even in his nineties he composed/studied every day. His works can be described as uncomplicated and his motto was always to "keep the melody".[2]

Selected compositions

Music for the stage

Film music

Orchestral music

Chamber music



  1. Sveriges ridderskap och adels kalender 1992 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Riddarhusdirektionen. 1991. p. 310. ISBN 91-971722-0-0.
  2. 1 2 3 Peterson, Hans-Gunnar. "Erland von Koch". Svenskt Musik/Swedish Music Information Centre. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  3. 1 2 Percy, G. “Leading Swedish Composers of the 20th Century.” In: Swedish music – past and present, special edition of Musikrevy. STIM & Swedish Institute for Cultural Relations Abroad, Stockholm, 1966.
  4. Portrait: Erland von Koch

External links

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