Internationally acclaimed clarinetist Håkan Rosengren has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician all over Europe, the United States, Israel, Brazil and Asia—from Berlin, Beijing and Bratislava, to Tel Aviv, Vilnius and Warsaw.
In his native Sweden and other Nordic countries Rosengren has repeatedly performed as soloist with nearly every major orchestra, including the Helsinki Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Odense Symphony, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony, Royal Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony, Southern Jutland Symphony, Jönköping Symphony Orchestra, Umeå Sinfonietta and Malmö Symphony, among others.
Rosengren’s concerto solo performances in Europe have taken him to the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony, Prague Philharmonic, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Porto Chamber Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Slovakia Radio Symphony, Aukso Chamber Orchestra, Poznan Philharmonic, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, among others. Elsewhere he has appeared with the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, Minas Gerais Symphony (Brazil), Savannah Symphony, Akron Symphony, Asheville Symphony, Texas Festival Orchestra, Midland-Odessa Symphony, New West Symphony, Israeli Chamber Orchestra and Taegu Symphony Orchestra.
Rosengren’s 1985 debut solo performance in Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra with the Swedish Radio Symphony led to his recording the work for Sony Classical with Esa-Pekka Salonen, a recording hailed by Fanfare Magazine as a “most sensitive, wide-ranging accounts of concerto ever recorded.” His recordings of concertos by Carl Maria von Weber and Bernhard Crusell with the Swedish Radio Symphony, Nordic Chamber Orchestra and the North Czech Philharmonic (on Musica Sveciae and SMS Classical) have been likewise called “masterful.” In particular, his recording of Crusell’s B-flat clarinet concerto and clarinet quartets on Caprice was nominated for the Swedish Grammy Award.
Rosengren has collaborated with such conductors as Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christopher Hogwood, Osmo Vänskä, JoAnn Falletta, Jorma Panula, Pascal Verrot, Jan Krenz, Matthias Aeschbacher, Okko Kamu, Grant Llewellyn, Keith Clark, Sakari Oramo, Eiji Oue, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Stig Westerberg, Göran W. Nilsson, Ekkehard Klemm, David Parry, Boguslaw Dawidow, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Agniezska Duczmal, Leif Segerstam, Edvard Serov, John Storgårds, Matts Liljefors, Lucinda Carver, Robert Hart Baker, Boris Brott, Kazufumi Yamashita, and many others.
Accolades include Berlin Neue Zeit’s calling Rosengren’s playing “sensitive, lingering, colorful tone, and with his magical, light technique.” Lausanne Switzerland paper 24 Heures has “he combines a facile virtuosity with a sensitive musicality that permits him to reinvent his performance each evening.”
Rosengren’s New York City recital debut was accorded rave reviews—Will Crutchfield of the New York Times wrote “Rosengren has an immediately memorable musical personality. His technique is excellent, his tone is beautiful and he draws a great variety of color from the instrument. Rosengren’s musicality did not seem subject to comings and goings; it informed everything he did, and made one listen intently to each piece.” Thor Eckert of the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “Here was a man who loved performing, communicating his insights with freshness, commitment and tremendous affection. Rosengren’s is the sort of talent that needs to be heard if only to remind us all that technique is not the end-all of playing—to remind us that without that extra spark, all those notes can become an empty musical experience.”
Rosengren has performed in recital and chamber music throughout the U. S., Europe, Israel, Brazil and Asia, collaborating with, among others, the Silesian Quartet, Chiara Quartet, Cavani Quartet, Georgian Quartet, Solaris Wind Quintet, Anne Epperson, Peter Nagy, James Dick, Kathryn Stott, Marc Neikrug, Bengt Forsberg, Staffan Scheja, Janusz Olejniczak, Marek Mos, Per Enoksson, Joakim Svenheden, Jorja Fleezanis, Brian Lewis, Sheryl Staples, Ida Levin, Julie Rosenfeld, James Buswell, Zoltan Toth, Jesse Levine, Andrzej Bauer, Jan Vogler, David Finckel, Andre Emelianoff, Mats Rondin, Barry Liebermann, Aralee Dorough, Allan Vogel, James Ryon, Helen Jahren, Basil Reeve, Dennis Michel, Benjamin Kamins, Wilfred Roberts, Marie-Luise Neunecker, Michelle Baker, Julie Landsman, William Hoyt, Tom Booth, John DeWitt, Barbara Hendricks, Mari Anne Häggander and Rosemary Hardy. Since 1997, Rosengren has been a member of the artist-faculty of the International Festival-Institute at Round Top (Texas). In 2006, Rosengren founded the Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival in Fayetteville, Texas.
Cleveland Plain Dealer praised Rosengren’s recent recital with “So effortless was the artistry that Rosengren and his pianist seemed to enjoy performing the concert as much as the crowd loved listening to it. Rosengren, an internationally renowned Swedish musician, played with velvety tone, flawless technique and warm temperament. In lighthearted pieces, his clarinet sparkled. In romantic works, it sang like a human voice of exceptional subtlety and range.”
Rosengren’s repertoire includes all the traditional works for clarinet solo and chamber music—he has performed the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time on at least 50 occasions throughout the world and has recorded the work both for Caprice and for CD Accord, that latter winning nomination for the Polish Frederyk Award.
Music festivals around the world in which Rosengren has performed include Warsaw Autumn, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, Ojai Music Festival, Moritzburg Chamber Music Festival (Dresden), Beethoven Spring Music Festival (Krakow), Haifa Music Festival (Israel), Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival (Seattle), Sandviken Chamber Music Festival (Sweden), Taegu Contemporary Music Festival (South Korea), Odense Music Festival, Louisiana Contemporary Music Festival (Copenhagen), Varberg International Chamber Music Festival (Sweden), Rybna Castle Festival (Poland), “Chamber Unlimited” Stockholm International Chamber Music Festival, Krakow Contemporary Music Festival, Beijing Clarinet Festival, Porto Clarinet Festival and Krakow International Messiaen Festival.
Rosengren is a champion of new music. Composers who have written and dedicated works to Rosengren include Poul Ruders, Anders Eliasson, Jan Sandström, Henrik Strindberg, Alexander Lason, Martin Willert and Nikola Resanovic. American composer Frank Ticheli is writing a concerto for Rosengren, to be premiered in 2010.
Rosengren was a member of the 2003 ARD Munich International Clarinet Competition Jury and has judged Italy’s Trapani International Chamber Music Competition, Portugal’s Madeira International Clarinet Competition and, in Sweden, the Soloist Prize and the International Duo Competition.
Rosengren has given masterclasses throughout Europe—Lithuanian Academy of Music (Vilnius), Kaunas (Lithuania) Conservatory of Music, Stockholm College of Music, Lisbon Academy of Music, Lisbon Conservatory, Poznan Academy of Music, Gothenburg Conservatory of Music, Malmö Conservatory of Music, Bratislava Academy of Music, among others—and throughout the United States—Cleveland Institute of Music, Baylor University, University of Texas Austin, University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of Colorado, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin Madison—as well as the Rubin Academy (Tel Aviv) and Jerusalem Music Center.
Rosengren earned degrees from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium and the University of California. His teachers include Mitchell Lurie, James Kanter, Sölve Kingstedt and Walter Boeykens. He has received grants and awards from the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, the Swedish Arts Council, the Fulbright Commission and the Scandinavia America Foundation, and has won First Prize in Concert Artists Guild International New York Competition, First Prize in the Los Angeles Arts Council Competition, First Prize in UNESCO’s International Performer Competition and selection for the Nordic Soloist Biennial as well as the Solo Recitalists Fellowship from the (U. S.) National Endowment for the Arts.
Håkan Rosengren is a Rico Artist and a Buffet Artist, and performs on Rico Grand Concert Select Evolution clarinet reeds, on a James Kanter mouthpiece and Buffet Tosca clarinets.