Recording a solo CD is a dream for many musicians. My dream has been made a reality thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Mikael Claesson, Managing director of Moderna Försäkringar, who plays with the Stockholm Brass band and has a bit of a ¨thing¨ about brass music! So, what prompted Mr. Claesson to reach so deeply into his pockets to support my
recording? It was probably because of the 2007 Öhrlings Price Waterhouse Coopers Competition. I won! I was so inspired that I entered the Christian Lindberg International Solo Competition in Valencia as well. Things went pretty well, apparently the jury liked my playing, and I ended up winning that one too! Joy! Given this wonderful opportunity, what on earth should I choose to play? Presented with an almost endless smörgåsbord - containing everything one could possibly wish
for - the final decisions are delicate and tricky. I love to play romantic music, not too bombastic, but then, it is always fun to really blast out a fiery cascade every now and then as well! Varied and with contrast would be good of course. What could be better then, than if The Stockholm Brass Band accompanied me for five of the pieces, and for the rest, a harp!! A bigger contrast is hard to imagine when it comes to scale and timbre, and it’s an unusual combination with the trombone which makes it fun and challenging for me. An added bonus is the chance to play with an esteemed colleague from The Royal Stockholm Opera, who usually sits far over on the other side of the crowded orchestra pit: principal harpist Åsa Lännerholm.
It is my sincere hope that you enjoy these original pieces and arrangements as much as I have enjoyed performing them.
Håkan Björkman was born in Arboga, Sweden, in 1969. At the age of five, a chance event would form his life: one morning over breakfast, his mother turned on the radio and Håkan was entranced by the music that streamed out. It was the voice of the popular Greek singer Demis Roussos. Håkan persuaded his parents to buy one of his LPs, which over the following weeks he almost wore out with constant listening. Fascinated by the great man’s voice and musicality, Håkan decided that he too would become a musician. Håkan started taking piano lessons, after a time he took up the trombone as well, studying with Folke Carlsson who would often accompany him on the piano. In 1983 He entered a local talent competition. Håkan has a habit of winning competitions, and this was no exception. The prize, ten lessons with John Petersen -principal trombonist of The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra- was a terrific boost, and Håkan eagerly looked forwards to his fortnightly lessons in Stockholm – filled as they were, with warmth, inspiration, humour and love. John taught Håkan until 1989. Håkan did his conscription military service with The Swedish Army Band after which he commenced his studies at The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm with professors Jan Andersson and Sven-Erik Eriksson. He graduated with the highest award possible: the medalist solo diploma, and a performance of the Serocki Trombone Concerto with The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. During his studies, Håkan was awarded several scholarships enabling him to study for a time in the USA, having lessons from Joe Alessi (The New York Philharmonic), Per Brevig, (The Metropolitan Opera) and Mark Lawrence (The San Francisco Symphony Philharmonic Orchestra). Håkan was appointed principal trombonist of The Royal
Court Orchestra in 1996. He has also been principal trombone with The Stockholm Symphonic Wind Orchestra
(1993-1996), and since 1998 he has been guest principal trombonist with Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He
has also played with Christian Lindberg´s quartet Trombone Unit 2000 (BIS recording), The Stockholm Sinfonietta, The Stockhom Brass Band, and the unique trumpet quartet The Gerdt Specialists in which he plays bass trumpet. Håkan also teaches at Ågesta Preparatory School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. As a soloist Håkan has performed in Sweden, Britain, USA, Austria and Germany together with orchestras like The Royal Court Orchestra, The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, The Västerås Sinfonietta, The Stockholm Sinfonietta, The Nordic Chamber Orchestra, The Stockholm SymphonicWind Orchestra, The Swedish Army Band, The Swedish Marine Band, The Band of The Royal Grenadier Guards (London), The Östgöta Wind Band and many more. Håkan Björkman has appeared as a soloist with many choirs; Orphei
drängar, Mikaeli Chamber Choir and Allmänna Sången. In 2007 Håkan was the winner of The Öhrlings, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Stockholm Sinfonietta’s Soloist Prize. In 2008 Håkan won the second Christian Lindberg International Solo
Competition in Valencia. The prize consisted of three solo concerts in the Valencia area as well as concerto appearances with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and The Stockholm Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Håkan was soloist with the Stockholm
Sinfonietta in September this year (2008) and will perform with The Aarhus Symphony Orchestra in June 2009.
Håkan met his wife Catrine in the Arboga Youth Wind Band, she played the oboe then, but went into law and now works as a judge. They have two daughters; Frida and Sofia.