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Lars-Erik Vilner Larsson (15 May 1908 27 December 1986) was a notable Swedishmarker composer of the 20th century.

He was born in Åkarpmarker. He studied with Ellberg at the Stockholm Conservatory (1925–1929) and with Alban Berg and Fritz Reuter in Viennamarker and Leipzigmarker (1929–1930), then worked for Swedish radio and taught at the Stockholm Conservatory (1947–1959) and Uppsala Universitymarker where he held the position as Director musices (1961–1966).

His style as a composer is eclectic, ranging from the late Romantic to techniques derived from Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-note system, but original in method. He was the first Swede to write serial music (1932). Yet other works of that period are post-Sibelian or neo-classical, and his output generally is characterized by variety of style.

He wrote for the theatre, cinema and broadcasting, in addition to the more traditional forms of symphony, concerto, chamber and vocal music.

Lars-Erik Larsson wrote the score of the well-known God in Disguise, a non-religious lyrical suite for orchestra, mixed choir and soloists written by Malmö poet Hjalmar Gullberg.

He died in Helsingborgmarker on 27 December 1986.


Larsson wrote two of the most popular works in Swedish art music:
  • Pastoral suite (Pastoralsvit), for chamber orchestra, Op. 19 (1938)
  • A God in Disguise (Förklädd gud), for mixed chorus, soloists and orchestra, Op. 24 (1940)

Larsson's most important symphonic works are his three symphonies for full orchestra:
  • Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 2 (1927–28)
  • Symphony No. 2, Op. 17 (1936–37)
  • Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 34 (1944–45)

Other works for orchestra:
  • A Winter's Tale (En Vintersaga), Op. 18 (1937–38)

Larsson also wrote a Sinfonietta for string orchestra and a popular Little Serenade for the same medium.

He wrote a series of 12 concertinos for solo instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano.

Larsson's Concerto for alto saxophone, written for Sigurd Raschèr in 1932, is one of the first major works for saxophone to utilize ideas of non-standard tonality.

The Violin Concerto, Op. 42 (1952) is another important work.


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