Christoffer Sundqvist


Christoffer Sundqvist (b. 1978) began his clarinet studies with Bernhard Nylund at the Pietarsaari Conservatory. He completed his diploma examination with Anna-Maija Korsimaa at the Sibelius Academy in 2002 and went on to study with Professor François Benda at the Basel Music Academy. He has also attended masterclasses given by Hans Rudolf Stalder, Guy Deplus, Charles Neidich and Ronald van Spaendonck, and he has studied chamber music with a number of distinguished musicians. He won shared first prize at the Crusell Clarinet Competition in 2002. He has also received the Pro Musica medal and first prize in the Juvenalia chamber music competition in Espoo.

Christoffer Sundqvist was nominated débutant of the year by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2004. In recent years he has appeared as soloist with nearly every Finnish orchestra.  His foreign appearances include those with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Basel and the St Christopher Chamber Orchestra in Lithuania. He has worked with conductors such as Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Storgårds, Sakari Oramo, Okko Kamu, Juha Kangas and Hannu Lintu. Sundqvist is a regular guest in European festivals. He has appeared in many European festivals, Warsaw Autumn, Fürstensaal Classix in Kempten, Märzmusik in Berlin and West Cork –festival among others.

Sundqvist is an active chamber musician, being a founding member of the Arktinen hysteria ('Arctic hysteria') wind quintet and a member of the Plus Ensemble based in Turku. He has also appeared in Finland and abroad with the Danel Quartet, Kodály Quartet, the New Helsinki Quartet, the Tempera Quartet, Bella Davidovich, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Herve Joulain, Niek de Groot, Pekka Kuusisto, Sakari Oramo, Paavali Jumppanen and Philippe Graffin. Since 2013 Sundqvist has been the artistic leader of Jakobstads Sinfonietta and Rusk –festival.

 In summer 2007, he appeared at a concert of chamber music by Magnus Lindberg at the Helsinki Festival and in Spring 2008 he premiered the clarinet trio by Magnus Lindberg in Helsinki. In season 2007-2008, he appeared at the 35th anniversary concert of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and premiered the Double Concerto for Clarinet and Viola by Aulis Sallinen together with Tommi Aalto. Christoffer Sundqvist has given the world premieres of Clarinet Concertos by Markus Fagerudd and Sebastian Fagerlund. With his chamber music ensembles, he has premiered numerous new Finnish works by P.H. Nordgren, Sampo Haapamäki, Atso Almila and others. Sundqvist is an active partner to Sebastian Fagerlund. Among the Clarinet concerto he has premiered the Trio (2010) and Sonata (2011) from Fagerlund.

Sundqvist records for BIS and Alba –labels. Recent recordings include the Clarinet concerto from Fagerlund with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra to BIS which has claimed a lot of international recognition and awarded with EMMA -price, recording of concertos by Peter Eötvös and Aulis Sallinen to Alba and recording of Jukka Tiensuu's works with Plus Ensemble to Alba. The recording with Plus Ensemble received the classical EMMA –price in Finland.   

He has played principal clarinet with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2005. Christoffer Sundqvist teaches clarinet at the Sibelius Academy and gives master courses on regular basis.

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Short Profile

NameSundqvist, Christoffer
Date of Birth1978-05-07
Born inSweden, Europe
Home LocationHelsinki, Finland
Main languageSwedish
Additional languages English,  Finnish 
attended UniversitiesSibelius Academy
 Musicweb International Classical Reviews ,
""The clarinet part is very demanding, but the soloist Christoffer Sundqvist shows truly Paganinian devilry on the clarinet and extracts from his instrument each color and every shade. There isn't a single note that he does not make interesting. The elaborate cadenza is impressive, and the sparkling, explosive finale is totally fascinating."
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     BBC Music Magazine,
    ""Full marks to clarinettist Christoffer Sundqvist, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Dima Slobodeniouk for putting all this music across with such power, intelligence and refinement."
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       Finnish Music Quarterly ,
      ""I hadn't come across the playing of Christoffer Sundqvist before but he's plainly a clarinetist of a high order, also delivering sparky accounts of the Nielsen Concerto and Peter Eötvös' darkly humorous, 20-minute concerto, Levitation""
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       Helsingin Sanomat,
      ""Fagerlund's music is open and clear behaving, but to a positive attitude does not become hackneyed, possessed musicians are needed. Those are amazing clarinet virtuoso, Christoffer Sundqvist, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dima Slobodeniouk."
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         International Record Review,
        ""Christoffer Sundqvist is the outstanding soloist"
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           Helsingin Sanomat,
          ""Christoffer Sundqvist has risen on the top-league of Finnish instrumentalists. Smooth musicianship, rhythmic elasticity, the sound spectrum that reaches the extreme and sure sense of style have always fascinated, whether it be orchestral solos, chamber music or solo performances.""
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