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Stockholm, SE

Performs On:

Boston Classic R Flute

Artist Bio

Jan Bengston (Sweden)

 

"Jan Bengtson is one of the leading flute-players in the world. He combined in his art great viriuosity with deep musicianship. His quality of sound is wonderful”   
                                                                                                    - Gennady Rozhdestvensky


Jan Bengston began playing the flute at age four, inspired by his father Stig Bengtson, Principal flutist at the Royal Opera Orchestra. Jan did his first television broadcast performance when he was only six years old. He was very active in various music groups and solo performances as well at an early age.

Jan Bengtson studied at the Academy of Music at University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and studied flute primarily for Professor Gèrárd Schaub. He began his professional career during his studies and was employed at Umeå Sinfonietta and the Northern Opera Orchestra. During this time he was offered numerous jobs as principal solo flutist and had the extraordinary pleasure to choose between five different orchestras. In 1989 he began his employment as one of the Principal flutists at Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, where he has also performed as a flute soloist on several occasions. He has performed works ranging from early music to contemporary composers, including the concertos of Mozart, Nielsen, Ibert and Vivaldi to mention a few. The Swedish composer Johan Hammerth wrote a flute-concerto, dedicated to Jan, which was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm 1993. The performance was rewarded with excellent reviews.

After a few years of employment as Principal Solo Flutist at the Royal Opera Orchestra in Stockholm (1997-1999), Jan decided to go back to Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, whom he started performing with in 1989 and continues to perform with today. In 1990 Jan was awarded with first prize in the Nordic Flute Competition “Crusell-Week” in Finland. Additional awards include the prize for Best Interpretation of the special composed music by the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho, and a special price at the International Music Competition in Vienna, Austria (1992).

Jan is in demand as a teacher, and leads master classes in Sweden and Scandinavia. Currently, he teaches at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm where he has taught since 1990 and at Lilla Akademien (Music Elementary School) in Stockholm, where he has been the department chair since the school was founded in 1998.

Jan Bengtson enjoys a multi-faceted career as a leading soloist, chamber musician, studio musician and teacher. He plays many different genres ranging from classical to jazz, pop and folk music. He has played with musical theatre orchestras, such as Chess, Phantom Of The Opera, Les Miserables and Kristina from Duvemåla. He has also worked at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in close cooperation with the famous swedish director Ingemar Bergman, in one of his last productions “Bacchanterna”. Jan is currently active in several music ensembles and is frequently requested as a studio musician.

Jan Bengtson's discography so far includes three solo albums, recordings with Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and albums with Ann-Sofie von Otter, Benny Andersson Band, Svenska Lyxorkestern and Margareta Bengtson. Jan has also recorded as a studio musician with Il Divo, Celine Dion, Westlife, and Michael Bolton to mention a few.

Artist Interview

Jan Bengston (Sweden)

We had the opportunity to ask Jan a few questions. Check out his thoughts on starting the flute at age 4, studying with a parent as well as approaching new pieces as an orchestral flutist.

 

1. What was it like starting the flute at the age of 4? Do you remember this experience and/or the struggles you may have encountered due to your size and age?

I remember that I asked my father if he could teach me how to play the flute. Of course I will, he answered. Because of my small hands and short arms (at the age of 4), I started with a piccolo. I remember the first lesson very well, and the happiness when I got my first nice tone coming out of the piccolo. I was a very easy learner, an because of that, I became a little bit lazy... when I was six I had my first TV performance on Swedish broadcast playing the piccolo.

 

2. What was your experience like studying with your father?

In the beginning it was fine studying with my father, but later on, it became a problem because it was very easy to say "Lets do it tomorrow," because he was at home almost every day.  It became like we say in Sweden.... "like the shoemakers children." It means that the shoemakers children never had any shoes.  But my father had a lot of students at home for lessons, so I heard others flute lessons very often. I think I learned a lot from that.

 

3. What is your typical day like?

A typical day for me is never typical, there are always different things happening. I usually drive my children to school, and in that school I have a few flute students as well. I teach them in the early morning, and after that I go to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm for rehearsal. After that I will sometimes go to the studio for a recording session, for pop, or jazz or folk music or classical or any other genre,  or to a church to play for a funeral or maybe a wedding. Then, I might go home and practice a little... and sometimes I have a gig with my band, "The Swedish Luxury Orchestra" at night.  We play music on requests, The audience just makes requests, and we play them on flute, violin, accordion doubble-bass, guitar and drum. Its very funny because it can be any kind of music, from heavy metal to waltz... after a few turns on the music, a spontaneous music arrangement will appear :-)

 

4. As an orchestral flutist, how do you approach preparing new pieces?

I work very much and have a family to take care of therefore I have very little time left for preparation, I have learned over the years how to find the difficult places in the music and just practice these spots, and of course the big solos in the orchestra repertoire. If I am soloist with the orchestra, of course I have to practice a lot more. Then I work really hard on that piece for several months.

 

5. How did you come to choose Miyazawa as your flute of choice?

Because my father is a professional flute player, I inherited his old flutes, I had an old Haynes from the 50's in the beginning when I was studying flute. I tried to find a new flute and when I found and tried the Miyazawa flute, it felt like it was "love at first sight." I improved a great deal with my new Miyazawa flute.

 

 6. If you had one piece of advice to give for an upcoming flutist, what would you tell them?

I have always tried to play music from different genres. I think that makes me feel happier, and then all of my different jobs feels funny and inspirational. I use to put on a nice channel on the radio and just add my flute to what ever is coming out of the radio....and tried to make the music sound better than the original. :-) I think that is a good, and fun complement to the traditional exercises... and it will train your ear and musical perspective in a very good way.

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