Magnus Lindberg

Magnus Lindberg (b. 1958) is, like Saariaho, one of the internationally bestknown Finnish composers of his generation. For him too Paris is an important location, and both have used new technology in their work. This is where the similarities end, however: whereas Saariaho’s work is dominated by slow processes of change and dreamlike atmospheres, Lindberg works with aggressive rhythms and massive outbursts. Saariaho’s music recalls Ligeti and Grisey, while Lindberg has been compared with Xenakis, Berio and Boulez.

Lindberg’s composer persona is dualist in a fruitful way: on one hand, he is a rationalist who uses new technology; on the other hand, he is a hands-on musician - a pianist - and participated in many premieres of new works in the early stages of his career. As a result of these two facets, his music is usually highly complex yet is full of effective vim and verve.

Harmony, tonal colour, texture and rhythm are the chief components of Lindberg’s music, and in his earlier works in particular the use of melody is non-existent. He went through a transition in the late 1980s with his language evolving into a softer, harmonically more polished and rhythmically clarified direction. He never left the domain of Modernism, however, but he did give it a more human face, as it were.

- extract of Finish Music Information Center; full article available at

(- Maarit Kyt?harju/ FIMIC)

Selected works by Magnus Lindberg:
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
--William James