Artist Hyperion Records
Swensen, Joseph (conductor)

Joseph Swensen (conductor)

Joseph Swensen has rapidly established himself as one of the most exciting talents to have emerged from amongst today’s younger generation of conductors. This was recognised by his appointment in 1996 as Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has since enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship.

Joseph Swensen’s enthusiasm for new music has seen him conduct the SCO in premieres of major works by composers such as James MacMillan, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Sally Beamish, Karin Rehnqvist and Eleanor Alberga. Swensen and the Orchestra have toured extensively in the USA, Far East, Spain and Portugal, and Swensen has also made his debuts at the Edinburgh International Festival, BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival with the Orchestra. In 2002, they returned to tour the USA, giving highly-acclaimed performances at Mostly Mozart in New York, at Tanglewood and Ravinia. Joseph Swensen and the Orchestra have also embarked on an extensive series of recordings for Linn Records. The first disc—Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Symphony No 3 (Linn CKD 205)—featured Swensen as both conductor and soloist.

Joseph Swensen was Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2000-2003, and, in addition to numerous concerts in Wales, has made several appearances with them at the BBC Proms in recent seasons. “Swensen is the complete musician: a virtuoso violinist and composer as well as conductor, ostensibly well suited to Mahler [Symphony No 6]. From the very first sinister opening march, his approach was one of taut, thrusting vigour, and while the music is shot through with melodic material that represents glimpses of a soaring but seemingly unattainable joy, this mitigated little against the overall impression of a relentless underlying force” (The Guardian, London). He continues his relationship with the Orchestra, returning regularly over forthcoming seasons.

Swensen is a regular guest conductor with many of the world’s major orchestras, and appearances in recent seasons have included the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Mozarteum, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Real Orquestra Sinfonica de Sevilla, and, in North America, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber, Saint Louis, Dallas, Indianapolis and Toronto Symphony Orchestras.

Before deciding to dedicate himself solely to his conducting career, Joseph Swensen enjoyed a highly-successful career as a professional violinist, appearing as a soloist with the world’s major orchestras. Nowadays his occasional appearances as a violin soloist are a natural extension of his work as a conductor, playing and directing concerti with the SCO and other orchestras with whom he enjoys a particularly close relationship. His devotion to chamber music results in frequent performances in that genre, often with members of the orchestras he conducts.

Joseph Swensen was born in 1960 in New York (an American, of Norwegian-Japanese descent); he now lives in Copenhagen.

Albums

Barber & Walton: Violin Concertos
SIGCD238Download only
Brahms: Sinfonia in B
Studio Master: SIGCD191Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Dvořák: Violin Concerto
Studio Master: CKD241Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Mozart: Symphony No 41; Wagner: Siegfried Idyll; Sibelius: The Tempest
Studio Master: CKD540Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Prokofiev: Symphony No 1 & Violin Concerto No 2
Studio Master: CKD219Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Sibelius: Pelleas and Melisande & other works
Studio Master: CKD220Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Sibelius: The Tempest; Wagner: Siegfried Idyll; Mozart: Symphony No 41
Studio Master: CKD540Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Walton & Barber: Violin Concertos
SIGCD238Download only

Complete works available for download

SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981)
Adagio for Strings, Op 11with Malmö Opera Orchestra
Violin Concerto, Op 14with Thomas Bowes (violin), Malmö Opera Orchestra
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Sinfonia in B major, Op 8with Malmö Opera Orchestra
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Czech Suite, Op 39with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Notturno in B major, Op 40 B48awith Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Violin Concerto in A minor, Op 53with Joseph Swensen (violin), Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Waltz in A major, Op 54 No 1with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
SERGE PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Five Melodies, Op 35biswith Joseph Swensen (violin), Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Symphony No 1 in D major 'Classical', Op 25with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Violin Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 63with Joseph Swensen (violin), Scottish Chamber Orchestra
CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896)
3 Romances, Op 22with Joseph Swensen (violin), Malmö Opera Orchestra
JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Andante festivowith Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op 51with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Pelleas and Melisande, Op 46with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
The Tempest Suite No 2, Op 109with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
The Tempest Suite No 2, Op 109with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Valse triste, Op 44 No 1with Scottish Chamber Orchestra
SIR WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983)
Two Pieces for strings from Henry Vwith Malmö Opera Orchestra
Violin Concertowith Thomas Bowes (violin), Malmö Opera Orchestra

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

3 Romances, Op 22 (Schumann/Swensen)
A spring in the park  
Adagio for Strings, Op 11 (Barber)
Andante festivo (Sibelius)
At the castle gate  
At the seashore  
Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Op 51 (Sibelius)
Chorus of the winds  
Czech Suite, Op 39 (Dvořák)
Dance episode  
Dance of the nymphs  
Five Melodies, Op 35bis (Prokofiev)
Five Melodies, Op 35bis (Prokofiev/Swensen)
Gavotta: Non troppo allegro  
Khadra's dance  
Melisande  
Melisande at the spinning-wheel  
Miranda  
Nocturne  
Notturno in B major, Op 40 B48a (Dvořák)
Oriental procession  
Passacaglia: Death of Falstaff  
Pastorale  
Pelleas and Melisande, Op 46 (Sibelius)
Polka  
Preludium (Pastorale)  
Prospero  
Romance  
Scherzo in C minor, WoO2  
Sinfonia in B major, Op 8 (Brahms/Swensen)
Solitude  
Sonata in A minor 'F-A-E' (Brahms)
Sonata in A minor 'F-A-E' (Schumann)
Sousedská (Minuetto)  
Symphony No 1 in D major 'Classical', Op 25 (Prokofiev)
The death of Melisande  
The naiads  
The Tempest Suite No 2, Op 109 (Sibelius)
The three blind sisters  
Touch her soft lips and part  
Two Pieces for strings from Henry V (Walton)
Valse triste, Op 44 No 1 (Sibelius)
Violin Concerto (Walton)
Violin Concerto in A minor, Op 53 (Dvořák)
Violin Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 63 (Prokofiev)
Violin Concerto, Op 14 (Barber)
Waltz in A major, Op 54 No 1 (Dvořák)