Royal Swedish Academy of Music
The Swedish Music Academy was founded in 1771, in order to encourage the cultivation and composition of music. With the financial support of the then heir to the throne, Carl Johan, it began its teaching work in 1813. In 1864, the Academy’s practical teaching work was taken over by the Music Conservatory. Over the years, the conservatory established a school of theatre and opera, as well as its own library and museum, which later became separate institutions. The Music Academy now resides in the old Foreign Office hotel, having previously been located in the nearby house at 11 Nybrokajen, home to the Academy’s auditorium, regarded as the most beautiful concert hall in Sweden. This is where the first Nobel prizes were presented, and it was also the venue for concerts by the Swedish Radio Orchestra before the Berwaldhallen was opened.
In 1975, Arne Nordheim became a member of the Swedish Music Academy, which commissioned a work from him for the occasion. Be not afeard for soprano, baritone, five instruments and tape to words from Shakespeare’s The Tempest was first performed on 5 December 1977. Also performed in that concert were a sextet by the Swedish composer Ludvig Norman and an improvisation by the jazz pianist Bengt Hallberg. Before the performances, Hallberg and Nordheim gave introductions to their music, which were later published as articles in a series of publications issued by the Royal Academy of Music (5/12, 1977). In his article, Nordheim discusses the composition process and interpretation of the commissioned work, which was later used for the ballet Stormen / The Tempest. (jc)