Mourning for Christian Ljunggren
INTERKULTUR Honorary President passes away at the age of 75
Press release by INTERKULTUR
INTERKULTUR mourns for its Honorary President and long friend Christian Ljunggren. He passed away on 4 February 2017 after a serious illness only a few days after his 75th birthday. INTERKULTUR has lost a valuable adviser and tireless supporter.
“From the very beginning Christian was an important part of our organisation and he was a good and personal friend of mine,” says INTERKULTUR President Günter Titsch. “His passing has left a big gap – both as Vice President of the World Choir Council or as the moving force behind our important pedagogical activities in China. The message of his death puts everyone at INTERKULTUR in a state of deep mourning and dismay. Our thoughts in these days are with his family and friends.”
Christian Ljunggren was born in 1942. He studied music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm as well as musicology and theology at the University of Uppsala. For over 20 years he worked at the Music Department of the Swedish National Broadcasting Company, and was responsible for music presentation and programming. Over the years he made well more than 500 programmes for the radio and was one of the most prominent and innovative profiles among the radio music producers and presenters.
For more than 50 years, since 1965, he was the conductor of the Adolf Fredrik Madrigal Choir and since 1974 of the Nicolai Chamber Choir. For his choirs he arranged a great many songs from all over the world and from all periods of musical history and also produced Swedish texts for them. He made choral settings from solo songs by Brahms and several Swedish composers and even arranged movements of piano sonatas by Beethoven for choir, adding very appropriate texts to them.
Christian Ljunggren was the first President of the Swedish Choral Directors Association (1986 – 1998) and President of KÖRSAM, the joint committee of the Swedish choral organisations (1997 – 2004). As the Secretary General from 1997-1999 of the IFCM and as its liaison officer (until 2005), he was in contact with choirs, conductors and choral associations around the world. He also organised the second IFCM World Symposium in Stockholm in 1990 with the participation of choral conductors and choirs from all over the world.
Building this network and supporting the international exchange of specific choral scenes in different countries was one of Christian Ljunggren’s most important ambitions. For this reason, during the biannual meetings of the World Choir Council, he organised public symposia to talk about different topics related to the choral scene. The last one was about “The World of Young Voices” in July 2016 during the World Choir Games in Sochi, Russia.
Ljunggren also had the idea for and was the driving force behind INTERKULTUR’s “World Choir Peace Prize” that for the first time was awarded to the three Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) at the World Choir Games 2014 in Riga, Latvia.
Christian Ljunggren’s ideas and his tireless commitment helped INTERKULTUR progress over many years and contributed to the organisation’s global success. His great efforts and important advise will be missed forever. INTERKULTUR mourns for a good friend and great personality. The Presidency, the Artistic Directors and all staff members will always perpetuate his memory.
Edited by Mirella Biagi, UK/Italy