Svante Henryson

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Svante Henryson
Background information
Born (1963-10-22) October 22, 1963 (age 51)
Stockholm, Sweden
Genres Jazz, classical, hard rock, fusion
Occupation(s) Composer, musician
Instruments Cello, bass guitar, double bass
Years active 1975–present
Labels ECM
Associated acts Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jon Balke, Ketil Bjørnstad

Svante Henryson (born October 22, 1963 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a composer, cellist, bass guitarist and double bassist, active within jazz, classical music, and hard rock.


Childhood & Studies[edit]

Svante Henryson grew up in Umeå in northern Sweden. His father was a Full Professor of Education, and his mother a Director of Studies in English at Umeå University.

At age 12, after falling in love-at-a-distance with a female bassist at a concert, Svante began playing bass guitar in a rock band. Two years later, he switched to jazz and double bass. A concert with Stan Getz at the Umeå Jazz Festival made up his mind about becoming a musician. Another life-changing experience was hearing the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in concert in Östersund.

He left his hometown already at age 14 to study music: two years in Härnösand, three years at Ingesund College of Music and (later) one year at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.[1]

Early professional years[edit]

Still in his teens and halfway through music college, he became a member of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons 1983–1986. After making his solo debut with the Oslo Philharmonic in Wanhal's Bass Concerto, he became the orchestra's Assistant Principal Bassist.[2]

1987–1989 he was Principal Bassist of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra led by Iona Brown.

After a drastic change in direction, he became bass guitarist of Yngwie Malmsteen's band 1989–1992.[3] During this period he started playing cello, an instrument on which he is an autodidact.

Henrysons first solo album, Enkidu, was released in 1997.[4] He has also been prominently featured on many other albums in a very wide musical area.

As a session player he has worked with Stevie Wonder, Ryan Adams, Elvis Costello and Steve Gadd.[5]


Svante Henryson is a composer of orchestral music, as well as choral music and chamber music.[6] His "Electric Bass Concerto", composed in 2007, introduces the bass guitar in a new role as a classical solo instrument. Elvis Costello and Henryson collaborated as songwriters on the album "For the Stars".

Svante Henryson is an ECM recording artist, performing in various formations with Jon Balke, Ketil Bjørnstad,[7] Marilyn Mazur, Arve Henriksen, Terje Rypdal and Palle Mikkelborg.

He also performs in chamber music duos and trios with Roland Pöntinen, Martin Fröst,[8] Anne Sofie von Otter and Bengt Forsberg.[9] Svante has been the Musical Director of Asian, American and European tours with Anne Sofie von Otter.[10][11]

Svante Henryson currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and is married to Katarina Henryson, singer of The Real Group.




  • Legatissimo for cello and orchestra (first performance 1996)
  • Songs from the Milky Way concerto for cello and orchestra (1997)
  • Memento for cello and string orchestra (2003)
  • Electric Bass Concerto for bass guitar and orchestra (2007)
  • Vinterfest concert overture for orchestra (2007)[12]
  • Sinfonia Concertante for orchestra (2009)
  • Cello Concerto nr. 2 for cello and orchestra (2010)
  • Amorphicon for steel pans, electric cello and string orchestra (2011)


  • Eyes of a Child for five voices (1999)
  • Himlar av Djupaste Glädje for soprano, mixed choir and piano (2007)
  • Enfaldiga Ren for soprano, mezzo, alto, mixed choir, string octet, guitar and six-handed piano (2009)
  • DoReMi SaReGa for cello, men's choir and jazz trio (2009)
  • Lämmeln och vråken for female choir, accordion and cello (2010)
  • Vidderna Inom Mig for cello, mixed choir, children's choir and chamber orchestra (2011)

Chamber music[edit]

  • Vintermusik for soprano, tenor, narrator, clarinet, bassoon, violin, double bass and percussion (1980)
  • Slussen (the Sluice) for cello and city sounds (1994)
  • Off Pist for soprano saxophone and cello (1996)
  • π (pi) for violin, cello and drums (2006)
  • Sarabande Metamorphose for cello and piano (2007)
  • Allegro Moderato for clarinet, cello and piano (2007)
  • Quartet for Violin, Viola and Two Celli (2007)
  • Eckency for cello and piano (2008)
  • Suite for Solo Cello (2008)
  • Sonata for Solo Violin (2009)
  • Narvik 9 for flute, clarinet, bassoon, string quartet, hammerclavier and bass guitar (2012)




  1. ^ "Vancouver Recital Society 2008–2009 Season", p. 11
  2. ^ "Festival de violoncelle de Beauvais 2009" booklet p. 50 (in French)
  3. ^ "Cité de la Musique: Domaine Privé 2006: Anne Sofie von Otter " booklet p. 34 (in French)
  4. ^ Billboard Magazine, Volume: 111 Number: 21 ISSN: 00062510 Publication Date: May 22, 1999
  5. ^ YouTube video at
  6. ^ Wiener Zeitung, Vienna, May 29, 2008 (in German)
  7. ^ The Guardian, London, March 27, 2006 (review)
  8. ^ Hamburger Abendblatt, Hamburg, April 11, 2009 "Experimente mit Bach" (in German)
  9. ^ "Teatro alla Scala 26 ottobre 2008" program booklet p. 33 (in Italian)
  10. ^ Star Tribune, Minneapolis, December 19, 1999 "Home for Christmas"
  11. ^ Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2004
  12. ^ Financial Times, February 19, 2008 "Wonderland in dead of winter"

External links[edit]