Life and career
Hallnäs's father had been a tenor and sang in choirs. After matriculation in his home town, he entered the Kungliga Musikhögskolan i Stockholm in 1924, studying with Gustaf Hägg and Otto Olsson, and graduated as an organist (1926) and music teacher (1928). He pursued organ studies in Paris with Alexandre Eugène Cellier, and studied composition in Leipzig with Hermann Grabner.
In 1933 Hallnäs became organist of the Johanneberg church in Gothenburg, remaining until his retirement in 1968, teaching harmony at the Gothenburg Orchestral Society and becoming a leading light in the musical world of Gothenburg. He was active in the Levande Musik (Living Music) concert association and the Gothenburg Composers' Association. In 1974 he settled in Stockholm.
Prior to the Second World War Hallnäs was counted among neoclassicists such as Dag Wirén and Lars-Erik Larsson, but after he began using his own 12-tone system, first heard in his fourth symphony (1952-1955) Metamorfosi sinfonice.
Music for the stage
- Ballet: Kärlekens ringdans (1955)
- Ballet: Ifigenia (1961–63)
- Divertimento for orchestra (1937)
- Seven symphonies (including Sinfonietta pastorale (1944), Sinfonia notturna (1946), Small symphony for strings (1947), Metamorfose sinfonice (1952))
- Violin concerto (1945)
- Piano concerto (1956)
- Flute concertos (1957, 1962)
- En grekisk saga (1967 – a protest against the junta’s seizure of power)
- Viola concerto (1978)
- Cello concerto (1981–82)
- Fantasi (1936)
- Fantasi and preludium with chorale (1957)
- Pietà (1962)
- Organ sonatas – No 1: De profundis (1965), No 2 (1977)
- Passionsmusik - Musica dolorosa (1968)
- Viola Sonata, Op. 19 (1943); dedicated to Sten Broman
- Legend for viola and piano (1945)
- String Quartet (1949)
- Spel för två (Jeux à deux) for clarinet and viola (1960)
- Violin Sonatas (1965), (1975)
- Partita Amabile and other works for guitar
- Svenskt Musik/Swedish Music Information Centre http://www.mic.se/avd/mic/prod/micv5eng.nsf/docsbycodename/start
- Percy G. Leading Swedish Composers of the 20th Century. In: Swedish music – past and present, special edition of Musikrevy. STIM & Swedish Institute for Cultural Relations Abroad, Stockholm, 1966.
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