“The playing throughout is refined, intelligent and highly musical”
Mattias Jacobsson Schulstad is a Swedish classical guitarist who has released recordings, performed as soloist with orchestra, and developed the guitar’s repertoire.
His full-length recording debut Invocación (Avie Records, 2012) explores the Spanish composer Tárrega, and introduced the notion today that Tárrega was inspired by Chopin. Invocación was produced by David Frost, and named Editor’s Choice by Gramophone. It was made Album of the Week by the radio stations Classic FM (U.K.) and WQXR (New York).
Mattias is musically guided by the characteristics of the human voice, and often plays music rooted in song. His recording of Come, Heavy Sleep, from Britten’s Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op.70, was made in 2013 for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. His performance was later chosen for The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, where it complements the essay The Spanish Guitar, which spans the 14th to 21st Century.
Mattias’s teacher Erik Möllerström is a pupil of Eduardo Sainz de la Maza (1903–1982), whose brother Regino Sainz de la Maza (1896–1981) was the dedicatee of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. In 1966, Möllerström was introduced by Eduardo Sainz de la Maza to luthier Ignacio Fleta (1897–1977), which later resulted in a guitar that now has been passed from Möllerström to Mattias. In 2017, Mattias’s filmed live performance of Concierto de Aranjuez, with conductor André de Ridder and the Malmö Academy Symphony Orchestra, was featured by the work’s publisher Schott Music in its essay Berühmte Gitarren-Werke, on significant works for the guitar. Mattias has also performed Concierto de Aranjuez with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and with Copenhagen Classic (principals from Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Danish Opera).
Mattias believes in encouraging today’s composers to write for the guitar. He has given the North American premiere of the Mexican composer Enrico Chapela’s Melate Binario, for solo guitar, and is collaborating with Chapela on a concerto for guitar and orchestra. He has premiered two concertos, by Jakub Ciupiński and Ryan Francis, to date.
Mattias was born near Stockholm, Sweden and began playing the guitar with Erik Möllerström in the Nacka Municipal School of Music. He attended Södra Latins gymnasium under the guidance of Bo Hansson, followed by studies at the Malmö Academy of Music, Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, Lund University with prof. Göran Söllscher, and at The Juilliard School. Mattias plays strings by Albert Augustine, on Erik, a cedar top Ignacio Fleta e hijos guitar, No. 577, from 1971.