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“An outstanding debut.”

—Gramophone

 

Mattias Jacobsson Schulstad is a Swedish classical guitarist who has made recordings, performed as soloist with orchestra, and developed the guitar’s repertoire.

His full-length recording debut Invocación explores the Spanish composer Tárrega, and introduced the notion in recent history that Tárrega was inspired by Chopin. Invocación was produced by David Frost, and named Editor’s Choice by Gramophone. It was chosen as Album of the Week by Classic FM (U.K.) and WQXR (New York).

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Mattias is inspired by the human voice, and often plays music rooted in song. His recording of “Come, Heavy Sleep,” from Britten’s Nocturnal after John Dowland, was made in collaboration with Albert Augustine for The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Come, Heavy Sleep,” from Britten’s Nocturnal after John Dowland, Op.70. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

His performance was 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, whose brother Regino was dedicated Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, and—together with Andrés Segovia—advanced the guitar in the 20th century. In 1966, Möllerström was introduced by Eduardo Sainz de la Maza to guitar maker Ignacio Fleta (1897–1977), championed by Segovia, resulting in a guitar that now has passed from Möllerström to Mattias.

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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 the essay “Berühmte Gitarren-Werke,” on significant works for the guitar. Mattias has 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 expanding the guitar’s repertoire. He has given the North American and Nordic premieres of 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.

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Mattias has toured his native Sweden, under the auspices of Musik i Syd, Kultur i Väst, Musik i Dalarna and Musik i Uppland, including the festivals Musik vid Siljan and Uppsala International Guitar Festival, broadcast on Sveriges Radio’s P2 Live. He has volunteered performances at institutions ranging from New York’s Mount Sinai hospital to Madrid’s Soto de Real prison, and performed at the launch of the Sweden-America Foundation Centennial, at the residence of the American ambassador to Sweden.

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Photo: Per Lindqvist

Mattias is regularly heard to wide audiences on major radio stations such as Classic FM (U.K.), YLE (Finland) and WQXR (New York); on playlists such as Composers Weekly (Tárrega) by Spotify; and on YouTube. His performances for Televisión Española were broadcast throughout the Tárrega Centennial Memorial, and his performance at the Aspen Music Festival was broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

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Photo: Adam Scourfild © BBC

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.

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