Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström was born in Motala on 30 October 1942. He studied musicology and art history at Stockholm University, and composition at the Stockholm Royal College of Music, going on to make a big impression on contemporary Swedish music.
He's perhaps best known for his 2001 opera Jeppe: The Cruel Comedy, to a libretto by Claes Fellbom, who commissioned the opera for the Swedish Opera Company's centennial, directed the first production, translated the text into English and also directed the first English language production in 2003 at Indiana University (where Sandström became professor of composition at the Jacobs School of Music).
Other important works include the opera Staden (The Town, 1996), the Requiem De ur alla minnen fallna, High Mass (1994), Ordet (The Word, 2004), a series of six motets after J S Bach's originals, and Messiah (2009) based on the same text as George Frideric Handel's well-known work.
His music draws on the music of the past, plus modernist, minimalist, jazz and popular musics.
Sven-David Sandström died from cancer on 10 June 2019, aged seventy-six.