VIDEO PODCAST: Women Composers - Our special hour-long illustrated feature on women composers includes contributions from Diana Ambache, Gail Wein, Hilary Tann, Natalie Artemas-Polak and Victoria Bond.
Swedish opera composer, environmentalist, jazz musician, radio producer, singer and teacher Lars Johan Werle was born in Gävle on 23 June 1926. Largely self-taught, he became known for his choral and vocal music, such as the song Nattjakt (Night Hunt) and the choral pieces Canzone 126 di Francesco Petrarca, and Drömmen om Thérèse (The Dream about Therese), and was successful with two Ingmar Bergman film scores - Vargtimmen (Hour of the Wolf) and Persona.
Werle wrote in a post-Webern avant-garde style, until the time of his operas Resan (The Journey) and Tintomara, at which point he began to use the technique of alluding to earlier classical operatic music.
The titles of many later works indicate Werle's concern for the environment: Animalen (The Animal Congress), Än sjunger valarna (And Still The Whales Sing), Äppelkriget (The Apple War) and Vaggsång för jorden (Cradle Song for the Earth).
Lars Johan Werle died on 3 August 2001 in Göteborg, Sweden, aged seventy-five.