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Date & Time

Thu, 2 Mar 2023


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India
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Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Thème et Variations Op. 7
Impromptu No. 3 Op. 34
Cantique de Jean Racine Op. 11

Requiem Op. 48

The subtlety of Fauré’s music, and his concentration on the small-scale, led many to criticize him for lacking depth, a judgement based on the mistaken premise that the bigger and bolder a composer’s music, the more worthwhile it must be. Fauré deliberately avoided the grander kind of orchestral music that could easily have brought him fame and fortune. He preferred instead to embrace an elegant and subtle musical language that has won him increasing numbers of admirers, particularly as a composer of songs, a genre in which he is now recognized as a master.

The Requiem was composed in 1888, when Fauré was in his forties, quite probably in response to the recent death of his father. Shortly after its first performance, Fauré’s mother also died, giving the work an added poignancy. In 1900, under some pressure from his publishers, he reluctantly agreed to the release of a revised version containing additional instrumental parts designed to broaden the work’s appeal. Nowadays it is such a firm favourite that it comes as a surprise to learn that it did not gain widespread popularity until the nineteen fifties.

Of the many settings of the Requiem, this is probably one of the most widely loved. In comparison with the large-scale masterpieces of Verdi, Brahms and Berlioz, Fauré’s setting seems gentle and unassuming, yet it is this very quality of understatement which contributes so eloquently to the work’s universal appeal. Whether the Requiem is performed in one of its orchestral versions or simply with organ or piano accompaniment, it is impossible not to be moved by the ethereal beauty of this humble masterpiece.

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano, and the songs Après un Rêve and Clair de Lune. Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a harmonically and melodically much more complex style.

The concert will include the Cantique de Jean Racine Op.11 and Fauré’s compositions for piano, Thème et Variations Op. 7 and Impromptu No. 3 Op. 34, performed by Bengt Forsberg.

Image credits:
Header: Paris Exposition of 1889, aerial view of Paris from a balloon, showing the Eiffel Tower. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Gaston Tissandier Collection
Portrait of Gabriel Fauré, 1889, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), oil on canvas, Collection Musée de la Musique, Paris

This concert is in collaboration with the International Music and Arts Society with the support of the Thumboochetty Foundation in memory of Philomena Thumboochetty, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, and Furtados.




Maria Forsström


Maria Forsström is equally at ease on the opera stage, in the symphonic repertoire or at a Lieder recital. First having studied church music, piano and conducting at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and at The Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory – she then realized she wanted to be the instrument herself and started singing at the age of 33. She is much appreciated for her intelligent musicianship and great enjoyment of exploring different musical styles from early Baroque, the languid soundscapes of the late Romantics, to newly commissioned music.

Maria Forsström has performed, toured, and recorded with Teodor Currentzis and Musica Aeterna, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Perm Opera House, Michailovsky Opera, St. Petersburg, Novaya Opera, Moscow, Helsinki Opera House, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, La Chambre Philharmonique, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Südwest-Deutsches Philharmonie, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and Malmö Symphony Orchestra, with conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Masaaki Suzuki, Thomas Dausgaard, Edward Gardner, and Jacek Kaspszyk among others.

In 2019, Maria Forsström won 1st prize for Best Musician at the long-established Varazdin Baroque Festival, Croatia, with songs by Caccini, Caldara, Frescobaldi, Kapsberger, Stefano Landi, Mazzocchi, Monteverdi, Sances, and Strozzi. Maria has recorded for Musica Rediviva, Sony Classical, Chandos Records, and BIS. In 2021, she appeared on BIS Records in Monteverdi ‘s L’Orfeo as La Messaggera, with great reviews.

In October 2021, she joined The Oxford Lieder Festival for the sixth time since 2014 with the pianist Matti Hirvonen, and she currently performs the Schubert Winterreise together with acclaimed pianist Bengt Forsberg.

During the 2023-24 season, Maria dedicates herself to the creative programming of chamber music: a Winterreise with video scenography by Danish artist Lene Juhl, commissioning new music for her trio of vibraphone/marimba/organ/piano and voice, and collaborating with among others the writer and 2020 Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück. In March 2023, Maria Forsström will sing the main role in a new chamber opera by Norwegian composer and pianist Wolfgang Plagge.

Bengt Forsberg


Bengt Forsberg studied at the Gothenburg School of Music and Musicology, where he first majored in organ, receiving his soloist’s diploma as pianist in 1978. He went on to continue his training with Peter Feuchtwanger in London and Herman D Koppel in Copenhagen. Much of Forsberg’s renown is focused on his work as a chamber musician, both in Sweden and abroad. Among his regular partners are prominent instrumentalists, such as the cellist Mats Lidström and the violinist Nils-Erik Sparf.

His collaboration with the mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has been particularly successful and they regularly perform all over the world. They have also made many joint recordings, which have received great international acclaim, including a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.

Bengt Forsberg also appears as a soloist with orchestra and has performed with all the major Swedish symphony orchestras, as well as a number of international ones. His repertoire is exceptionally wide and he has become particularly renowned for playing unknown music by well-known composers, as well as for exploring lesser-known and unjustly neglected composers, such as Medtner, Korngold, Alkan, Chabrier, and Percy Grainger. He is also the music director of a well-regarded chamber music series in Stockholm.

Bengt Forsberg has been a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since 1997.

Jonas Olsson


A resident of Bangalore for over a decade, Jonas Olsson has performed extensively in India, predominantly with a Lieder-repertoire, singing the classics by Schubert, Schumann et al, but also introducing pieces by Scandinavian composers to the audience. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, he started his musical education at the Cathedral of Gothenburg, followed by studies in musicology at the Gothenburg Conservatory, as well as studies in song and vocal technique with various teachers. In 2015, he launched The Bangalore Men, modelled on the traditional Swedish all-male voices choir, and in 2019, Cappella Bangalore was founded. Jonas heads the Vocal Department and Choral Academy at The Bangalore School of Music and continues to collaborate extensively with various resident and visiting musicians to India.

Anisha Chandy


Anisha Chandy is a classical lyric soprano and has been performing since she was thirteen years old. Her repertoire includes sacred music, opera, lieder, and classical crossover. She has also been a recording artist in the Indian film industry since the age of twelve. In 2017, she was accredited with the Licentiate Performance Grade Certificate by the Trinity College London, scoring the highest in the country. She is currently pursuing the acclaimed FTCL Fellowship. Her singing experience includes travel and performing with various artists and accredited choral groups such as The Singapore Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of India, The Paranjoti Chorus, the Madras Musical Association, AR Rahman and Illaiyaraja, and the Bangalore Broadway Company.

The Bangalore Men


India’s premier all-male voices ensemble, was launched in January of 2016, and consists of 22 singers, all with many years of previous experience singing in choirs. The group focuses on Western classical music, from eras ranging from medieval music to the contemporary.

Since the start of the choir, they have done more than 80 concerts all over the country in churches and cathedrals, at NCPA Mumbai, and with the Symphony Orchestra of India. The choir regularly gets invited to participate in various choral festivals and choral competitions, both in India and abroad.

In 2022, the choir did several performances in and around Bangalore, with Schubert’s Mass in G-Major and Requiem by Fauré as the main performances, together with Cappella Bangalore. The choir has released two albums and is also the only male voices choir in India that has been awarded Distinction in the advanced choral examination offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London.

Cappella Bangalore


Cappella Bangalore, founded in 2019, is an all-female voices choir with 25 members, all with previous experience of singing in choir, and with high ambitions. The seasons of 2020-2021 saw several virtual recitals, published on YouTube, and the choir was, together with The Bangalore Men, one of the few choirs internationally that consistently kept virtual rehearsals throughout the peak of the pandemic.

In 2021, the choirs returned to the stage with the concert Bangalore Rhapsody, performed at the Bangalore International Centre, with choral covers of music by the Beatles, Queen, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Simon & Garfunkel, and others.

In February 2023, both choirs returned to the NCPA Mumbai, for the India-premiere of Karl Jenkins’ Requiem, together with The Symphony Orchestra of India.

Both choirs were founded, and remain conducted, by Jonas Olsson.