World Piano Day: Nordic pianists you should be listening to

World Piano Day falls on the 88th day of the year – that being the 29th March in 2021 and to celebrate this year’s World Piano Day tomorrow, we thought we would share some of the great pianists we have discovered and spoken to from the Nordic region over the last year.

“Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.” – Nils Frahm

Be sure to check out the website www.pianoday.org to learn more and to check out some of the events that will continue over the next couple of days, including some live stream performances in Denmark and Norway. See the events page HERE!

Swedish Pianist Peter Sandberg

Please tell us who you are and what’s your sound?

I’m Peter Sandberg, 30 years old and in general, a pretty decent human being that loves to create music. I make modern classical/ambient/cinematic music that is all tightly connected to the piano.

Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?

I grew up outside of Uppsala, Sweden — a city just north of Stockholm. My parents are both musicians and they’re really into gospel music; so we got bombarded with that all through my childhood. They also introduced me to classical music.  I remember quite early on when I heard Rachmaninov’s 3rd for the first time and I had that jaw dropping moment, so I’ve been influenced by quite a wide range of music. 

Listen to Peter’s most recent album Atervanda

Swedish Pianist Henrik Lindstrom

Please tell us who you are and what’s your sound?

I’m a Swedish pianoplayer and composer based in Copenhagen. For many years I’ve been a 1/4 of the band Kashmir and for almost as many years I’ve also been writing music for film/TV and lately also video games.

I am about to release my third album as a solo artist. All sounds on these three albums come from piano/grand piano. That has been the creative frame I’ve worked with, to only use my old main instrument.

I’ve allowed myself to manipulate the piano sound in different ways in order to create different soundscapes. Dense atmospheres, dreamy ambient textures, minimalistic beats or clean and pure piano, often with felt.  It has been very inspiring to see what I could get out of working with one instrument only. 

Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?

I grew up in a mid-size town 2 hours west from Stockholm called Örebro. There was plenty of music in my childhood, I started playing the piano at age 3 and I’d say my grandpa was my biggest influence during the first years. He played old evergreens like On the sunny side of the street and Side by side.

I was fortunate to have good teachers along the way and am thankful for the free education through the Swedish music schools. It gave me a pretty broad introduction to many different genres. I started out with classical but gravitated to more improvisation and jazz and rock as a teenager where I started playing in different bands. 

Have a listen to Henrik’s fantastic album Nordhem – HERE

Norwegian Pianist Vetle Nærø

Please tell us who you are and what’s your sound?

I am Vetle Nærø and my sound is mainly based around the piano, including other elements such as ambient sounds, synthesizers and strings. I am always evolving and exploring, but I think the piano will always be my main focus. It is such a deep instrument with so many possibilities I don’t even know about yet.

I write music about my feelings and experiences/moments from life. With this not only comes feelings like happiness and joy, but also melancholy. At times my music can be happy, meditative and contemplative. Other times it can be sentimental and melancholic, which I also think is important to incorporate in my music. I try to showcase all aspects of life, which I think really affects my sound.

Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?

I am from Norway and currently living in a small town called Ålesund. It is such a beautiful town with lots of places to visit. Ålesund is surrounded by big mountains, ocean and deep woods. This beautiful nature here really inspires my music.

Listen to Vetle’s album By Heart and be sure to check out his new music in the build up to his next album!

Icelandic Composer Herdís Stefánsdóttir

Please tell us who you are and what’s your sound?

I’m Herdís Stefánsdóttir, an Icelandic composer. My sound is always changing and evolving depending on what I’m doing but to name a few things I’d say my sound is melodic, dark, a little dirty, bendy, sampled, processed, warm…

Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?

I grew up in Iceland and partly in Sweden. As a young child I really liked classical music, my favorites were Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven (i know, really a posh child p.s. I also liked Britney). As a teenager I started to get into electronic music.

I remember being blown away at age 14 hearing Portishead’s Dummy and Air’s Moon Safari, I also had some older records from the 70’s that my dad gave me. From that point I started digging into more experimental electronic stuff.

Listen to some of Herdís’ beautiful composition to The Sun Is Also A Star

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