The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra announces a new title today – the Eric Ericson Honorary Chair, which has been created especially for Franz Welser-Möst. It is a gift of admiration for the conductor on what would have been Eric Ericson’s 100th birthday in 2018. The title was chosen in recognition of the affection and respect that the Orchestra held for Ericson who worked with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Konserthuset Stockholm for more than 70 years.
The Eric Ericson Honorary Chair recognises the wish of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst to collaborate annually on significant projects and concerts. It reflects the depth and warmth of the relationship between them since their first collaboration in 2001 and, more recently, a remarkable performance at the Nobel Prize Concert in 2015 where Franz Welser-Möst conducted Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben.
Franz Welser-Möst returned in 2017 to conduct the Orchestra in a performance of Shostakovich Symphony no. 6 and again in 2018 in a programme which included Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 together with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir.
He will join the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for two weeks each season from 2020/2021.
Franz Welser-Möst: "Each time I have worked with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, I have been hugely impressed by the musicians’ approach to music making and their excellent work ethic. I have been coming to Sweden for many years now and have a huge affection for the country and for the warm hospitality of the Swedish people. I am delighted to receive the Eric Ericson Honorary Chair and very much look forward to my future collaborations with the orchestra".
Stefan Forsberg, Executive and Artistic Director: "The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra has a wonderful relationship with Maestro Franz Welser-Möst that goes back to his very first visit in 2001. Every week with Franz has been a golden moment for the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. His enormous musical knowledge combined with his fantastic musicianship and commitment to embracing the true essence of music makes him one of the greatest conductors of our time. We are deeply honoured to welcome Franz Welser-Möst to Stockholm and to all his friends in the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra!"
The legendary Swedish conductor, Eric Ericson (1918 – 2013) held a unique position amongst post-war choral conductors and was the leading figure in what is called the "Swedish Choir Miracle", through his work with both the Swedish Radio Choir and the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, which he founded in 1945. Eric Ericson was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 1991, the Nordic Council Music Prize in 1995 and the Polar Music Prize in 1997.