biography

For me composition is about extracting new forms and meaning from a historically charged material. I am interested in the intersections between the familiar and the obscure or unexpected.

Hans Gurstad-Nilsson, born in Kalmar in 1965, has a background as an archeologist and musician. As guitarist, he was influenced by the progressive music scene of the 1970s . At twenty Hans left Kalmar for Stockholm and from 1986-1990 he was a member of the group Triangulus and the ten piece guitar orchestra Guitarsis. The constellations gathered musicians from renowned Swedish progressive bands such as Ragnarök, Samla Mammas Manna, Kebenekajse and Dag Vag. These were formative years with touring, TV appearances and comissions for the Swedish Radio.

After studies in Lund followed ten years as an archeologist at the Kalmar County Museum. 2005 Hans returned to music. In 2005-2008 he studied composition at the Gotland School of Music Composition for, among others, Per Mårtensson, Henrik Strindberg and Sven-David Sandström. In 2013 Hans earned his Master's degree in composition at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg after studies for Ming Tsao, Joel Eriksson and Ole Lutzow-Holm.

Hans has worked with prolific orchestras and ensembles such as Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Wind Ensemble, Musica Vitae, Vocal Quartet Vox, Varberg Chamber Choir and virtuoso soloists such as soprano Karolina Andersson, pianist Jonas Olsson and American guitarist Seth Josel. Hans music has been performed at various festivals for new music, at the Gothenburg opera and broadcasted on Swedish radio and television. His music dwells in a borderland where different stylistical influences are woven together. The archeological perspective is a recurring feature in his works. Hans is also active as arranger and music critic.