Tobias Broström (1978, Sweden), following four years of percussion studies at the Malmö Academy of Music, embarked on the pursuit of a Master’s degree in composition, studying with the Swedish composer Rolf Martinsson and the Italian composer Luca Francesconi.
A percussionist himself, Tobias has composed many works for percussion. He has also composed electroacoustic music, music for film and dance, chamber music, orchestral works and solo concertos. His major breakthrough came with the percussion concerto, Arena (2004), composed directly for percussionist Johan Bridger.
Numerous soloists, ensembles and orchestras, including Håkan Hardenberger, Anna Larsson, Karen Gomyo, Simon Preston, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Norrlandsoperan, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Chamber Orchestra, Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, Musica Vitae, Third Coast Percussion Quartet, Malleus Incus, Gageego, Esclats Percussion Quartet and BIT20 have performed his works. Tobias’ solo and chamber music have been performed throughout Europe, the USA and Asia. He was awarded scholarships from the Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm from 2004–2006 and from the Swedish Performing Rights Society in 2006. In 2004 he was awarded the Rosenborg-Gehrman composition scholarship. Gehrmans, Edition Svitzer and Keyboard Percussion Publications publish his music.
Since the autumn of 2006, Tobias has been Composer-in-Residence with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra under principal conductor Robin Ticciati, resulting in the composition of two new orchestral works each year. Two of these, Crimson Seas and the trumpet concerto Lucernaris (composed for Håkan Hardenberger) were selected by Swedish Radio to represent Sweden in the European Broadcasting Union’s International Rostrum of Composers in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Lucernaris placed among the “top ten recommended” works. (www.beachhousemusic.com & www.myspace.com/tobiasbrostrom)
Transit Underground, written in 2007, was commissioned by Gävle Symphony Orchestra and conductor Robin Ticciati to the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Gävle Concert Hall. The title refers to various memories and pictures from a couple of my trips abroad. The vivid life of New York City is just one example.
The piece starts misurato (in strict tempo) with pizzicato in the double basses as if coming from the most profound underground. The cellos and percussion are shadowing/echoing the basses and a melodic line starts in the violins leading into the next part, con tutta forza (with united forces), as the tutti orchestra almost gets an eruptive outburst. A kind of development or game around motives and rhythms follows and ends in a much calmer part – sostenuto. Here chords gradually build up from the very depth of the basses and create dense modal timbre. The percussion players throw questions and comments. A recapitulation of the melodic lines in the violins, accompanied by a stubbornly repeated woodwind section leads us to the final section where a polyrhythmic section with brass, percussion and strings end the piece.