Wilhelm Stenhammar, one of the most important Swedish composers, was born in Stockholm in 1871. He studied the piano, organ and composition in Stockholm an made his debut as a pianist in 1892. He then continued to study the piano in Berlin, and was at first heavily influenced by German late romantic music. But later, with his friends Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen he began to explore the music of his “nordic” heritage, looking for a “clear and honest” sound. This is especially easy to hear in his many songs.
Stenhammar toured excessively as a soloist but also with his violin playing friend Tor Aulin and his quartet. This might be the reason his string-quartets are of such a high quality.
in 1897 he started conducting, working at the royal operahouse as well as being the chief conductor of the Göteborg symphony orchestra.
Wilhelm Stenhammar died of a stroke in 1927, 56 years of age.