Ragnar Bohlin

Ragnar Bohlin


Ragnar Bohlin began his tenure as Director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus in March 2007. Under his leadership, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus recorded Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. The recording, for SFS Media, garnered three 2010 Grammy® awards, including for Best Choral Performance.

Prior to his appointment at the San Francisco Symphony, Bohlin served as choirmaster of Stockholm’s Maria Magdalena Church, leading the Maria Magdalena Motet Choir and the Maria Vocal Ensemble, in addition to directing Stockholm’s KFUM Chamber Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Chorus. With these ensembles, Bohlin appeared regularly on Swedish radio, toured internationally, and won numerous prizes in international competitions. In 2006 Bohlin was awarded the prestigious Johannes Norrby Medal for expanding the frontiers of Swedish choral music making. Bohlin has worked with The Swedish Radio Choir, The Ericson Chamber Choir, the Royal Philharmonic Choir, and the Opera Choir of Stockholm, and he has prepared choruses for some of the world’s foremost conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Herbert Blomstedt, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Alan Gilbert. In October 2007, Bohlin conducted the world premiere of Fredrik Sixten’s new Requiem, which was broadcast on Swedish Public Radio. The Swedish Radio Choir toured the U.S. with Bohlin conducting in spring 2010 to great critical acclaim, and in June 2010, Bohlin made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem. In 2011, he conducted Bach's B-minor mass and Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, and appeared as guest conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in performances of Bach’s Magnificat and Pärt’s Te Deum. In 2012 he was guest conductor with the Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia and the Madrid Choral Society for performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and he conducted Sixten’s Requiem with the Swedish Radio Choir and the Nordic Chamber Orchestra for live broadcast on Swedish Public Radio. In December 2013 Bohlin will conduct Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, and  will return to São Paulo Symphony in May 2014 for a cappella and chamber orchestra productions.

Bohlin’s recorded repertoire includes Shimmer featuring new jazz music with the Maria Vocal Ensemble, Visions and Non Thoughts with trombonist and composer Christian Lindberg and the Swedish Radio Choir, Mysterium featuring a cappella choral music with the Ragnar Bohlin Vocal Ensemble, a recording of Sixten’s Saint Mark Passion with the Maria Magdalena Motet Choir, and a live 2013 recording of Sixten’s Requiem with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and Swedish Radio Choir. Bohlin recently prepared the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for the recording of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, which was released in April 2013 on SFS Media.

Bohlin is on the conducting faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and previously has taught at the Royal Academy in Stockholm. He was a visiting professor at Indiana University in 2008, and at Miami University in 2010. Bohlin holds Master’s degrees in organ performance and conducting and a postgraduate degree in conducting from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Bohlin studied conducting with renowned choir director Eric Ericson, voice with the great Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda, piano with Peter Feuchtwanger in London on a British Council scholarship, and through a Sweden-America Foundation scholarship he visited choruses throughout the United States. He has also appeared as an oratory tenor. He assumed the role of Artistic Director for renaissance vocal ensemble Chalice Consort in September 2012. 

August 2013