Ragnar Bohlin

Chorus Director

Ragnar Bohlin began his tenure as Chorus Director of the San Francisco Symphony in 2007. Under his leadership, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus received a Grammy for Best Choral Performance for the recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. Mr. Bohlin served as choirmaster of Stockholm’s Maria Magdalena Church and holds a master’s degree in organ and conducting and a postgraduate degree in conducting from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. He studied choral conducting with choir director Eric Ericson, orchestral conducting with Jorma Panula, piano with Peter Feuchtwanger in London, singing with Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda, and through a Sweden-America Foundation scholarship he visited choruses throughout the US. With Stockholm’s KFUM Chamber Choir, the Maria Magdalena Motet Choir, and the Maria Vocal Ensemble, Mr. Bohlin has won numerous prizes in international competitions. He has received the Johannes Norrby Medal for expanding the frontiers of Swedish choral music. Currently teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he has also taught at the Royal Academy in Stockholm and been a visiting professor at Indiana University and Miami University. In 2010, he conducted the Swedish Radio Choir on a US tour; he also made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting Brahms’s German Requiem. With the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, he has conducted J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and B minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Orff’s Carmina burana. In 2011 and 2014 he appeared as guest conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and in 2012 he appeared as guest conductor with the Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia and the Madrid Choral Society in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and he conducted Fredrik Sixten’s Requiem with the Swedish Radio Choir and Nordic Chamber Orchestra, broadcast on Swedish Public Radio. He recently made his debut guest conducting the Stavanger and Edmonton symphonies. Upcoming appearances include performances in Lund and Stavanger and return engagements with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. He will also record Sixten’s Saint John Passion in Stockholm in February 2016. Mr. Bohlin is the founding Artistic Director of the professional chamber choir Cappella SF; the group recently released a Christmas CD on the Delos label. In March 2013, he was awarded the Cultural Achievement Award from the Swedish-America Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco.

(September 2015)