Ragnar Bohlin has burnished the reputation of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus since becoming Chorus Director in 2007. Three years later, the Symphony and Chorus, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, won three Grammy awards for their smashing recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, including Best Choral Performance. The same year, the energetic Bohlin conducted the Symphony and Chorus in Bach’s monumental Mass in B minor at Davies Symphony Hall; made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting Brahms’s German Requiem; and led the Swedish Radio Choir on a U.S. tour.
Born in Sweden in 1965, Bohlin was trained at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, where he earned a master’s degree in organ and conducting. He studied choral conducting with the celebrated choir director Eric Ericson, orchestral conducting with Jorma Panula, piano with Peter Feuchtwanger in London, singing with the great Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda, and through a Sweden-America Foundation scholarship he visited choruses throughout the United States.
Bohlin served as choirmaster of Stockholm’s Maria Magdalena Church, and has toured internationally and won many competition prizes with Stockholm’s KFUM Chamber Choir, the Maria Magdalena Motet Choir and the Maria Vocal Ensemble. Mr. Bohlin has appeared regularly on Swedish radio with the Swedish Radio Choir, the Maria Vocal Ensemble, and the Maria Magdalena Motet Choir and has also worked with The Ericson Chamber Choir, the Royal Philharmonic Choir, and the Opera Choir of Stockholm. His recent guest conducting appearances include the Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia and the Madrid Choral Society, the Swedish Radio Choir and Nordic Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Malmö Symphony. He has prepared choruses for some of the world’s premier conductors, including Tilson Thomas, Herbert Blomstedt, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Alan Gilbert.
A dedicated teacher, Bohlin is on the performance faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, has taught at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and served as a visiting professor at Indiana University, the University of Michigan, and Miami University. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Johannes Norrby Medal for expanding the frontiers of Swedish choral music making. In March 2013, Mr. Bohlin was awarded the Cultural Achievement Award from the Swedish-America Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco.
Mahler's 8th Symphony, winner of three Grammy® Awards