Ragnar Bohlin

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 on SFS Media. With the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, he has conducted J.S. Bach’s Saint John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and B minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, and Orff’s Carmina burana, among others. In April 2020 he leads the SFS Chorus and Voices of Music in J.S. Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Dixit Dominus.

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 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.


Mr. Bohlin is the founding Artistic Director of the professional chamber choir Cappella SF; the group has released four recordings on the Delos label. 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.

Mr. Bohlin’s guest conducting engagements have included appearances with the São Paulo Symphony in Brazil, Malmö Symphony in Sweden, Stavanger Symphony in Norway, and the Edmonton Symphony in Canada. In 2010, he conducted the Swedish Radio Choir on a US tour; he also made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting Brahms’s A German Requiem. Recent highlights include conducting the Ericson Chamber Choir in Mozart’s C minor Mass, Pergolesi’s Stabat mater and Poulenc’s Gloria with the São Paulo Symphony, concerts with the BBC Singers and Swedish Radio Choir, and a recording of Sixten’s Saint John Passion in Stockholm. He was also guest music director for Chanticleer during the 2014–15 season. He has received Chorus America’s Michael Korn Founders Award.

(December 2019)