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Maria Lithell Flyg

Composer of contemporary music and singer from Stockholm, Sweden. Passed her masters degree in composition at the Royal Music High School in Stockholm for professor/composer Karin Rehnqvist, in 2014.

Maria is currently composing a short opera for the Stockholm Royal Opera, Min tur nu (My turn) libretto by Hanna Nygren. It will be premiered on May 27th, 2022.

She has written pieces for the German ensemble recherche. She was comissioned to write a piece for the Swedish Radio P2 /Berwaldhallen in 2014 to the Baltic Sea Festival. She was also one of the finalists in the 2015 Elaine Lebendom Memorial Award, Detroite Symphony Orchestra, with an orchestral piece, In and Out, origianally written for Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.

In June, 2019, she released an album with a selection of her chamber music – Collected Chamber Music (Footprint Records / Naxos America and Naxos direct Sweden).

Maria has written a significant number of pieces for some of Sweden’s finest musicians, such as Martin Sturfält, Emmanuel Laville, Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Cecilia Zilliacus, David Huang, Olle Persson, Musica Vitae, KammarensembleN, Magdalena Meitzner, Adolf Fredrik Girl’s Choir and members of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to this, she has written four chamber operas and several choral pieces.

A distinctly Nordic brand of melancholy found in Swedish choral works has influenced Maria. She also has a dramatic streak that comes to the fore in some of her chamber pieces but mostly in her orchestral works.

Maria’s work often has undercurrents of sadness or melancholy that can turn a corner and present absurd and zany humour. Musicians appreciate her ability to bring out what’s special about their particular instrument. She has a sensitivity that enables her to provide space and focus for each instrument.

Maria is interested in words, visuals, and whatever makes an impact on stage, so she enjoys working with other disciplines. You can even detect a desire to make listeners aware of social issues, as in her Kein Zufall – aber vielleicht ein Wiegenlied for ensemble recherche in Germany, which is a comment on Virginia Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own, as well as her own chamber opera about climate change – Någon borde ta tag i det här … (Somebody Ought to Do Something …) (Folkoperan, 2014).

In 2019 she won the Swedish Church Culture Scholarship for the work ”Frid-lyst – a Requiem” in collaboration with the light artist Anna Berglind. It’s a choral work, a Requiem for the biodiversity. It will be performed by Sofia Vokalensemble, conducted by Bengt Ollén, in March 2022. The concert will also be aired on Swedish Radio, P2.

Maria Lithell Flyg has also written popular music and released four albums in 2001 Thirst, 2006 Blessing and Curse, 2014 Tides and in 2018 Seven Deadly Sins. She has collaborated with a lot of musicians and other artists such as Christian Kjellvander and Fleshquartet (They have written a lot of music for film and also worked with Cullberg Ballet).  Her lyrics are often poetic and philosophical in their character. Although she has a powerful voice it shows no signs of her classical background. Only her arrangements with bassoon, cello, violin apart from bass, guitar and drums gives the listener an idea of her influences which also are the singer-song-writer tradition and electronica. Inspiring artists are Björk, Kate Bush, P J Harvey, Tori Amos, Imogene Heap.

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