Welcome to the WWW page honoring Swedish composer Allan Pettersson (1911-1980). The page is intended as a resource for both long-time admirers of his music and for those who are encountering his name and music for the very first time. I have tried to bring my training as a music librarian and scholar to bear on its creation and accept full responsiblity for any faults that may be found. Although I have known Pettersson's music for over 12 years, I have never studied it formally. Thus, I began to examine the Pettersson literature only after deciding to do this page in April 1995. I have found much of the material hard to come by, some impossible. Any information visitors to this page can provide will be most welcome.

Pettersson News

Dec. 2001. A CD-ROM containing notebooks and memo-books of the composer is now available. The cost is SEK 100 (= DM 23, 12 euro, ca. $9.50). It can be ordered from:
Musikvetenskapliga institutionen
Göteborgs Universitet
Box 200
SE - 410 30 Göteborg

Sept. 2000. The long-overdue update of the AP page is underway. Additions or revisions have been made to these areas: Answers to a few questions, Bibliography, and Discography. A new section has been initiated: Compare performances.

April 1998. The 1997 issue of the Allan Pettersson Jahrbuch will be published soon. Visit the Internationale Allan Pettersson Gesellschaft for further details.

Jan. 1998. Apologies to recent visitors to the Allan Pettersson Page. The Webmaster has not been able to devote much time to the maintenance of the page due to a little problem with his back. He is feeling much better now and expect to be more vigorous in his attention to the page. Thank you for your patience. pkc

Sept. 1997. A celebration of Pettersson and his music, "Barfotabarn och Spelekarl," will be held in Stockholm, 25-26 April 1998 at the Congregation of Högalid. There will be performances of the songs and chamber music as well as presentations by Laila Barkefors, Leif Aare, Lars-Eke Lundberg, and Gunnar Käström. For further information visit:

April 1997. CPO announces that their Pettersson cycle will include Symphonies no. 12 and 17. Permission to record Symphony no. 1 awaits a decision by the composer's widow.

April 1997. The first Naxos Pettersson recording will be Symphony no. 7 and Mesto, conducted by Petter Sundkvist. If it is a commercial success, more symphonies may be recorded. Köp den!

Jan. 1997. Ongoing enhancements to the Web page created by Markus Brylka for the Internationale Allan Pettersson Gesellschaft now include sound files (Real-Audio format).

Nov. 1996. The master tapes of the 1st recording of Symphony no. 6 (Okko Kamu), missing for a number of years, are rediscovered. A CD reissue is possible.

Nov. 1996. Warner/Chappell Sweden (parent company of AB Nordiska Musikforlaget) plans to publish study scores of the complete symphonies.

August 1996. A 1-day colloquium (Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund) on Pettersson is scheduled to take place in Stockholm, 22 March 1997.

August 1996. The CPO recording project is expanded to cover the COMPLETE works, including songs, and perhaps the unfinished symphonies no. 1 and 17.

July 1996. Naxos announces a new recording project of Swedish symphonies, which will include symphonies by Pettersson. Pettersson fans should urge Naxos to record as many as possible!

Oct. 1995. Publication of Gallret och stjärnan by Laila Barkefors, a study of the composer's early works.

17 August 1995. The Allan Pettersson page has its first visitor.

July 1995. The year-long Pettersson Festival sponsored by the goverment of Nordrhein-Westfalen and West-German Radio Cologne (WDR Köln) concludes. The festival comprised 63 concerts in 27 cities and included most of the composer's orchestral and chamber works. Remarkable. Here is a summary of the contents of the festival program booklet. Perhaps some of these performances will be documented by CPO in their Pettersson cycle.

October 1994. The University of Cologne sponsors a Pettersson Symposium. Will the conference proceedings be published?

Sept. 1994. Publication of a volume of essays on Petterson, edited by Michael Kube.

Answers to a Few Questions

Why Pettersson?

Allan Pettersson was a remarkable man, who overcame extreme personal hardship to create highly distinctive and deeply affecting music. His expressive range is broad, from lyric simplicity and haunting beauty to dense, contrapuntal climaxes of absolutely terrifying ferocity. His music is often complex, but its expressive content is always direct. It may not be for everyone; but once you have been touched by Pettersson's music, you will never forget it. It may even keep you up at night....

Where can I find study scores of the symphonies?

Study scores are available for all the completed Pettersson symphonies, with these exceptions: no. 2, 3, 4, and 12 (vocal score only). The publisher, AB Nordiska Musikförlaget, is now part of Warner/Chappell Music Scandanavia.
Created 7/29/95. Updated 9/10/01. Please feel free to comment. Additional information or news is also most welcome: