Born in Stockholm on 19th July 1958, he began his musical education in the Stockholm Boys’ Choir, where he figured as treble soloist. From 1973 onwards he was taught composition, counterpoint and the organ by Torsten Nilsson, and in 1976 he entered the State College of Music in Stockholm, graduating as a church musician in 1981. Throughout his student career he worked as a coach with the Radio Choir. From 1977 onwards he continued his organ studies in Freiburg with Zsigmond Szathmary and his composition studies with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough. A second period in Freiburg, between 1981 and 1983, earned him a concert organist’s diploma. During these years he gave numerous organ recitals in Germany, not infrequently with music of his own. He has also taken part in festival concerts in Stockholm, Royan, Hannover, Bremen and elsewhere. He has performed on French, Japanese and American radio and has made gramophone recordings. His repertoire is extensive but is dominated by newly composed music, not infrequently dedicated to him. In 1984 he met Luigi Nono in Venice, which gave him an opportunity of advancing beyond the four-square post-Darmstadt tradition in Freiburg. Hans-Ola Ericsson now teaches interpretation of new organ music at the State Colleges of Music in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö and is an organ teacher in Piteå.
Hans-Ola Ericsson’s début as a composer came in 1974, when Torsten Nilsson arranged a concert in the Oscar Church, Stockholm, featuring his forty-minute-long Magnificat, an adolescent composition demanding a massive array of singers and instrumentalists. His compositions have attracted growing interest since the beginning of the 1980s. Together with Ole Lützow-Holm and Richard P. Scott he studied contemporary music in the USA, and this work resulted in the three-hour radio play New Music America, which was broadcast worldwide and received an award from South-West German Radio. The performance, in the Stockholm Concert Hall, of his Inferno for solo horn, large orchestra and tape, in 1982, was widely reviewed, as were the performances, at the Stockholm Cultural Centre and in Venice, of the first parts of a suite for solo instruments and tape, based on a 192-tone series and entitled Melody to the Memory of a Lost Friend. ...And the rest is silence.... for 16-voice mixed, vocalise choir and tape was begun in Venice and dedicated to Nono. Ericsson’s music combines concentration and diversity, density and buoyancy, with a high standard of craftsmanship.