Stefan Parkman has made an excellent name for himself especially as a choral conductor. He held the positions of Chief Conductor of the Danish National Radio Choir and Swedish Radio Choir, led the Royal Philharmonic Choir Stockholm and the Uppsala Cathedral Boy's Choir and has been Artistic Director of the Uppsala Academy Chamber Choir since 1983. From 2014 to 2020 he has been Chief Conductor of the WDR Radio Choir.
The collaboration with choirs such as RIAS Chamber Choir, MDR and NDR Radio Choirs, SWR Vocal Ensemble, Bavarian Radio Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Choeur de Radio France as well as various North American choirs consolidated his reputation as a specialist in vocal music. In addition, he has conducted almost all the major Swedish ensembles and symphony orchestras, led the Stavanger Symphony, Odense Symphony, Aarhus Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Queensland Symphony, and various productions at the Royal Swedish Opera.
Highlights of his career mark numerous first performances of Scandinavian A cappella pieces at major venues and festivals. Stefan Parkman had a special artistic relationship with the composer Sven-David Sandström who has impressed the contemporary Swedish music scene and whose works Parkman is championing on international stages.
The latest album Nordic Choral Music with compositions by Nystedt, Nordgard, Sven-David Sandström, Rautavaara among others with the WDR Radio Choir and the Youth Concert Choir of the Dortmund Choral Academy was released by hänssler Classic in 2021. With the Academy Chamber Choir Uppsala and soloists of the WDR Radio Choir, Stefan Parkman has recorded Sacred Treasures with music by Schütz, Tunder, Buxtehude, Vesi and Quagliati from the famous Düben collection for the Swedish label Footsprints in 2020.
His extensive discography includes furthermore recordings for Chandos, Dacapo Records and Coviello Classics with the Rundfunkchor Berlin featuring Rodion Shchedrin’s The Sealed Angel and the Echo Klassik award-winning recording of Ernst Pepping’s Matthew Passion to name but a few.
The Swedish conductor held the Eric Ericson professorship in choral conducting at the Uppsala University from 2010 to 2021 and is Director Cantorum since 2010. He is also vice president of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and frequently teaches at masterclasses, seminars and workshops in Sweden and abroad. In 2012 he was a guest professor at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University and Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin.
In 1997 Stefan Parkman was made Knight of the Dannebrog Order by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. For his excellent engagement as choral conductor he received the The Litteris et Artibus Medal from the hands of H. M. The King Carl XVI Gustaf in 2012.
On 20 October Stefan Parkman conducts the Polish Chamber Choir in Danzig with the programme Polar Lights with music by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Knut Nysted, P.E. Lange-Müller, Sven-David Sandström, Nils Lindberg, Jan Sandström and Einojuhani Rautavaara.
Stefan Parkman conducts Monteverdi's Vespro della beata vergine with the Academic Chamber Choir Uppsala, Drottningholm Barockensemble and soloists in the New Year's concert of University Uppsala on 1 and 2 January.
Stefan Parkman conducts the Queensland Symphony, The Australian Voices and soloist in Brisbane on 7 April with Fauré's Requiem, Eric Whitacre's Cloudburst and orchestral works by Stravinsky and Britten.
Stefan Parkman conducts the Hungarian Radio Choir in Budapest on 20 April featuring music by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Knut Nystedt, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Sven-David Sandström, Jan Sandström, Nils Lindberg, among others.
Stefan Parkman conducts the 70th anniversary concert of the WDR Rundfunkchor in Köln on 2 February with
milestones of choral music. The concert will be broadcastedRead more
Stefan Parkman conducts two New Year's concerts with the Drottningholm Barock Orchestra, Academic Chamber Choir Uppsala and soloists on 1 and 2 January at
Auditorium of Uppsala University. The programme includes excerpts of J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass and Händel's Messiah.Read more
Stefan Parkman conducts the programme Sacred Treasures with works of Buxtehude, Albrici, Carissimi, Dumont, Schmelzer etc. from the world famous Düben
Collection of the University Library Uppsala and Library St. Marien with the Academic Choir Uppsala and soloists of the WDR Rundfunkchor in Lübeck, Greifswald and Hamburg from 21 – 23 September 2017.Read more
Stefan Parkman conducts the WDR Rundfunkchor in the jazz programme Late Night Serenade joined by the jazz singer Simin Tander in Aachen at the Chorbiennale on 7 July as well in Cologne on 8 July.
Stefan Parkman conducts J.S. Bach's Matthew Passion (Mendelssohn version) with the WDR Symphony and Radio Choir in Köln Philharmonie on 7 April.
Stefan Parkman conducts the WDR Rundfunkchor with "Polar lights" in Cologne on 21 January featuring works by Ludvig Norman, Catharina Palmér, Jan Sandström,
Nils Lindberg, Sven-David Sandström, Wilhelm Stenhammer, Karin Rehnqvist, Alexander Jan Öberg, Staffan Strom, Jan Sandström, Ingvar Lidholm and others.Read more
Stefan Parkman conducts the programme "Longing for" with the WDR Rundfunkchor on 16 September at Funkhaus Köln featuring works by Rossini, Pizzetti, Martland, Badings, Nyström, Brahms, Stenhammar, Schubert, Rautavaara and Mendelssohn.
Stefan Parkman conducts the programme "Serenade with Jazz" in Köln on 16 June with the WDR Radio Choir, WDR Big Band and jazz singer Cecile Verny performing works by
Nils Lindberg, Sven-David Sandström, Robert Sund and excerpts of Duke Ellington's "Sacred Concert" and "Come Sunday".Read more
Stefan Parkman conducts the WDR Radio Choir in a „Best of Stefan Parkman“ programme with Songs of Love and Spring in Köln on 23 January.
The programme includes works by Lars Edlund, Sven-David Sandström, Wilhelm Stenhammar, Debussy, Rossini and Rachmaninov.Read more
Stefan Parkman and the WDR Radio Choir Cologne present at the Shakespeare Festival Neuss on 23 June the programme „As You Like It – Shakespeare Theatre a
cappella” with works by Nils Lindberg, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and others featuring settings of texts by Shakespeare. The narrator will be Gustav Peter Wöhler.Read more
Stefan Parkman conducts the WDR Radio Choir Cologne on 30 May in Cologne with Swedish and Scandinavian Choral serenades and folk song arrangements, including
works by Hugo Alfvén, Wilhelm Stenhammar, David Wikander, Edvard Grieg, Peter Erasmus Lange-Müller, Toivo Kuula, Nils Lindberg and spirituals with soprano Barbara Hendricks.Read more
The WDR Radio Choir Cologne and Stefan Parkman perform two A cappella concerts in March „As You Like It – Shakespeare Theatre” together with Natalia Wörner. The
programme includes works by Nils Lindberg, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and others featuring the settings of texts of Shakespeare: Cologne 06.03. and Wuppertal 07.03.Read more
Stefan Parkman conducts J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 with the WDR Radio Symphony, WDR Radio Choir Cologne and soloists at the Köln Philharmonie.
Stefan Parkman conducts the WDR Symphony Orchestra and WDR Radio Choir Cologne with an entire programme of J.S. Bach in Cologne on 22 November: the Orchestra
Suite No. 2 b minor and cantatas "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme", BWV 140 and "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir", BWV 38.Read more
The WDR Rundfunkchor performs under his new chief conductor two concerts unter the title "Peace & Light" on 12/13 September. The programme includes works by
Brahms Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Harvey's Plainsong for Peace and Light, Rautavaaras´ Suite de Lorca op. 72, Poulenc´s Un soir de neige as well as a new work by Sandström commissioned by the WDR. Next concert on 24 October within the Festival "Utopie jetzt!" in Mülheim/Ruhr. The broadcast of the concert will be sent on 18 October at 8pm on WDR 3.Read more
Splendidly performed, often folk-inspired works by Mäntyjärvi, Nørgård, Sandström, Rautavaara and others, testament to choral music’s place at the heart of Nordic culture.
BBC Music Magazine, May 2021
The Academy Chamber Choir of Uppsala and the Uppsala Consort under the direction of Stefan Parkman excel in music by Schütz, Tunder, Buxtehude, Vesi and Quagliati which in its vibrant beauty conveys the sensation of how all the horrors of the thirty-year war have faded away like morning stars.
Dagens Nyheter, 13.09.2020
Stefan Parkman and the WDR Radio Choir combined two of the greatest works of a cappella choral music of the 20th century into a completely convincing musical unit. In Frank Martin's Mass for two four-part choirs, five movements from Alfred Schnittke's Twelve verses of repentance for mixed choir were integrated in alternation [...]. Parkman brought the singing and artistic qualities of his choir to many climaxes.
Rheinische Post, Hansgeorg Marzinkowski, 07.10.2019
The choir demonstrated that music without Big Band can be very alive. Hallelujah by Robert Sund hazarded a “Spiritual mortale”: the voices snapped in and out and the singers moved strenuously in twisted rhythms […]. Nils Lindberg has written several “night works” for A cappella being first performed, atmospherically dense and modern composed and committedly conducted by Stefan Parkman.
Kölnische Rundschau, Olaf Weiden, 20.06.2016
Stefan Parkman focussed on the subtle and piano tones, virtuoso but loose lightness and elegance. The few dynamic peaks in the Halleluja and Amen, which Parkman took spectacularly slow in comparison to his otherwise rather speedy tempo turned out instead even more emphasised [...]. The WDR Choir and WDR Radio Symphony provided a flawless performance in terms of agility, beauty of tone and intonation.
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Markus Schwering, 15.12.2015
The singers of the WDR Radio Choir captivated the audience with a selection
of different songs of Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish composers. Homogeneous
in all vocal ranges, perfect in intonation, phrasing and articulation: The choir
showed its best side especially with songs by Finn Toivo Kuula and the Swedish
composers Hakan Parkman and David Wikander. Enthusiastic applause for a brilliant
Aachener Zeitung, Pedro Obiera, 02.06.2015
Right from the start in his debut concert, Stefan Parkman as chief conductor of the WDR radio choir succeeded to set individual accents. He is able to regulate a differentiated and detailed sound shaping and to communicate his own obvious enthusiasm for the matter.
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 15.09.2014
The intonation of the choir remained untarnished even in the most delicate dissonances in Einojuhani Rautavaara's Suite de Lorca and Jan Sandström's In Flanders Fields. Ovation for a great concert concept.
Münstersche Zeitung, 16.09.2014
Insistingly the chamber choir of the NDR repeats the "Veni" calls like an invocation in minimal music style. An unusual and gripping listening experience from the first to the last bar celebrated by the choir under his Swedish chorus master Stefan Parkman.
Nürnberger Zeitung, Peter Löw, 08.08.2013
Chorus master Stefan Parkman with the excellent NDR choir made a gripping performance. The singers condense Hear my prayer to a highly expressive invocation. … Stefan Parkman forms a mature, dark vocal sound. The singers are flexible enough though to lighten up the music score with bright colours. Benjamin Britten's Hymn to St. Cecilia lives on that colour and on the imploring intensity of Stefan Parkman's interpretation.
Fränkische Landeszeitung, Thomas Wirth, 08.08.2013
The audience could convince itself of the highest quality of the choir when the Rundfunkchor Köln literally lighted lights of heaven - "Himmelslichter". Psalms by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy were contrasted to Jaakko Mäntyjärvi's settings of the same texts, a Gloria by Lars Edlund and the first of Duineser Elegien by Rilke set to music by Einojuhani Rautavaara. Under Stefan Parkman's exceptionally suggestive direction the choir reacts in a most sensitive way and creates a sound with addictive potential, dragging the listener into a spiritual world of sounds.
Neue Ruhr Zeitung, Roland Dymke, 29.10.2012
The Rundfunkchor Berlin radiates even brighter in Rodion Shchedrin's orthodox liturgy The sealed Angel under Stefan Parkman. One cannot praise enough the results of the choir's work on musical substance, melodiousness and vocal power.