University of Gothenburg

Artist in Residence programme

In 2018, the Academy of Music and Drama launched its first Artist in Residence programme with financial support from the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture. The programme, which ran from 2018 to 2023, included musicians Isabelle van Keulen and Ross Daly, and actor David Dencik. A new programme is planned for 2024-2027, also with support from the Stena Foundation.

Isabelle van Keulen

Isabelle van Keulen was artist in residence from 2018 to 2023.

Photo: Maike Helbig

A musician on the highest level, Dutch violinist Isabelle van Keulen. Her musical versatility has made her one of her generation's most appreciated instrumentalists.

"Getting Isabelle van Keulen to come and work with us at the Academy of Music and Drama is a great and important opportunity! We are pleased that with the help of the Stena Foundation, we can offer our students the opportunity to meet yet another top level musician,” said Petra Frank, Head of Department at the Academy of Music and Drama, before the collaboration.

Isabelle van Keulen has performed with world-leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic in Stockholm, to name a few. As a musician, Isabelle van Keulen is versatile: she not only plays the violin, but also the viola at the same high level.

She is active in the field of symphonic music as well as chamber music in all possible ensemble formats. Among today's leading violinists, she distinguishes herself by largely playing contemporary music. Theo Loevendie and Erkki-Sven Tüür are among the composers who have written concerts specifically for Isabelle van Keulen.

Isabelle van Keulen has made many recordings, including the Berg Violin Concerto, violin-piano sonatas by Strauss, Rota and Respighi. In addition to Western classical music, van Keulen plays tango, and together with her own quartet she has released an album of interpretations of Ástor Piazzolla's music.

Tango was also the theme of one of the student ensemble projects that Isabelle van Keulen participated in during her residency at the Academy of Music and Drama. She also worked with students in other contexts: in master classes and as a soloist in an orchestral concert under the direction of Henrik Schaefer, where the University of Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra studied, rehearsed and performed Igor Stravinsky's Violin Concert in D major.

"We are happy to contribute to this initiative, which gives the students the opportunity to be inspired by such an established and appreciated musician as Isabelle von Keulen, says Madeleine Olsson Eriksson, Chairman of the Board of Sten A Olsson's Foundation for Research and Culture.

Video (2:51)
Isabelle van Keulen talks in rehearsal with the students

David Dencik

David Dencik was artist in residence from 2018 to 2022.

Photo: Magnus Gotander

The internationally renowned actor David Dencik became the first of three artists / educators who attended the Academy of Music and Drama within the framework of the programme.

On 7-9 May 2018, David Dencik came for his first visit, where he held workshops and masterclasses in film acting for students. On May 7, an "artist talk" was also held for students from Valand Academy, amongst others.

Furthermore, David Dencik gave master classes for students in the fields film and performing arts and an artist talk open to the public on Thursday 31 January 2019.

"Getting David Dencik as a regular guest teacher means a lot to the actor students at the Academy of Music and Drama. The programmes have a distinct profile towards film acting, and we have long been trying to get in touch with Dencik," said Catharina Bergil, Head of Unit for Performing Arts at the academy.

David Dencik is famous for international big productions like War Horse, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In the autumn of 2017 he did one of the main roles in the TV series Top of the Lake. Before his film career started 2007, David Dencik made a series of roles at Dramaten in Stockholm. He is trained at the Stockholm Theater Academy.

"It is good to be able to contribute to these exciting additions to the students' other education. We hope that it also further strengthens the Academy of Music and Drama as an attractive and internationally recognized educational institution," said Madeleine Olsson Eriksson, chairman of Sten A Olsson's Foundation for Research and Culture.

Video (1:34:30)
Conversation with David Dencik (in Swedish)

Ross Daly

Ross Daly was artist in residence from 2018 to 2022.

Photo: Magnus Gotander

The acclaimed musician Ross Daly is a virtuoso on several instruments from the eastern Mediterranean region and Asia, such as the Cretan lyre and the Afghan rabab. He has recorded over 30 albums and performed all over the world. With the support of the Stena Foundation, he was a guest teacher within artist in residence programme of the Academy of Music and Drama.

Ross Daly grew up in Ireland and the United States, and lives in Greece. In 1982 he founded the Musical Workshop Labyrinth in Heraklion province in Crete, today recognized as the leading institution in Greece in the field of modal and traditional music. Through concerts, seminars and courses, it has become a meeting place for musicians and students.

During his first visit to Gothenburg on November 14–16, 2018, Ross Daly worked with world music and improvisation students. Two additional longer periods of work in Gothenburg were added in 2019-2022.

"The fascinating thing with Ross Daly is that he has managed to immerse himself in traditions he has not grown up with. He has a deep knowledge and can give an understanding of modal music," said Thor Ahlgren, former student of the World music programme.

Ross Daly has studied local music traditions, mainly in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian peninsula. He builds his compositions around experiences and impressions from his travels. He has coined the term Contemporary Modal Music, that is, contemporary compositions that take inspiration from modal music traditions.

"Ross Daly is a strong source of inspiration for musicians around the world, and can give our students existential perspectives on how they can think as musicians and artists," said Jonas Simonson, former Programme Supervisor of the World music programme.

"We are pleased to help the students gain access to world-renowned musician Ross Daly. Hopefully, it also means that the Academy of Music and Drama is strengthened as an attractive and internationally recognized educational institution" said Madeleine Olsson Eriksson, chairman of Sten A Olsson's Foundation for Research and Culture.

Video (5:57)
Ross Daly and world music students: Earpigon
Video (2:27)
Student comments after concert with Ross Daly (in Swedish)