Jacob Mühlrad, celebrated Swedish art music composer, born 1991, has rapidly emerged as one of the most recognized composers in Scandinavia and have had his work performed at the biggest venues in Sweden, as well as Carnegie Hall in New York and Bamberg Hall in Germany. Mühlrad has collaborated with soloists such as Martin Fröst and Johannes Rostamo and has also experimented with pop music collaborations, together with artists like the Swedish House Mafia and rap artist Silvana Imam.
An essential aspect of Jacob Mühlrad's music is a sense of the eternal. He deals with themes of mortality, of the human condition, of tradition, of the holy, but all of these are viewed, so to speak, through the prism of music: the listener is left with the feeling that beauty has made sense out of what often seems incomprehensible or arbitrary. Indeed, the composer has said that he believes music to be connected to the foundations of the universe.
Mühlrad has written extensively for chamber ensembles and orchestras. His choral music is a very distinctive and important element of his work, and through it he has been able to achieve a unique expression of the mystical aspect of Jewish tradition. Anim Zemirot (2013) represented a breakthrough for Jacob, and is now a standard in the repertoire of many outstanding European choirs. His piece Angelus Novus is being presented around the world by Martin Fröst. Kaddish (2017) is a work with a deeply personal connection to the composer. Jacob is a third generation survivor and in his music he tells the story of his grandfather's survival of The Holocaust.
The upcoming release Tröstrapporter (Reports of Consolation) is a composition for piano specially commissioned for a theatrical performance at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, Sweden. The play is written and directed by Alex Schulman, author and journalist and performed by famous actor Krister Henriksson. The music is co-written and co-produced with jazz pianist Joel Lyssarides.
Mühlrad's classical repertoire has since 2016 been published by Gehrmans Musikförlag. In 2018 Mühlrad signed up with Universal Publishing for his crossover and pop-cultural projects, Universal Music for piano music and Deutsche Grammophon for his upcoming album "Time", a selection of Mühlrad's award-winning choir music containing "Time", "Kaddish", "Nigun" and the early work Anim Zemirot sung by the Swedish Radio Choir conducted by Ragnar Bohlin and Fredrik Malmberg. The album will be released in spring 2021.
Those who peep through the window of Jacob Mühlrad's studio in Stockholm will see the composer busy behind his computer screen, perhaps blasting some Drake or FKA Twigs as he works on his own music. Judging from the outside, one might think that the fashionably dressed and energetic 29year-old is producing a hip-hop or pop album, when in fact, behind those doors Jacob's on a very different and profound kind of journey; composing choir music that deals with themes of mortality, of the human condition, of tradition and of the holy. In part, it is the very dichotomy between the it-man frequently appearing on ‘Sweden's best-dressed' lists and the introspective composer, that makes Jacob's work so unique and fascinating – he is known for infusing archaic and pious music with a brilliant modernity and sense of youthfulness. His debut album Time marries rhythm and words to the existential questions of humanity, and in that fusion Jacob attempts to understand the incomprehensible and express the infinite through new sounds.