Sebastian Fagerlund has established himself as one of the most prominent European composers of his generation. He studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the guidance of Erkki Jokinen and received his diploma in composition in 2004.
Important aspects of Fagerlund’s work are his interest in large-scale forms and a profound view of music expressing fundamental questions and existential experiences. Fagerlund was described in BBC Music Magazine as displaying 'boundless technical resource at the service of a considerable imagination.' A highly virtuosic instrumental feel and strong sense of musicianship is noticeable in all of his works, creating musical dramas in which powerful expression is combined with intensity and vivid communication, as well as an openness towards different musical traditions.
Works by Fagerlund have been commissioned and performed by numerous major orchestras, outstanding conductors and musicians all over the world. His output spans opera to chamber and solo works, the most significant pieces being his concertos and works for orchestra. Performers of his works include the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sakari Oramo), Bergen Philhamonic Orchestra (Edward Gardner), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Hannu Lintu), Singapore Symphony Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä), Buffalo Symphony Orchestra (JoAnn Falletta), Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Hervé Joulain (horn), Bram van Sambeek (bassoon), and Christoffer Sundqvist (clarinet).
In 2011 Fagerlund was awarded Finland's renowned Teosto Prize for his orchestral work Ignite. The same year Ignite was also selected as a recommended work at the International Rostrum of Composers 2011 in Vienna.
Upcoming projects include a new orchestral work for 2017 commissioned by the Finnish RSO, Gothenburg SO and Galicia SO; the release of new record on BIS featuring his Bassoon Concerto Mana; and the premiere of Autumn Sonata, a new opera based on the film by Ingmar Bergman and commissioned by the Finnish National Opera, at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki with Ann Sofie von Otter in the leading role and stage direction by Stephane Braunschweig.
Fagerlund will be the Amsterdam Concertgebouw’s composer-in-residence for the 16/17 season. Since 2013 he has been artistic director of the RUSK Chamber Music Festival in Jakobstad, Finland.