Davidson database

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Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound


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Rolf Davidson

Rolf Davidson was born in Ödeshög in Sweden on 27th. august 1925, but grew up in Borås. He studied music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm from 1946, followed by studies in musicology in Uppsala and Göteborg. In the period 1954-64 he was employed as a teacher in music theory and ear training at Folkliga musikskolan in Ingesund. In 1964 he got in charge of the school concert activies of the Concerts Sweden (Rikskonserterna), but from 1971 he was called to Norway as head of the Bergen Concervatory. He remained in this post until he resigned in 1990 and moved back to Arvika in his homeland Sweden.

In Bergen, he served several periods in the boards of Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Musikselskabet Harmonien) and Bergen International Festival as well as writing rewievs for several nordic newspapers and periodica. He also engaged himself as a composer of choral music.

After having retired on a pension from his post in Bergen, he was able to concentrate on a project comissioned by NOMUS and the Royal Music Academy. This project's aim was to chart the programmes of nordic symphony orchestras in the period from 1920 and on. The main goal were to detect the percentage of nordic works from neighbouring countries featured on orchestral concerts.

He did his research in many libraries, archives and other institutions. Among them were the archives of the Swedish Radio and the Music Library of Sweden. He also wisited all the nordic orchestral societies. At his sudden death 14th october 2000, his database consisted of information of about 125 000 different performances.

Rolf Davidson had a strong wish that music students and researchers should get access to the material he collected. His son, Per Davidson made i possible to place the database at the Norweigan Institute of Recorded Sound with the aim of making it available for online searching. Unfortunately, this is not the case at the moment, but in the meantime, contact us and we can perform a search.

At the time of his death, Rolf Davidson was occupied with finishing a report commissioned by NOMUS, which later on has been published as it was when he died. The report Tre tidsperspektiv på repertoaren vid 24 nordiska orkestrar (Three Time Perspectives on the Repertoire at 24 Nordic Orchestras).

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