The American conductor, Arthur Sjögren, was educated at Westminster Choir College, Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory and the Vienna Academy of Music. He he has studied with such famous conductors as Robert Shaw, Eric Ericson (conductor of the Swedish Radio Choir), and has served on the faculties of Harvard University, Barrington College and Westminster Choir College.
Arthur Sjögren is an internationally acclaimed choral conductor, music editor and teacher with a broad knowledge of choral repertory, vocal technique and education administration. He has extensive experience in music instruction, guest conducting, lecturing and has a broad knowledge of international choral literature. His professional life is divided into three main areas of interest: teaching and touring with performing students, conducting nationally and internationally, and holding positions of both conductor artistic director of the Pro Arte Singers, a professional choir he founded in 1974.
For over thirty five years the Pro Arte Singers has been the only professional choir in Connecticut's Fairfield County (serving nearby Westchester NY County as well), performing over 200 concerts in an grandly eclectic repertoire. Consistently reviewed as being “of major quality” and “an inspiring musical experience” with “a distinctive style.” Choral works have been commissioned for Pro Arte from major vocal composers including Steven Sametz, Dominick Argento, Robert Convery, Richard Price, Sven-David Sandstroem, Niel Van Der Watt, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and Michael Waldenby.
Arthur Sjögren was Director of Vocal Music at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, CT from 1975 to 2008. He directed there a vocal music program involving over 200 students including a 24-member Madrigal Ensemble. For nearly 20 years he has led his Madrigal students on 23 concert tours all over the world, including France, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, India, Denmark, Sweden, England, Finland, Estonia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, South America, Australia, Israel and most recently to South Africa. Performing in 16th century costumes, the Madrigal Ensemble’s extensive a capella choral repertoire is one that includes medieval to contemporary motets, operatic excerpts, madrigals of the Renaissance, American spirituals and folk songs from many nations. Enthusiastic comments received from abroad following past tours have noted that “the singers were truly of professional quality and representative of the best of youth in every respect” and that “they most surely qualify as goodwill ambassadors of musical excellence.”
Arthur Sjögren is also conductor of Charis Chamber Voices in Westchester and a guest conductor for both Cerddorion and the Florilegium Chamber Choir in New York City.
Arthur Sjögren was also on the conducting faculty of Fairfield University, and a Guest Lecturer at University of Bridgeport in 1972-1973. Earlier teaching engagements include being on the faculties of Westminster Choir College, Barrington College, as well as Harvard University. Special master-classes have been held in Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Stellenbosh University at Cape Town, South Africa. Other master-classes were held in Poland, Germany, and Concordia College. He also teaches Choral Conducting (Undergraduate and Graduate); Theory (Written and Sight-singing), as well as Private Voice Lessons; Voice Classes; and classes in Choral Literature. Arthur Sjögren is a frequent guest conductor at both American and International festivals. He was recently invited to conduct the Pennsylvania All- State Choir composed of 160 outstanding high school singers, at Wyoming Seminary in Wilkes Barre, and will continue to conduct master-classes in both Hannover, Germany and the Amman, Jordan Conservatory in 2009.
Arthur Sjögren is frequently in demand by colleges and schools throughout the Northeast, and is an expert on 20th century Scandinavian choral repertoire, a subject upon which he has extensively lectured. He is a celebrated teacher of vocal technique for choral singers, a voice teacher for choral singers, stressing breathing techniques and vibrato control. In addition, he has conducted workshops for the American Guild of Organists in White Plains, NY and Hartford, CT, training church choir directors. He has been a member of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C. for three years.
Arthur Sjogren is also a musical editor with numerous publications to his credit. As an editor, he has been published by C. F. Peters, G. Schirmer, Third World Publications and Walton Music. Among those whom he has edited are Purcell, Gurrero and Vierdank.
Since 1995, all Pro Arte Singers concerts have been recorded; 12 have been released on CD, and one video documentary is available. New Canaan Madrigals have released 3 CDs of performances while touring internationally.
Among the many grants received, from 1980 to the present, the National Endowment of the Arts have given 20 grants for choral performance, and the Connecticut Commission for the Arts have presented 10 grants for choral performance.