Leading cellist, 54, is felled by heart attack

Sweden’s musicians are in mourning for the death of Mats Rondin, one of the country’s leading cellists who in recent years became an effective and popular conductor at the Gavle Symphony Orchestra and Malmo Opera.

Mats, who was just 54, made his concert debut at 16 and was invited by Mstislav Rostropovich to his cello festival in Riga. He premiered several works by Swedish composers and was preparing to conduct Miss Saigon in the coming season at Malmo Opera.

A modest, personable man, the shock of his passing is felt across the Swedish community and far beyond.

mats rondin


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  • From the bottom of my heart it is truly sad to tell you about Mats Rondin’s passing. He was a tremendous musician both as a cellist and conductor. I remember him vividly as a passionate personality and had a tremendous open mind to both classical and pop genres. He was dedicated to each and every note in the music as many of us composers could perceive while working with the piece. He had all the composer’s intentions very clearly up in his mind and could instruct the musicians about all the details. We had discussions of making projects together with a new piece in thought, now it is forever gone to do so. And also a very nice personality.

    He will be forever missed.

    Benjamin Staern

  • We had quite a few passings in recent days in Sweden. Also, the very well-known pianist Greta Erikson passed away: http://www.kmh.se/greta-erikson-has-died
    She was a legend among Swedish pianists in many ways, and taught many generations of new musicians.

    Also, perhaps not everyone will know the name but the violinist Ellen Birgithe Nielsen Vechhi also passed away around the same time. She was born in Denmark but lived and taught in Sweden for a long time, was the first female violinist to perform Nielsen’s violin concerto for example, and taught many generations of violinists. She was the first wife of Guido Vechhi. A truly warm, humble, curious an thoughtful human being – a sad loss.

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