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[ History ]

Ad Libitum - the Choir that Swings!

On September 13th 1968 Per-Anders Sjöberg gathered 16 enthusiastic singers. P-A had a brilliant idea: to create a choir with a diversified  repertoire and with a desire to experiment. The idea was named Ad Libitum - for pleasure.

To sing sacred music in the church as well as profane songs
on the pub scene has become the sign of the Ad Libitum choir. The different style in choir music very early aroused a great interest. Ad Libitum soon became a conception within Swedish choir activity and represented refashioning and high quality. As early as 1969 Ad Libitum debuted in the famous TV-show "Hylands Corner".

The high pace continued and cooperation with famous artists, musicians and directors gave an extraordinary development to the choir.

Gradually the number of choir members increased to twice as many, among others on advice of the choir giant Norman Luboff. Norman Luboff very soon became of a great importance to Ad Libitum. 1971 Norman came to  Linköping to record a TV-show together with the choir.

Other conductor profiles than Norman Luboff the choir has worked together with  are John Rutter, Kirby Shaw and Ward Swingle. As reflection over all other great musicians and artists that have contributed to the choir during the years, it feels like the jazz band song "A String of Pearls"; Östgöta blåsarsymfoniker, Ingemar Wåhlins Big Band, Linköping Jazz Orchestra, Håkan Hagegård, Michael Dore and the vocal group Vocalease, Göran Fristorp, Peter Ljung and Anna-Lotta Larsson, Stefan Nilsson, Tommy Körberg, Sylvia Lindenstrand, Birgit Nilsson, Arne Domnerus, Putte Wickman, Rune Gustavsson, Per-Erik Hallin, Olle Adolfsson, Christer S:t Hill, Mikael Samuelsson, Anders Ekborg, Olle Persson, Janne Schaffer, Björn J:son Lind, Myrra Malmberg and Peter Nordahl, Roger Pontare, Magnus Bäcklund; Jessica Andersson (Fame), Tina Ahlin and Staffan Lindberg etc...

Two EP records were recorded in 1971. The song I morgon är kärleken ny candidated to "Svensktoppen" (Swedish radio hit list). LP records that followed: An own production with blended repertoir in 1975, 1976 a Christmas song record with Jörgen Edman (became golden disc), jazz record As you like with Bengt Hallberg, George Riedel, Jan Allan and Egil Johansen 1978, 1979 gospel record Feel the spirit with Norman Luboff. 1983-85 five LP records were produced: Let's all get together with Ward Swingle and The new Swingle Singers (was also television broadcasted), Swedish ballads on the record När morgonen gryr, Beatles music on record with soloists Lill Lindfors, Anneli Rydhé, Jerry Williams, Eva Dahlgren and Basse Wickman, Psalmer och visor with Trio con Tromba (Bengt Hallberg, George Riedel and Jan Allan) and Christmas song record with Loa Falkman. The CD record 5x100 with Bengt Hallberg came 1994. Just in time for the jubilee concert 1998 the record The music´s always there was released. The latest in the row of CD records is Ad Libitum A Capella, with music written and arranged by Ward Swingle. Conductor at the recording was Ward Swingle himself!

Kören i Verona -97, foto: Karin Hansson
Ad libitum"best in show"  (Verona, Italien 1997

Along with television and radio broadcasting Ad Libitum has travelled a lot, both within Sweden and in Europe. In the spring
1997 the choir went to Italy to participate in the international choir festival in Verona, where the present conductor Jörgen Ralphsson led us to an honourable victory!

In July
2000 the choir participated in another competition. This time in Elsenfeldt Germany. The result was first place in all three classes!

Kören i Elsenfeldt -00, foto: Karin Hanson
Ad Libitum wins all three classes  (Elsenfeldt, Tyskland 2000)
2002  Ad Libitum went to Debrecen in eastern Hungary to participate in the Bela Bartok-festival. The choir won its class and qualified to the Grand Finale. Jörgen Ralphsson also won first price for best musical interpretation of the obligation piece  Sirató Ének by Zoltán Kodály presented in Hungerian.

2004 the choir went to Wales and Eisteddfod, where we w
on our class and qualified to the Grand Finale together with another Swedish choir Mariakören from Västerås.

Ad Libitum wins their class  (Llangollen, Wales  2004)    

Jörgen Ralphsson (who took over leadership of Ad Libitum after founder P-A Sjöbergs decease in the early 90-ties) conducted the choir in a very competent and personal way. Deepening in music and refined song technique characterizes the choir today as well as:
  • capable, driving conductors
  • proffessional guest artists
  • chorists crazy about singing
  • funny arduous repertoir
This is Ad Libitum - for pleasure!

 Jörgen Ralphsson - conductor 1991-2012

Text: Magnus Jonzon and Kristina Biewendt

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