Culture Celebrity

PB music critic. Encounter with newspaper Dagens Nyheter

In the fall of 1895 PB moved to Stockholm. Now, he needed income. He went up to the Dagens Nyheter (The Daily News) to place an ad that he is taking piano students. It was common at that time, mainly girls in better-off families would learn to play the piano. So there was a market for a piano teacher.

The editor of Dagens Nyheter, Victor Sjöberg, received him and inquired about his studies and suddenly asked if Wilhelm could write music reviews. He was asked to write a sample review of the Philharmonic Society concert of Schumann's Faust-music that same evening. The next day he was hired as music critic and stayed on The Daily News for 30 years and became one of Sweden's most famous music critics.

One could say that PB's life changed overnight, from an inconspicuous piano teacher from the country to promising composer with access to Stockholm's world of culture. He became very good friends with Dagens Nyheter's editor in chief, Frederick Wult von Steijern. He was almost like a son in von Steijern's home, and this was not any home, but it was the castle Kaggeholm, on Helgö in Lake Malaren, where PB spent much time. (Or, in von Steijerns suite near Kungsträdgården (the Royal Garden). Here at Kaggeholm there were many parties and literary meetings. Here PB met dinner guests, poet Verner von Heidenstam, author Hjalmar Söderberg, feminist writer Ellen Key, author August Strindberg and poet, critic and literary historian Oscar Levertin, plus all actors and opera singers.

PB and opera singer Mathilda Jungstedt-Reutersvärd lunch at Aspnäs Inn in July 1906.
PB on a trip to Italy 1921-22.

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