Daniel Blendulf

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Although he turned to conducting only in mid-career, Daniel Blendulf has found success across Scandinavia and beyond.
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Daniel Blendulf has found international success as a conductor, although he took up the baton only in his mid-20s. He also remains active as a cellist, the instrument on which he began his career.

Daniel Per Rune Blendulf was born in Stockholm on August 3, 1981. He studied the cello with Torleif Thedéen in Sweden and then moved to the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he entered the class of Heinrich Schiff and graduated in 2004. He also took lessons from Frans Helmerson, Boris Pergamenschikow, and Pieter Wispelwey, among others. His career as a cellist was off to a promising start, with appearances as a soloist with Sweden's top orchestras to his credit. In 2005, conductor Jorma Panula, a longtime pedagogue who had mentored a generation of top Scandinavian conductors, suggested that Blendulf try his hand at conducting. The results were impressive and almost immediate: Blendulf took home the Swedish Conductor Award in 2008 and won a Crusell Scholarship the following year. He has conducted a variety of orchestras including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Tapiola Sinfonietta, and has served as chief conductor and artistic director of Sweden's Dala Sinfonietta. When that appointment came to an end in 2019, Blendulf embarked on a new round of major guest conducting appearances. He is also the cellist with Sweden's Z Quartet and has played chamber music with leading musicians, including pianist Love Derwinger.

Blendulf has made recordings both as cellist and conductor. He recorded the Shostakovich Cello Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 40, with pianist Francisca Skoogh for the Intim Musik label in 2008, and he has conducted the Dala Sinfonietta, the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. With the latter group, and with violinist Johan Dalene, he recorded the Tchaikovsky and Barber violin concertos for the BIS label in 2020. Blendulf is married to violinist Janine Jansen.