(b Ichang, China, 6 Dec 1897; d Lund, 19 Oct 1961). Swedish composer, conductor and teacher. He spent his first ten years at his father’s missionary station in China and then studied the violin at the Malmö Conservatory (1913–15). Fernström played in the Helsingborg SO (1916–39), acting as manager from 1932. His violin studies were continued with Max Schlüter in Copenhagen (1917–21, 1923–4) and with Barmas in Berlin (1921–2); he studied composition with Peder Gram in Copenhagen (1923–30) and in 1930 at the Sondershausen Conservatory, where he also took lessons in conducting. He was conductor for Malmö radio (1939–41), and from 1948 until his death he was director of music in Lund and conductor of the Lund Orchestral Society. A stimulating teacher, he directed the Lund Conservatory and in 1951 founded the Nordic Youth Orchestra. In 1953 he was elected to the Swedish Royal Academy of Music whose medal he won in 1954. Fernström characterized his style as tending toward a ‘fusion of an impressionistically coloured harmony with classical formal principles’. His cautious adoption of newer techniques brought him to the boundaries of atonality in the late works, but most of his music is tonal. A typical example is the serenade Den kapriciöse trubaduren, seemingly light in manner. His best works are the last two symphonies and the late quartets. The Symphony no.11 has the subtitle ‘Utan mask’ (‘Unmasked’) which Fernström also gave to a large self-portrait in oils; both works attempt to express the implications of the title. Fernström also completed the orchestration of Ture Rangström's last opera Gilgamesj (first performed in 1952).
Stage: Achnaton (op, M. Børup), op.25, 1940; Isis-systrarnas bröllop (op, A. Munck-Falk, after V. von Heidenstam), op.58, 1943; Livet en dröm (op, after P. Calderón), op.83, 1946; Ni-Si-Pleng, ballet, op.87a, 1949
E.Grave: ‘John Fernström och spelet om Gilgamesj’, Författarnas musikbok, ed. E. Beckman and T. Ekbom (Stockholm, 1981), 320–46
L.Hedwall: Den svenska symfonin (Stockholm, 1983)
H.Åstrand: ‘Andra tonsättare utanför huvudstaden – Fernström’, Musiken i Sverige, iv: Konstmusik, folkmusik, populärmusik 1920–1990, ed. L. Jonsson (Stockholm, 1994), 327–9
(b S Giovanni Valdarno, 16 April 1673; d Florence, 25 Nov 1750). Italian organist and composer. He was a priest. In 1688 he became a pupil of G.M. Casini in Florence, studying theory and composition as well as the organ and the harpsichord. From 1697 to 1701 he was organist and composer in various Florentine and Tuscan churches. In 1702 he became assistant to the school of his own teacher, Casini, and also began to deputize for him with increasing frequency at Florence Cathedral. On 11 March 1719, after Casini's death, he obtained the post of chief organist there. In 1744 he became ill and so his pupil Bonaventura Matucci began to assist him with his cathedral duties. The theorbo player Domenico Palafuti and F.M. Veracini were also among his pupils. Feroci was also a poet and apparently wrote verse parodies, but none have survived. Fabbri distinguished stylistically between Feroci's vocal and instrumental music: in the former Feroci followed Casini's use of a wide range of technical devices and harmonic ingenuity to expressive ends, but in the organ works the use of harmony is altogether simpler and greater emphasis is assigned to melody.
Feroci's nephew Giuseppi (b S Giovanni Valdarno, 24 Aug 1729; d Castiglion Fiorentino, 5 April 1793) was also one of his pupils, and like his uncle was priest, organist and composer, becoming maestro di cappella and organist at the collegiate church of S Giuliano at Castiglion Fiorentino. The libretto of a sacred cantata, Il trionfo di David nella disfatta di Golia (M. Salvemini), set by Giuseppi Feroci is extant (in I-Fm). This may be the work heard by Burney at Figline Valdarno in 1770. A misreading of Burney led Eitner to confuse uncle and nephew.
Responsori della Settimana Santa, TTB, D-Bsb*
Messa da requiem, Bsb
Credo quod Redemptor meus, Office of the Dead, I-Fa
Quare fremuerunt gentes, ps, 3vv, D-Bsb*
Salve regina, I-Fa
Quem terra pontus sidera, Fa
Motets: Adoramus te Christe, TTB, GB-Cfm, I-Fa; Assumpta est Maria, Cum accepisset Jesus, In craticula te Deum, Fc; Joseph fili David, Vere languores nostros, Fa, Fc; O salutaris hostia, Fa; others, Fd
Secular duets, 2vv, bc: Ferma o caro, arresta il dardo, SA, bc, B-Bc, I-Rc; Aure care, GB-Lbl, I-Fc; Amor, che far degg'io, Che sarà di te, Dal mio sen, D'improviso riede il riso, Nel seno d'Amore, GB-Lbl
Messa da requiem, versetti etc.; Versetti e sonate; Conc. CXXX, 2 org (partial autograph); Pro Elevatione: D-Bsb
Versetti da sonarsi … per le messe doppie, da morto etc., I-Bc; Fughe e toccate, Ls