Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960) was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and studied at the music conservatory there from 1887-1891 with the violin as his main instrument. He earned a living by playing the violin at the Royal Opera in Stockholm and also played the violin in the Swedish court orchestra.
Alfvén travelled across Europe for many years studying violin and conducting various groups. He taught composition at the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm, was music director at the University of Uppsala, and conducted the men’s chorus Orphei Dränger.
Alfvén became known as one of Sweden’s principal composers of his time, writing a significant amount of program music, including many symphonies.