1813–1882
Oscar Ahnfelt

Introduction

portrait
portrait

Born: May 21, 1813, Gull­arp, Skåne, Swe­den.

Died: Oc­to­ber 22, 1882, Karls­hamn, Blek­inge, Swe­den.

Buried: Hvil­ans Kyrk­o­gård, Karls­hamn, Blek­inge, Swe­den.

portrait
portrait

Biography

Oskar was the son of Jo­nas Ahn­felt, pas­tor of Gull­arp (and lat­er Knäs­torp) par­ish, and hus­band of Cla­ra Ström­berg.

Originally plan­ning to be a priest, he event­u­al­ly de­cide­d his call­ing lay in mu­sic. In 1840, Ahn­felt ac­com­pa­nied Bi­shop Jo­han Hen­rik Tho­man­der to Stock­holm to stu­dy at the Roy­al Con­ser­va­to­ry of Mu­sic.

Known as Swe­den’s Spir­it­u­al Trou­ba­dour, he com­posed or ar­ranged the mu­sic for all of Li­na San­dell’s hymns.

Like San­dell, he was a Pi­e­tist, and tra­veled through­out Scan­di­na­via sing­ing her hymns, ac­com­pa­ny­ing him­self with a 10 string gui­tar.

The state church op­posed pi­e­tis­tic hymns, and or­dered Ahn­felt to sing them be­fore King Karl XV. Af­ter hear­ing him, the king said, You may sing as much as you de­sire in both of my king­doms.

He sang them so much that San­dell wrote, Ahn­felt has sung my songs into the hearts of the pe­ople.

Jenny Lind, the Swed­ish Night­ing­ale, was also a Pi­e­tist, and pop­u­lar­ized San­dell’s hymns in Am­er­i­ca and wher­ev­er she sang.

Lind al­so fi­nanced the first ed­i­tion of Ahn­felt’s songs (1850), con­sist­ing most­ly of San­dell’s hymns.

Sources

Music