was born in Tjärstad (Östergötland) on the 3rd September, 1954, and grew up in a nonconformist home. After studying musicology at Uppsala University he came to the Royal College of Music in Stockholm where he was awarded his teacher’s Diploma in 1983. He then continued his studies as a member of the composition class from 1984 to 1988, studying with Arne Mellnäs, Sven-David Sandström and Brian Ferneyhough among others. He was awarded scholarships to study abroad in 1986 and 1987, during which time his studies included composition lessons with Professor John Lambert at the Royal College of Music in London.
His debut as a composer took place in 1980, when a chamber music piece was premiered at the Festival for Young Nordic Music (UNM) in Helsinki. Since then, Perder’s music has been performed in a great number of countries in Europe, Asia, South and North America and been recorded by the Phono Suecia, Daphne Records, Ars Musici and dB Records labels. His choral works – and some chamber and orchestral pieces – are published by several music publishing houses.
The Royal Stockholm Opera, the Swedish National Radio, Concerts Sweden, Arts Council, NOMUS, Orphei Drängar, Mirror Visions Ensemble (USA), The Bergslagen Chamber Symphony and many churches in Sweden have – among others – commissioned works by Perder. He has also been awarded several cultural prizes.
In 1993 his composition Långt Bortom… (Far Beyond) for mixed choir and solo trombone won first prize in a composition competition organized by the Skinnskatteberg Choir Rally, and in 1995 his radio opera Berget (The Mountain) took part in the Prix Italia and received an honourable mention. In 2001 the CD ”Mirrors”, including Perder´s Canto Erotico for baritone and piano, was nominated for a Swedish Grammy Award. 2008 the orchestral work Reclaim the rhythm represented Sweden in the International Rostrum of Composers in Dublin. The choir piece Du såg mig först (You saw me first) won second prize in a composition competition for liturgic music in Stockholm 2017, organized by the National Church of Sweden, and Libera me – from the climate opera Earth and wind – was selected for ISCM World Music Days in Vancouver and performed there in november 2017.
His list of works includes chamber music such as the VOCUNA series of works for solo instruments, orchestral music, a great many choral works, oratorios, a concert mass and the operas Berget (The Mountain) commissioned by the Swedish National Radio, Broder Kain (Brother Cain), commissioned by the Royal Stockholm Opera and the short opera Attack commissioned by Arts Council of Sweden.
The child opera Prinsessan Erik (Princess Eric) has been performed on different scenes since 2011 and a choir opera with a climate theme (Earth and wind) was commissioned and composed 2015.
The last decade the composer has composed many pieces inspired by human rights, gender perspective, equality of right, climate activism and anti-racism.
Kjell Perder has, beside composing, taught composition, music theory and history at the Stockholm Institute of Music Pedagogics, University of Uppsala, Örebro College of Music among others. From 1992 to 1996, and between 2007 and 2013, he worked as an associate professor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, but today he is a freelance composer, conductor, singer and author.
His book ”Älska körsång!” (Love choir singing!) was published 2016.