Gunnar Idenstam is a concert organist, composer, and folk musician. Though he comes from a background of classical music, Idenstam has always had “a love relationship from afar” with the folk and symphonic rock of the 1970s. Today, he brings these influences into the context of organ music, building bridges between the French cathedral tradition, symphonic rock, and Swedish folk music. His route towards the wide-ranging music he creates and performs today includes studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, followed by studies under Marie-Claire Alain and Jacques Taddei in Paris. He achieved the highest honours in both countries. In 1984, he was the first – and to date, the only – musician from northern Europe to win the prestigious international competition in improvisation, the Grand Prix de Chartres.
As of 1986 he pursues an international career as a concert organist. In 2012, he was awarded the Interpreter of the year prize by the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm for his efforts at rejuvenating organ art. The Prize was presented to him by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden. In June 2013 he received the Litteris et Artibus – a royal medal in recognition of eminent skills in the artistic field. Idenstam has been a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since 2013.