Grammy award winning conductor Ragnar Bohlin began his tenure as Chorus Director of the San Francisco Symphony in March 2007. In 2010 the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus garnered three Grammy Awards for their recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, including for Best Choral Performance under Bohlin’s direction. He holds a master’s degree in organ and conducting and a postgraduate degree in conducting from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Bohlin studied with the renowned choir director Eric Ericson and studied piano with Peter Feuchtwanger in London on a British Council scholarship. He studied singing with the great Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda and has also appeared as an oratory tenor.
With Stockholm’s KFUM Chamber Choir, the Maria Magdalena Motet Choir and the Maria Vocal Ensemble, Bohlin has toured internationally and won numerous prizes in international competitions. He has prepared choruses for some of the world’s foremost conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Herbert Blomstedt, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Alan Gilbert.
Bohlin has appeared regularly on Swedish radio with the Swedish Radio Choir, the Maria Vocal Ensemble, and the Maria Magdalena Motet Choir and has worked with The Ericson Chamber Choir, the Royal Philharmonic Choir and the Opera Choir of Stockholm. With the Maria Vocal Ensemble and special guests Rigmor Gustafsson and Lena Willemark, Bohlin recorded a CD of new jazz music by composer/pianist Elise Einarsdotter and lyrics by great poets including E.E. Cummings.
In October 2007 Bohlin conducted the world premiere of a new requiem by composer Fredrik Sixten featuring choir, orchestra, and two soloists, broadcast on Swedish Public Radio. Bohlin’s recording of Sixten’s Saint Mark Passion, and another recording, Mysterium, featuring mainly a cappella music, was released in Sweden in 2008.
Bohlin teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, has taught at the Royal Academy in Stockholm, and in February 2008 he was a visiting professor at Indiana University. In October 2008 he conducted a performance with trombonist/composer Christian Lindberg and the Swedish Radio Choir for release on CD. The choir toured the U.S. with Bohlin conducting in spring 2010 to great critical acclaim. In 2006 Bohlin was awarded the prestigious Johannes Norrby Award for expanding the frontiers of Swedish choral music making. In June 2010 he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem. Since 2011 he has appeared several times as guest conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
In November 2011 he conducted the Verdi Requiem with the Malmo Symphony in Sweden and in March 2012 Mendelssohn's Elijah in Madrid. In November 2012 Bohlin conducted the Sixten Requiem with the Swedish Radio Choir and the Nordic Chamber Orchestra. The performances were recorded on CD and released in September 2013.
In 2014, Bohlin founded professional chamber choir Cappella SF. As their director he has recorded a Christmas CD, Light of Gold, and a CD with music by Bay Area composers David Conte and Conrad Susa. He also made his debut with the Stavanger and Edmonton Symphonies, and served as Guest Music Director with world renowned men's ensemble Chanticleer.
In the season of 2015-16 with the San Francisco Symphony, Bohlin will conduct Handel's Messiah, Arvo Part's Te Deum and Faure's Requiem. In February of 2016 he will record Fredrik Sixten's Saint John Passion with the Gustaf Sjoqvist Chamber Choir in Sweden. In the fall of 2016, Bohlin will conduct the Mozart C minor mass with the Ericson Chamber Choir and the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, as well as Handel's Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony.