Britta Byström was born in Sundsvall 1977 and began her musical career as a trumpet player. In her teens, she began to compose music and studied composition at the Royal University of Music in Stockholm 1995-2001, where her main teachers were Pär Lindgren and Bent Sørensen.
Byström has composed for most sizes of orchestras and contexts including chamber music, vocal music and opera, but the emphasis has been on orchestral music. Some of those who have performed her music are the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Gürzenich Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. 2010, she was the subject of a composer portrait at the Stockholm Concert Hall, and 2014 she was the Swedish Radio Orchestra's ”spring composer”, with several orchestral performances.
Among the works could be mentioned Der Vogel der Nacht, which was first performed by the Swedish Radio Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen during the Baltic Sea Festival 2010, and the orchestral work Picnic at Hanging Rock, a tone poem inspired by Peter Weir's film. Britta Byström has described it as music with disappearance as a main motiv. The piece was awarded with the Christ Johnson prize in 2012. In 2014, the viola concerto A Walk After Dark received the da capo-prize at the Brandenburger Biennale. A CD with Byström's music, Invisible Cities, was nominated to a 2015 Swedish Grammy and selected as "the classical album of the year" in several magazines. (See review in Gramophone.)
During 2016, Britta Byström composed Many, Yet One for Detroit Symphony Orchestra, after being named winner of the prestigious Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers. (See a video from the world premiere.) Since 2016, she is a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
In October 2017, Byström's music was performed on five concerts at Berwaldhallen, Stockholm. Among other events, a new double concerto for violin, double bass and orchestra, Infinte Rooms, was first performed by the Swedish Radio Orchestra. Soloists were Malin Broman and Rick Stotijn, conductor David Afkham. The new CD Games For Souls, including Byström's violin concerto, was the same year released on Daphne records. (See review at MusicWeb International.)
During autumn 2018, the song cycle Notes From the City of the Sun with soloist Malin Byström had its first performance – a work that was selected as one of ten "recommended works" at the International Rostrum For Composers 2019.
Gállábártnit – a stage work based on a Sami legend with libretto by Rawdna Carita Eira – had its acclaimed premiére at the Canadian new music scene Soundstreams in Toronto in November 2019. In December 2019, To every thing there is a season for violin and choir was first performed by the Netherlands Youth Female Choir and Janine Jansen at the International Chamber Music Festival, Utrecht.
Britta Byström's music demonstrates a special attention to
sound and a sensitivity for the music's resonance that could be
described as impressionistic.
Byström's music is published by Edition