Kjell Waltman

Kjell H. Waltman Kjell Waltman (b. 1960, in Gothenburg, Sweden) started out as a child actor, making his debut at the age of seven as a featured performer at the Gothenburg Opera House.

In his teens, having chanced to hear Max Morath playing ragtime on a Voice of America broadcast, Waltman developed a lifelong love for the music. Unable to play the piano – or any other instrument – he was fortunate to have a piano playing friend, Anders Lindberg, who taught him how to pick out the theme of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" with one hand, and also gave him the sheet music.

A few years later, Waltman, who by then had taught himself how to play the piano and read music, was amazed to find that Peter Lundberg, a ragtime pianist of renown, was living in the same city. Throught Mr. Lundberg, who generously shared his collection of ragtime sheet music and knowledge of the music, Waltman met "Ragtime Bob" Darch when the latter played in Sweden in 1979.

Encouraged by Mr. Darch to become a full-time musician and entertainer, Waltman started playing ragtime professionally in 1979, and have over the years performed at many ragtime and jazz festivals on both sides of the Atlantic, appearing with, among others, the late Eubie Blake, "Ragtime Bob" Darch, Johnny Maddox and Max Morath.

In addition to numerous concert and nightclub appearances in Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, The United States, Canada and Mexico, Waltman has toured extensively with his highly praised one-man show "Ragtime", an entertaining exposé of turn of the century American music, and was also a featured performer in The Gothenburg Grand Opera Company's adaptation of Scott Joplin's opera "Treemonisha", a production that ran for over two years (1980-82).

In 1987, Waltman became a pupil of the noted Swedish composer the late Sven-Eric Johanson, with whom he studied composition (including twelve-tone and serial techniques), counterpoint and orchestration, and who also entrusted him with the orchestration of one of his operas, "The Thief's Index Finger", a project that, alas, was left uncompleted due to Mr. Johanson's untimely demise.

A composer of many instrumental works, including several ragtime piano solos, Waltman also wrote the vocal and instrumental score for the stage production "Where the Billing River Flows...", which was produced in 1988, and again in 1989.

Having spent the greater part of his professional life as a musician and entertainer, Waltman presently runs his own translation business, limiting his musical actvities to composing and occasional concert and festival appearances.

  • Back to the Main Page.

    Copyright © 1996 Oleg Mezjuev.
    All Rights Reserved.