Yngwie Malmsteen

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About Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden’s Yngwie Malmsteen single-handedly transformed neoclassical metal into a global movement. Born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck in 1963, he spent his youth practicing and studying the music of composer Niccolò Paganini and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Rainbow. By 12 the phenom had already adopted his stage moniker, an alteration of his middle name combined with his mother’s maiden name. After hearing his demo tape, producer Mike Varney brought Malmsteen to L.A., where he briefly joined Alcatrazz before dropping his 1984 solo debut, Rising Force. On top of making classical music cool for headbangers, the album redefined the role of the heavy-metal guitarist by shifting the spotlight from the vocals to Malmsteen’s superhuman speed and complex melodies. He quickly became a poster boy for young shredders who obsessively analyzed pieces like “Far Beyond the Sun” and “Trilogy Suite Op: 5.” Malmsteen has maintained a torrid pace ever since, and projects such as 1998’s Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor, Opus 1, recorded with the Czech Philharmonic, and 2012’s Spellbound, on which he handled every instrument, feature some of the guitar icon’s most ambitious music.

Stockholm, Sweden
June 30, 1963
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