Swedish symphony turns homophobic hate mail into beautiful music

Ever thought about turning your hater’s vilest words into a musical composition?

No, we hadn’t either.

But this Swedish Symphony Orchestra have done something pretty special with some of the hate mail they received after a performance at the Helsingborg Concert Hall in Sweden featured music from LGBT composers – they turned it into a cantata.


(Swedish Symphony Orchestra/Wikimedia Commons)

Yep, you read it correctly. After a group of LGBT musicians received a message from a troll stating that their music made him “want to vomit” and the orchestra was “hopping aboard the fag train”, they created a supreme musical retort – entitled “the fag train.”


Rickard Söderberg/Wikimedia Commons

(Rickard Söderberg/Wikimedia Commons)

“As an artistic institution, we naturally actively relate to our surroundings and events going on around us. The hate letter I received reeked of contempt and fear for the love between human beings,” composer Fredrik Österling told Queerty.

Teaming up with queer musician and tenor Rickard Söderberg, the pair created the cantata, which will be performed at the hall later on this month.


(Rickard Söderberg/Wikimedia Commons)

“I had no hesitation when Rickard Söderberg suggested that I should set it to music. By considering the text as an opera libretto, we were able to scrutinize the emotions that the anonymous sender was seeking to express.

“And at the same time, we are doing exactly what an artistic institution should be doing; we are reflecting our times in our art,” Osterling said in a post.

Naturally, Söderberg took to Facebook to perform “Bögtåget” in the most gloriously camp way possible: by wearing a rainbow t-shirt, rainbow glasses, and nail polish.

“Hatred of such poetic ambitions I cannot let go unnoticed,” wrote Söderberg in a post.

“It’s a shame they sent their words in letter form, otherwise we could have heard their nice vibretto ,” he added.

Fredrik Österling and Rickard Söderberg, we applaud you.