STEN INGELF was born in Göteborg and grew up in Linköping. At the age of thirteen he started his musical career as a self taught trumpeter and arranger in a jazz band. Sixteen years old he took on full time music studies at the local music school and continued at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in Stockholm with the trumpet as his major field of study. Beside the studies Ingelf was an active musician and substituted in orchestras like the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Swedish Opera, but also in different jazz bands (e.g. Sunsiders).
In 1967 Ingelf started his studies at the three-year-long teacher trainer programme in music theory at the RCM in Stockholm, where he studied with teachers like Valdemar Söderholm, Henry Lindroth, Lars Eklund, Bo Wallner, Arne Mellnäs and Hans Eklund. He had also close contact with the composition department, which at the time was led by Ingvar Lidholm. The visiting lecturers were numerous and renowned and included composers such as Stockhausen, Kagel, Nørgård and Lutoslawski. Further more György Ligeti was in periods linked to the school and Ingelf studied orchestration with him. After having finished his education in 1970 Ingelf was employed as a teacher at Malmö Academy of Music (MAM).
As a member of Tolvan Big Band he has composed/arranged music for Radio/TV as well as for recordings with great American artists like Dave Liebman and Michael Brecker. The assignments have varied from arranging Dave Liebman’s Webern-inspired ”The Picture of Dorian Grey/Guided Dream” to more traditionally focused music like ”How Insensitive” in collaboration with Tommy Körberg. ”Pandora’s Box”, composed for one of the most renowned tenor saxophonists, Michael Brecker, is an example of a more extensive composition recorded by the Swedish Television.
From 1970 Sten Ingelf taught harmony, arranging, composition and orchestration at MAM where he held the Chair of music theory. The tuition included arranging/composition as major field of study, as well as preparatory research courses for education within the field of music theory with a pedagogic focus.
In the early seventies higher music education, and especially teacher trainer programmes underwent big changes. The need for literature in arranging for folksong, jazz/rock and classical music inspired Ingelf to develop educational books with additional exercises within the fields mentioned. The books are frequently used at many music academies and colleges in Sweden as well as in the rest of the Nordic countries.