Catharina was born in 1961 in Stockholm (Sweden). She has genuine, long experience as a jazz pianist and improvisation artiste, and has been director of music for Varieté Vauduvill - a travelling variety company of snake charmers, fakirs and belly dancers. During her time with the troupe, she developed a firm hand at theatre music, composed music for the performances, learnt accordion, and performed as a variety artist during the scenic musical pieces. With her acclaimed group Katzen Kapell, she plays her own, often tango-inspired material that is sprinkled with advanced, comical stylistic shifts accomplished with Zappa-like, controlled whimsy. Over the years, Backman has also worked as a freelance concert and theatre musician and as a choirmaster.
Following her studies in composition for, amongst others, Maurice Karkoff in Stockholm and Hans Gefors, Rolf Martinsson, Kent Olofsson and Javier Alvarez at the Malmö Academy of Music (graduating in 2000), Catharina Backman also wrote orchestral and chamber music. "I work in different ways when I write art music and music for Katzen Kapell," she says, "but don’t value either of them more highly as there’s a lot of cross-fertilization and because it generates so much music."
Works for wind band:
Clandestine (2011) for symphonic band, rock band and choir