Los Angeles vocal coach Per Bristow's teaching methods have evolved out of several pivotal moments in his lifelong musicianship and athletic training. Before becoming known as a voice coach and performance coach in Los Angeles, Per began his journey in Sweden - the country that despite only 9 million citizens has been considered the third largest exporter of music for decades.* He began his musical career playing the violin and was, at the age of 12, the youngest ever invited to join the city's symphony orchestra. By the age of 15, when he had played many major violin concertos as a soloist, his other passion took over – sports.
From age 11, Per trained with the local track and field club and although he never reached the prize podium, he loved running, jumping and throwing. However, it all came to an abrupt halt when, at 13, a back injury made running and jumping seem nothing but an elusive dream.
2 years later, Per Bristow was one of the top youth athletes in the nation in six track and field events. What had happened? Sudden physical growth-spurt? On the contrary. He still had very average sprint ability. He was still not a great jumper. He was the thinnest javelin thrower on the field and was always the youngest in his age group.
To compensate for his limited “natural” physical abilities, Per had discovered an ability to learn advanced physical skills at rapid speed using principles such as:
- Enhanced kinesthetic (muscular) awareness
- Mental imagery/visualization techniques
- Understanding and applying the physical law of least effort
- The application of flow and rhythm
- A developed ability to put himself in a state of "peak performance".
Per had awakened a passion and skill for learning that would come to serve him in many endeavors. He had also awakened his belief of the endless possibilities of mind, body and spirit and rebelled against conformist thinking.
At 17, Per started a rock band, featuring himself on bass and lead vocals – although he had barely sung a note since early childhood. After most rehearsals he would find himself hoarse, which motivated him to learn with the same fervor as when he'd been challenged before.
Directly after high school, Per accepted a full time music teacher position, which sparked his fascination for teaching, but which a year later he had to resign from as his performance career took off.
He continued his voice training, studied dance, and trained acting, which brought him to the US on several occasions for intensive studies.
He sang in a myriad of constellations, such as one of the country's top youth choruses, rock band, jazz group and more. And soon, he came to be one of the top performers in the nation.
Per sang the role of "Jesus" in concert versions of Jesus Christ Superstar. He was the original rock'n roll cat "Rum Tum Tugger" in Cats, a production that broke the Swedish all-time box office record and was widely recognized as one of the top Cats productions in the world. That box office record was broken by the revival of West Side Story, in which Per starred as "Riff" for close to 350 performances.
Once again, Per went against conventional wisdom and declined musical impresario Cameron Macintosh's offer to star in Les Miserables. Having done 7 musicals in a row, he instead accepted an offer to co-star in a feature film and then set his sails once again to Los Angeles.
With a burning passion for coaching, Per took it upon himself to see if his kinesthetic and mental ability to learn skills fast, his knowledge of the human voice combined with his acting and performance skills, could be taught to others.
Fifteen years later, the unique and proven Bristow Voice Method has empowered thousands of people from over 65 nations.
*The opera world has seen some of its greatest stars hail from Sweden such as Jussi Bjorling and Birgit Nilsson (considered by many to be the greatest tenor and soprano in history). Sweden has ever since ABBA continued to produce world-class rock/pop acts, producers and songwriters. Stockholm is known to be the city with the most theaters in the world per citizen. Stockholm’s Musical Theatre scene is recognized as the third in the world matched only by London and New York, and no other country sports as many choirs per capita.