Sven Erik Golden was born about 3.45 pm on July 30th, 1965 in Bristol, England. His mother was the artist Alice Goldin (1922 - 2016, nee Widrich - originally from Vienna, Austria) She had gone from her place of residence, Pretoria, South Africa to Rome, Italy in 1964 to study art, taking her two children of 13 and 9 years old with her, Jacqueline and Ian.
There she had met Sven’s father, Helge Rabben, a Norwegian journalist stationed in Rome. In early 1966 Alice returned to Pretoria with her three children….Five years later they relocated to Cape Town (in 1971) soon after Alice had married entomologist Tom Coates, his 15 year old son Thomas became part of the family too…sadly Tom passed away soon after in mid 1972.
So began life in the beautiful environment of Newlands, Cape Town for Sven….he had the privilege of getting to know many of Alice’s artist, musician and theatrical friends - an experience that still affects the very fabric of his being to this day. He began piano lessons and sporadically trained in music thereon during his school years, and also began his composing and songwriting. He attended SACS Junior school until 1977 when Alice and Sven relocated to London, England for 15 months….Alice had decided to study art there. Beginning 1979 it was back to Cape Town…Sven transferred later that year to boarding school in Pretoria, St. Albans College…in 1981 he transferred to Bishops in Cape Town where he remained until matriculation at the end of 1983.
In January 1984 Sven began his music studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA….he transferred to California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA, USA (“Calarts”) in September 1984 and remained there for four (college) years until May 1988, majoring in music composition. He was part of the Chamber Singers there (as a baritone) under Jeanette Wagner and also had the privilege of composition tuition and guidance from such luminaries as Stephen “Lucky” Mosko, Alan Chaplin, Barry Schrader, Rand Steiger and Louis Andriessen. He gave a few solo recitals during his Calarts time, including an improvisational one where he improvised with live motion graphic creation as well as with a percussion player and dancers.
After his college years, Sven was somewhat “in the wilderness” so to speak as regards his music during the years 1988 till 1995….though he continued to compose and write songs. He lived in various places during this relatively unsettled time like Cape Town, LA (again), London, Johannesburg, Durban and Amsterdam and supported himself doing a variety of work like bartending, waiting etc. Gigs as a keyboardist (and sometime singer) started gradually in 1995 in Cape Town - he then spent 14 months in LA. In late 1996 Sven returned to Cape Town and began his life as a gigging keyboard player and vocalist doing a large variety of stuff including solo piano in hotels, ships and for functions, wedding and business function bands, cover shows (most notably “Floydian Slips”, a Pink Floyd tribute with Alan Day) etc, original music projects (his own and others)…plenty of theatre collaboration , most notably with Graham Weir, performances at Grahamstown festival (1997, 2000, 2001) and as a musician with “Theatresports” (improv theatre).
This period of gigs lasted till 2013 when Golden relocated to the Netherlands where he has remained.