2012 world champions of barbershop

A group photo of Ringmasters sitting on a bench

As the 2012 world champions of barbershop, Ringmasters blend their awesome virtuosity with the infectious energy of pop music. Their vibrant shows take you from barbershop classics, to Swedish choral music, through Simon and Garfunkel to the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

The quartet grew out of the rich soil of Swedish choir tradition. Throughout grade school, all four members attended Adolf Fredrik’s Music School, Sweden’s most renowned choir school. They all then made the natural transition into Stockholm Music Gymnasium, and today all four are members of at least one top choir.

Having stumbled across barbershop harmony in a Simpsons episode, they realized it offered a chance to compete in ensemble singing. This spurred them to train vigorously, with the ambition to reach the very top. With the coaching of barbershop legend Doug Harrington, they won the International Collegiate Contest in Nashville in 2008, after barely two years together as a group. In 2009 they placed fourth in the world in Anaheim, and a year later they shook Philadelphia with the mind-blowing arrangements by David Harrington, and they climbed to third. Finally in Portland in 2012, Ringmasters was recognized as the best barbershop quartet in the world. And the first non-American group ever to win that contest.

In between winning medals, the four singers have honed their craft by featuring as the house quartet on two separate cruise ships, first in the Caribbean, and later in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Forced to churn out shows night after night they learnt how to own a stage, no matter how late they had stayed in the bar the night before.

Winning the gold meant some big tours in America in the coming years, where memorable performances like the Bells of Notre Dame Medley, with over a million views on YouTube, has gotten the attention of the entire a capella world. In later years Ringmasters have been touring a lot in Germany thanks to the cooperation with their agency Magenta, but you can expect them to pop up in many places around the world, keep a lookout on the website or on their social media platforms!

Headshot of Jakob Stenberg, tenor of RingmastersHeadshot of Rasmus Krigstrôm, lead singer of Ringmasters Headshot of Emanuel Roll, baritone of RingmastersHeadshot of Didier Linder, bass singer in Ringmasters
Jakob Stenberg

Jakob’s love of sport almost had catastrophic consequences. When deciding on a high school, he applied to one specialized in breeding ice hockey stars. To our delight, but to the dismay of Sweden’s national team, Jakob changed his mind and placed his bets on his voice instead of his skates. The rest is history.

Jakob shares the load of lead singing in Ringmasters when he doesn’t sing the tenor part. He also holds very long notes at the end of some songs. When his idol, Tim Waurick of Vocal Spectrum, challenged Jakob to see who could post the longest, Jakob went first, clearing 52 seconds. Tim then decided it was wise just to leave it at that, and Jakob won on a walkover.

He remains the undisputed champion.

Rasmus Krigström

Rasmus has a head made for barbershop harmony. It contains the harmonies for over 150 tags, and Rasmus never misses an opportunity to sing them out, with old and new friends alike. He has found good use for this uncanny ability in his work as an arranger. In between supplying up and coming quartets he has also penned a few of Ringmasters’ own numbers.

As meticulous about structure in the real world as he is in the world of music, Rasmus holds regular meals and daily routines sacred. He might sound a bit square, but you can depend on Rasmus to turn into the roundest of pegs whenever there’s a party.

He also plays the drums and once came close to joining the progressive metal band The Flowerkings. Luckily, they thought him too young.

Emanuel Roll

Emanuel is the youngest of four siblings and is used to bridging the wills of others. This skill has made him the adhesive tape that holds the quartet together. This doesn’t make him less of a leader, quite the opposite. He commands the audience in whichever way he wants, with a mischievous charm that enthrals the crowd, whether he’s talking, dancing or singing like Elvis.

When Emanuel is not singing, he enjoys rock climbing and working on his electrical engineer degree. Emanuel also has the studio where all the recording magic happens for Ringmasters albums and weekly youtube barbershop tags!

Didier Linder

Didier’s talent for singing was unveiled at an early age while attending a French pre-school in Stockholm. His mother knew he would be a singer when he, just three years old, entertained the parents at his school with French songs, standing on a bin.

She made him, against his will, go to Adolf Fredriks School of Music where he learned to appreciate every aspect of music and today he can be very grateful to her for being able to sing with Ringmasters as well as the Royal Swedish Opera Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir, among other acapella groups.

When he’s not learning opera arias or barbershop songs he can often be seen with his phone in his hand watching an ice hockey or football game with his favorite team Djurgårdens IF, to some annoyance of the other guys.