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Photo: Jan Alsaker

Photo: Jan Alsaker

Rolf Borch (1975) was born and raised in Bergen, where he took clarinet lessons with Mogens Leikvoll. Hans Christian Bræin was his clarinet teacher at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where he finished his master degree in 2000, with Carl Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. He was recently awarded his PhD for an artistic research project which focused on the contrabass clarinet, with a stated goal of mastering all clarinet instruments. In addition to a broad classical repertoire Borch has distinguished himself as a soloist with a special focus on contemporary music, something that has resulted in hundreds of world premieres of solo- and chamber music. He has played concerts on many Norwegian and international festivals as well as soloist with orchestras, ensembles and military bands.


An early breakthrough came in 2003, when he was soloist in the first Norwegian performance of Brian Ferneyhough's clarinet concerto "la Chute d'Icare", but it was with Helmut Lachenmann´s clarinet concerto "Accanto" in 2005, that Borch really stepped forward as one of the leading interpreters of contemporary music in Norway. Since then he has been profiled as a soloist, in new clarinet concertos by Jon Øivind Ness, Helmut Oehring, Ørjan Matre and Lene Grenager, and as a chamber musician in ensembles Cikada, asamisimasa, Boa and Alpaca. He has worked with leading Norwegian and international composers such as Eivind Buene, Sven Lyder Kahrs, Magne Hegdal, Salvatore Sciarrino, Carola Bauckholt, Brian Ferneyhough and Helmut Lachenmann.


Borch has recorded several albums with solo repertoire and chamber music. His first album "Step Inside" came in 2007, and his next album was entirely devoted to the music of Ørjan Matre. Both albums were nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Award, and very well received by the critics. He has also recorded clarinet concertos by Jon Øivind Ness Lene Grenager and Ørjan Matre. In 2008, Borch was awarded the prestigious The Lindeman Prize for Young Musicians. Since 2009, he has been a permanent member of the ensemble Cikada and autumn 2014 he was appointed associate professor of clarinet at the Music Conservatoire in Tromsø.