Rolf Martinsson (1956) is one of Sweden's internationally most represented contemporary composers. During the past few years, his music has been performed in several countries, in venues such as New York, Vienna, Paris, London, Berlin, Prague, Madrid and Tokyo. His co-operation with Håkan Hardenberger, which commenced in the late 1990s, opened the doors to the international stage following the first performance by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under Neeme Järvi of Martinsson's trumpet concerto Bridge. This was an immediate success, and Hardenberger has since performed the work at some 50 different concerts, for example at the Berliner Philharmonie.
His co-operation with Christian Lindberg has also formed an important part of Martinsson's international breakthrough. The trombone concerto Fairlight, which was commissioned by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, received high critical acclaim with Lindberg as soloist following its first performance in the Stockholm Concert Hall in the spring of 2005. Fairlight, which won The Swedish Music Publisher's Award 2005 for "The Most Significant Contemporary Music Work of the Year" was performed with great success at the historic Musikverein in Vienna in May 2007 by Lindberg and the Radio Sinfonieorchester Wien.
Martinsson has taken part in many international co-operation projects together with leading conductors, soloists and orchestras. In 2005, the BBC Symphony Orchestra commissioned and premiered Martinsson's Cello Concerto with Mats Lidström as soloist and Mario Venzago conducting. Rolf Martinsson also co-operates on a continuous basis with the major Swedish orchestras. The Malmö Symphony Orchestra has during the past few years performed all his orchestral works and solo concertos; and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra has under the baton of Alan Gilbert frequently been on tour with Martinsson's music to Japan and the Balkans, as well as other countries.
Rolf Martinsson's production includes some 90 different works, spanning and representing an impressive musical breadth: orchestral works, solo concertos, choir music, several chamber music works for a variety of instrumental conformations, radio theatre, and soloist works, to mention a few. His music is characterised by a powerful stylistic awareness and exceptional musical craftsmanship, together with highly skilled orchestration, which contribute towards making him a much appreciated and preferred composer by many different musicians.
In November 2008 Martinsson was one of the two composers in focus during Composers Festival at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. More than 20 of his works were performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo, the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Søndergård, the Gävle Symphony Orchestra/Eva Ollikainen, SNYKO, Avanti! and by soloists such as Håkan Hardenberger, Christian Lindberg, Mats Lidström, Magnus Båge, Jan Stigmer, Duo Gelland, Anders Kilström and Jacques Werup.
Among his future projects are a clarinet concerto for Martin Fröst, a co-commission by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, a double bass concerto for Dan Styffe and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a major orchestral work for the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. In the spring of 2009, Anne Sofie von Otter will premiere Martinsson's orchestral songs together with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra under its chief conductor Vassily Sinaisky. Since 2002 Rolf Martinsson holds the position of Composer in Residence and Artistic Advisor with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Chair in Musical Theory including arrangement and composition at the Malmö Academy of Music, since 2006. Martinsson is represented by Gehrmans Musikförlag in Stockholm since January 2006.
Professor of composition
Teachers (Malmö Academy of Music)