Performances

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2017-11-04 Hong Kong
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2017-11-23 Melbourne
Ich denke Dein...

2017-11-25 Melbourne
Ich denke Dein...

2017-11-28 Stockholm
Suite Fantastique

2017-12-10 Amsterdam
Carillon

2017-12-17 Vienna 1:2
Garden of Devotion

2017-12-17 Vienna 2:2
Garden of Devotion

2018-01-18 Kristiansand
Poem for Orchestra No. 1

2018-02-01 Katowice
Bridge - Trumpet Concerto No. 1

2018-02-01 Polish Radio Live Broadcasting
Bridge - Trumpet Concerto No. 1

2018-02-14 Malmö
Shimmering Islands

2018-02-15 Malmö
Shimmering Islands

2018-02-15 Palma de Mallorca
Ich denke Dein...

2018-02-24 Giresta
Suite Fantastique

2018-03-02 Växjö
Airy Flight

2018-03-03 Tingsryd
Airy Flight

2018-03-04 Hultsfred
Airy Flight

2018-03-11 Dalby
Lukaspassionen

2018-04-04 Arboga
Tidig gryning

2018-04-05 Västerås
Tidig gryning

2018-04-07 Södertälje
Tidig gryning

2018-04-08 Örebro
Tidig gryning

2018-04-13 Vänersborg
Suite Fantastique

2018-05-23 Stockholm
Ich denke Dein...

2018-05-24 Stockholm
Ich denke Dein...

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
Garden of Devotion
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
To the Shadow of Reality
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
Kalliope
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
A. S. in Memoriam
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-21 Kaiserslauten (10.00)
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2018-06-21 Kaiserslauten (13.00)
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2018-06-22 Dillingen
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2018-06-30 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky

2018-07-03 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky

2018-09-16 Lerum
Tidig gryning

2018-09-23 Växjö
Tidig gryning

2018-11-28 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2018-11-29 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2018-11-30 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2018-12-16 Helsingborg
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2019-01-17 Malmö
Opening Sounds

2019-01-19 Malmö
Opening Sounds

2019-02-05 Malmö
To the Shadow of Reality

2019-05-10 Estonia
Ich denke Dein...

2019-05-11 Estonia
Ich denke Dein...

2019-05-12 Estonia
Ich denke Dein...

2019-06-13/14? Winterthur
A. S. in Memoriam

2019-06-13/14? Winterthur
Arrangement on Songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky

2019-09-05 Malmö
New piece (semi staged)

2019-09-06 Malmö
New piece (semi staged)

2019-09-07 Malmö
New piece (semi staged)

2019-10-25 Växjö
Till skuggan av en verklighet

2019-10-25 Växjö
Arrangement on Infelice by Felix Mendelssohn

2019-10-26 ??
Till skuggan av en verklighet

2019-10-26 ??
Arrangement on Infelice by Felix Mendelssohn

2019-10-27 ??
Till skuggan av en verklighet

2019-10-27 ??
Arrangement on Infelice by Felix Mendelssohn

2020-09 Stockholm
Amy Foster


Ongoing Work

A concert opener - HSO co-commission. World premiere 2017-05-18 with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Stefan Solyom at Helsingborg concert hall.


Article is copied from this source: STIM - Portraits

Rolf Martinsson
- Malmö composer with an eye for detail

Rolf Martinsson was a great success with audiences and critics alike with his trumpet concerto Bridge. April sees the premiere of a further two solo concertos - one for trombone and one for cello. A tremendous attention to detail lies behind both concertos.

1 April 2005

The words 'craft' and 'craftsmanship' occur regularly when Rolf Martinsson describes his work as a composer.

"Craft is an absolute necessity when you're writing for a 40-part orchestra. Each part has to be weighed up against the others so that all the instruments come across in the intended way. There's not time during rehearsals to make all kinds of minor changes just because the composer hasn't taken care!"

A composer has a lot to think about when writing a complex score of over a thousand characters a page, including strength, tempo, articulation, form and balance. After all, the pianist could be sitting 25 metres away from the double basses. And while the piano gives a distinct, immediate note, the double bass requires a little building up before a note can be perceived by the audience.

At one end of Rolf's studio is a composing corner with a computer, sound system, synthesisers and keyboard, and at the other end is the grand piano. On one table is a pile of scores, records and presentation material waiting to be sent out to concert organisers, musicians and conductors all over the world. After all, this too is part of a composer's day-to-day life: promoting his art to the world. In Sweden there is no equivalent to the major artists' agencies like in the UK, for example, which launch and promote 'their' composers.

Rolf Martinsson's studio also has an exercise bike in it.

"When I'm working I do it in concentrated periods and under quite a lot of pressure. I don't have time to go to the gym so I use the bike to keep exercising."

New solo concertos

Pressure is a word Rolf ought to be familiar with at the moment. Several of his solo concertos are premiering over the year to come. He is just putting the finishing touches on the cello concerto, which will premiere in London on 20 April with Mats Lidström and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Before that, on 7 April, his trombone concerto Fairlight is premiering in Stockholm with Christian Lindberg and Kungliga Filharmoniska Orkestern, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Later on, in September, a new flute concerto for Magnus Båge will be performed for the first time in Umeå, and a future violin concerto is also in the planning.

The series of solo concertos began with the trumpet concerto Bridge (1998), which was something of an international breakthrough for Rolf. The title refers to the bridges he wants to build between composer, musician and audience. And there's a lot to suggest he's succeeded. With soloist Håkan Hardenberger, Bridge has been performed at many of the world's great concert halls and has been phenomenally well received by audiences and critics alike.

Several years of work go into each and every solo concerto. They have evolved in close collaboration with the intended soloists, and Rolf's feeling for every one of the instruments has made him a popular composer with musicians.

"Both the instrument and the soloist him or herself inspire me when I write. I'm also often spurred on when I notice the actual work process gathering momentum."

However, he does add that as great as the sense of euphoria is when everything is going smoothly, just as powerful is the anxiety he feels when he wakes up in the night wondering how everything will be done in time.

Free relationship with modernism

A growing artistic self-awareness has led Rolf Martinsson to take a free attitude to modernistic expressions. There is a great awareness in his music, alternating between the tonal and atonal. Freedom of expression is the important thing.

"Well, I have taken some controversial diversions towards the tonal," he laughs. "But actually I don't think that is so controversial any more. I've come to terms with it myself, and I'm convinced the pendulum will keep swinging between tonal and non-tonal ideals."

In the future, Rolf believes music will develop towards more blended forms, alloys between different genres and means of expression. But he stresses that his work must never be affected by what others might think about his music.

Grew up with "Göingeflickorna'

Rolf's mother is one of the 'Göingeflickorna', the trio of vocal Swedish sisters who broke through in the early 1960s. His childhood was filled with music as his mother and aunts practised and recorded demo tapes at home. Rolf was also allowed to attend performances in town parks around Sweden, as well as radio recordings in Stockholm. There he met Jokkomokks-Jokke, Gnesta-Kalle and other popular musical figures of the time.

His own music interest was awakened when he was about ten. He was a very keen fan of Dutch rock group Ekseption and their rock versions of classical composers like Albinoni, Bach and Beethoven. His first instrument was a ruler with a hole, a kind of primitive flute, which Rolf would play along to his Ekseption records.

"I was the sixth member of Ekseption, even though they didn't know it."

Rolf was given a piano and learnt to read music, although he also liked to improvise. These improvisations were long stories set to music rather than songs or melodies in their true sense - he was experimenting with the sounds more than anything.

At the same time he began developing an interest in jazz. He explains that no one actually told him to start listening to jazz: the interest was spontaneous, and he would run to the radio whenever jazz came on.

An undogmatic teacher

Eventually Rolf came to Malmö and began studying composition at the Academy of Music. He was in the first ever intake of composition students, which lent the course a special feeling.

"It was mostly unstructured and often unplanned, but completely undogmatic at the same time."

Quite soon after graduation Rolf returned to the Academy - this time as a teacher. Since then he has endeavoured to follow the undogmatic road and enable students to find their own style. He has recently had to reduce his teaching hours by half to allow time for his full-time job as a composer. His goal as a teacher is to stimulate his students to seek their own quest, development and inventiveness - and to teach them the craft.

Mattias Franzén