updated 5 September 2022
© Mats Lundqvist

Anders Hillborg

Swedish composer born 31 May 1954 in Sollentuna.

Anders Hillborg’s first exposure to music was as a member of a choir, and later as an improvising keyboardist in a Swedish pop band, an experience that led to his interest in electronic music. After discovering Brian Ferneyhough and György Ligeti, he became fascinated with counterpoint and orchestral music, subjects he studied from 1976 to 1982 at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Since 1982, he has focused exclusively on composition.

Hillborg teaches occasionally, at the Malmö Academy of Music and in various masterclasses. He has had various residencies, at Soundstreams in Toronto (2003), Avanti! Summer Sounds (1995, 2005), Aspen Music Festival (2008), the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala (2010–2012), the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (2015–2016), and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (2021).

He has received commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Swedish Radio Orchestra, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. His works have received additional performances by the San Francisco Symphony, Bayerishe Rundfunk Orchester, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Oslo, Bergen, and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras, among others. He has had his music featured twice at the Composer Festival of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, in 1999 and in 2014. The BBC Symphony Orchestra made him the guest of honor of its 2020 Total Immersion festival.

Hillborg’s catalog explores chamber, orchestral, choral, film, and pop music. Though his introduction to music came through singing, Hillborg prefers to write compositions with no extra-musical elements, including text or lyrics. This is evidenced by his piece for choir Mouyayoum (1985), which was originally based on a text by E.E. Cummings that was eventually removed to keep only the music. In general, his catalog does not include any interdisciplinary elements.

Hillborg also has an interest in creating synthetic sounds from acoustic sources. He tries to make the sound of the instrument that is used unrecognizable. This is the reason for the presence of suonas, Chinese oboes whose sound is unfamiliar to a Western ear, in Flood Dreams and Dreaming River. He calls the orchestra a “Beast Sampler,” a title he also gives to Beast Sampler [an orchestral piece from 2014]. The piece Mouyayoum also seeks to destabilize the listener, through human voices that reproduce sounds associated with electronics.

Hillborg has the honor of being the Swedish composer who is the most performed throughout the world. The BIS label has released four CD portraits of him.

Prizes and Awards

  • Grammis Award for Best Classical CD of 2016 for Sirens
  • Music Export Prize from the Swedish government, 2015
  • Gannevik Prize, 2013
  • Grammis Award for Best Classical CD of 2012 for Eleven Gates
  • First Prize of the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers for Dreaming River, 2002
  • Christ Johnson Prize for the Violin Concerto, 1997
  • Grammis Award for Composer of the Year for the CD Jag vill se min älskade komma från det vilda, 1996
  • Christ Johnson Prize for Celestial Mechanics, 1991

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2022


Site du compositeur, Faber, SMCQ, interview de Yulia Savikovskaya

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en septembre 2022).

Discographie sélective

  • Anders HILLBORG,_ Hymn of Echoes_ ; Primal Blues, dans « Martin Fröst : Roots », 1 CD Sony Music, 2016, B016KSGSC4.
  • Anders HILLBORG, « Beast Sampler / O Dessa Ögon / Cold Heat / Sirens », 1 CD BIS, 2015, BIS-2114 SACD.
  • Anders HILLBORG, Eleven Gates, dans « Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8, Eleven Gates », 1 CD Deutsche Grammophon, 2006, 477 634-2.
  • Anders HILLBORG, Clarinet Concerto ; Liquid Marble ; Violin Concerto, dans « Anders Hillborg », 1 CD Ondine, 2003, ODE 1006-2.
  • Anders HILLBORG, Clang And Fury ; Muoɔɑaəyiyωɔoum ; Lamento ; Celestial Mechanics ; Haut-Posaune, dans « Clang & Fury », 1 CD Phono Suecia, 1992, PSCD 52.