Rolf Borch (1975) was born and raised in Bergen, where he received clarinet lessons with Mogens Leikvoll. Hans Christian Bræin was his clarinet teacher at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where he graduated in 2000. 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» with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, 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 and chamber musician in ensembles asamisimasa, Boa and Cikada. He has collaborated with prominent Norwegian and international composers such as Ørjan Matre, Sven Lyder Kahrs, Lene Grenager, Helmut Oehring and Carola Bauckholt. Borch´s first album was released in 2007 and was very well recieved. His next album was entirely devoted to the music of Ørjan Matre and both albums were nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Award. From 2011 to 2014 he has been a research fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music, focusing on the contrabass clarinet. Autumn 2014 he was appointed associate professor of clarinet at the Music Conservatory in Tromsø.
Text by Jon Øivind Ness, 2015
Photo by Geir Dokken