Works Discography

Rolf Wallin (1957-)

For all that Rolf Wallin celebrated his 50th birthday in 2007, he remains very much a young composer, his natural curiosity ensuring the constant freshness of his output. His formal education encompasses six years (1976-82) at the State Academy of Music in Oslo, where he studied with Olav Anton Thommessen and Finn Mortensen, soon followed by a year (1985/86) at the University of California, San Diego; here his mentors were Roger Reynolds, Vinko Globokar and Joji Juasa. That firm intellectual footing has underpinned a career of healthy diversity: although composition has always been at the centre of Wallin's life, he has also been a trumpeter in a number of different ensembles, from early music to experimental jazz and rock; he has worked in the vanguard of performance art in Norway; he has taught, not least at his alma mater, the State Academy of Music; he has been a writer and reviewer, for the Norwegian daily Dagbladet and elsewhere.

Wallin's compositions show a comparable openness, though more in their media and styles - orchestral, electronic, jazz, opera, ballet and more - than in the mix of discipline and intuition which underlies his work. Wallin likes to set himself a fairly rigid compositional framework, often using the fractal patterns of Chaos theory and other computer-generated parameters, within which he allows himself a considerable degree of creative autonomy. The music which results often suggests a sense of order and direction under threat of being overwhelmed by a life-force barely contained by the formal exterior; indeed, its sense of sheer power has earned Wallin comparisons with some of the leading figures of the recent past, not least Berio, Ligeti and Xenakis. He enters his second half-century at the forefront of contemporary music in Scandinavia, and a figure of increasingly international renown.

© Martin Anderson

More information:
Official website
Chester Novello

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Act (2003)
Das war schön! (2006)
Fisher King for Trumpet and Orchestra
Manyworlds with video by Boya Bøckmann in 2D and 3D
Tides (1998)


Rolf Wallin
Fisher King for Trumpet and Orchestra

Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor
ODE 1267-2D
CD + blu-ray

Released 05/2015

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Rolf Wallin
Act · Das war schön! · Tides

Martin Grubinger, percussion
Kroumata Percussion Ensemble
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Jaap van Zweden, conductor
John Axelrod, conductor
Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
ODE 1118-2

Released 10/2007

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