From 1976 to 1982 he studied counterpoint, composition and electronic music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where his teachers included Gunnar Bucht, Lars-Erik Rosell, Arne Mellnäs and Pär Lindgren. Brian Ferneyhough, who was a guest lecturer at the College of Music on several occasions, was another important source of inspiration.Apart from occasional teaching positions Hillborg has been a full-time freelance composer since 1982. His sphere of activity is extensive, covering orchestral, choral and chamber music as well as film scores and pop music.
Hillborg has received many awards and distinctions, including:
1990: Professor of composition in Malmö, Sweden
1995: His Violin Concerto is recommended for the UNESCO Composers Rostrum
1995: Composer-in-residence at the festival Avantti! in Porvoo, Finland
1996: Swedish Gramophone Award as composer of the year
1997: Christ Johnson Music Prize for his Violin Concerto
1999: Featured composer at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic´s Composer Festival
2002: First prize at the UNESCO Composers Rostrum (for Dreaming River)
2003: Featured composer at the Soundstreams Festival in Toronto, Canada
2005: Featured composer at the Avantti! Festival in Porvoo, Finland
2008: Composer-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival
Anders Hillborg‘s orchestral music has been performed by many major conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Alan Gilbert, Gustavo Dudamel, David Zinman, Andrey Boreyko, Yannick Nézet-Seguin, Michael Gielen, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Susanna Mälkki, Hannu Lintu and John Storgårds.
The following orchestras have performed or commissioned Anders Hillborg‘s works: Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker.
Other notable musicians he has worked with include clarinettist Martin Fröst, mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and choir conductor Eric Ericson.
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