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)
Tides (1998)


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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