Rolf Martinsson is one of Sweden's internationally leading composers. He serves as professor of composition at the Malmö Academy of Music and is a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
The successful collaboration with Swedish soprano Lisa Larsson, now exceeding 100 performances, has led to major international commissions such as Into Eternity (2015), Ich denke Dein... and Garden of Devotion (2014), To the Shadow of Reality (2013) and the high version of Orchestral Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson (2009). Collaborating orchestras have been among others Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Netherlands PO/CO, Scottish CO and several Swedish orchestras. Larsson has premiered all these works, which are dedicated to her and she has now also Martinsson's St. Luke's Passion on her repertoire.
In 2008 Martinsson was featured composer at Stockholm International Composer Festival and Composer in Residence (CiR) with Malmö SO 2002-2006 and with Netherlands PO/CO 2014-2015 at Concertgebouw. He is also CiR with Helsingborg SO 2014-2017 and he has been CiR with Musica Vitae and with Dalasinfoniettan at Martin Fröst's "Vinterfest".
Rolf Martinsson's collaborations have led to performances in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Musikverein, Berliner Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Salzburger Festspielhaus and Suntory Hall, Opera City Hall and Metropolitan Art Space, Tokyo. His music is performed by orchestras such as Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit SO, Boston SO, BBC SO, City of Birmingham SO, NDR Sinfonieorchester, Bamberger Symphoniker, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchester, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and all the major Nordic orchestras in collaboration with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Andris Nelsons, Sakari Oramo, Neeme Järvi, Manfred Honeck, Edward Gardner, Vassily Sinaisky, Vasily Petrenko and Stefan Solyom and soloists such as Lisa Larsson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Martin Fröst and Håkan Hardenberger.
The collaboration with Hardenberger in the trumpet concerto Bridge (1998) led to the big international scenes. A. S. in Memoriam (1999) for string orchestra is also frequently performed as is the orchestral work and concert opener Open Mind (2005). Fröst premiered both the clarinet concerto Concert Fantastique (2010) and Suite Fantastique (2011) for clarinet and piano and the collaboration proceeds with new projects.
The soprano saxophone concerto Golden Harmony (2012) was premiered by Anders Paulsson and the Double Bass Concerto (2011) was premiered by Dan Styffe and has in recent years been adapted by many bassists and programmed by, among others, Edicson Ruiz with many orchestras.
His music is well represented on CD. Several European orchestras have toured internationally with his music.