As a youth Lindberg learned to play the trumpet, and subsequently began to learn the trombone at age 17. He originally borrowed a trombone to join his friends' Dixieland jazz group, inspired by records of Jack Teagarden. He attended the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, where his teachers included Sven-Erik Eriksson. By age 19, he had obtained a professional position in the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra. At age 20, he left his orchestral career behind to study to become a full-time soloist. He studied with John Iveson at the Royal College of Music (1979–1980) and with Ralph Sauer and Roger Bobo in Los Angeles (1983).
In 1981, Lindberg won the Nordic Soloists' Biennale competition. His concert debut was in 1984 with the Trombone Concerto by Henri Tomasi. That same year, he signed a 3-CD recording contract with BIS Records. His first solo recording was "The Virtuoso Trombone". Lindberg has recorded over 60 albums, for BIS and other labels such as Onyx. His musical collaborators in Sweden have included pianist Roland Pöntinen and composer Jan Sandström.
Lindberg is particularly noted for his performances of contemporary music, as well as expanding the repertoire of concerti for trombone. In 2006, he estimated that over the prior 25 years, composers wrote 82 works for him. Lindberg was the soloist in the premiere of Sandström's Motorbike Concerto. In addition to the Sandström, his repertoire includes Luciano Berio’s Sequenza V, Fredrik Högberg’s The Ballad of Kit Bones and Su ba do be.
Lindberg began to compose in the 1990s at the encouragement of Sandström. Lindberg's first-performed work was Arabenne for trombone and strings, recorded in 1997. Other compositions have included Mandrake in the Corner, Chick 'a' bone Checkout, from 2006 and written for Charles Vernon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Kundraan (2008).
In 2000, Lindberg made his conducting debut with the Northern Sinfonia in the UK. He has regularly conducted the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and the Swedish Wind Ensemble. He is currently principal conductor of the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, and is contracted to the orchestra until 2014.
Lindberg plays on a Conn 88H-CL trombone, an open-wrap design whose valve he designed himself for Conn.
He and his wife have four children.
Notable concerto premieres
- Gunnar de Frumerie – Trombone Concerto (1987)
- Jan Sandström – Motorbike Concerto (1989)
- Iannis Xenakis – Troorkh (1991)
- Anders Hillborg – Trombone Concerto (1993)
- Toru Takemitsu – Fantasma/Cantos II
- Jan Sandström – Don Quixote (1994)
- Arvo Pärt – An den Wassern (1996)
- Dominic Muldowney – Trombone Concerto (1996)
- Pär Lindgren – Islands (1997)
- Michael Nyman – Trombone Concerto (1997)
- Eric Ewazen - So Much Meat! (1998)
- Luciano Berio – SOLO for Trombone and Orchestra (1999)
- Christian Lindberg – Helikon Wasp (2003)
- Mark Anthony Turnage – Yet Another Set To (2005)
- Andrew Clements (2008-04-25). "Pickard: The Flight of Icarus; The Spindle of Necessity; Channel Firing, Lindberg/ Norrköping Symphony Orch/ Brabbins". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Andrew Clements (2005-12-16). "Turnage: The Silence; True Life Stories; Slide Stride, etc, Matthews/ Nash Ensemble". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Daniel J. Wakin (2006-10-15). "In the Back, by the Tuba, a Star Is Born". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- George Hall (2009-07-02). "NCO/Lindberg (Guildhall, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Christian Lindberg (2011-02-25). "Et forsvar for flaggskipet". Harstad Tidende. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Andrew Clements (2009-03-11). "Total Immersion: Xenakis (Barbican, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- George Hall (2005-03-27). "Mr Trombone". The Observer. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Christian Lindberg's official website
- BIS Records biography of Lindberg
- Edition Tarrodi, publisher of Lindberg’s compositions and arrangements
- Christian Lindberg interview by Bruce Duffie
- Christopher Thomas, MusicWeb International interview with Christian Lindberg, 8 May 2008
|Principal Conductor, Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra