Michiel Borstlap

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Michiel Borstlap
Born (1966-08-05) 5 August 1966 (age 53)
the Hague, Netherlands
GenresJazz, Classical Crossover, New Age
Occupation(s)Pianist & Composer

Michiel Borstlap (born 5 August 1966 in The Hague) is a Dutch pianist and composer.


Michiel Borstlap was in his early years a piano prodigy. He started to play the piano at the age of 4. And after years of classical training he found his first jazz teacher, Hans Heinhuis. During his early years he played in local bars and pubs, and formed a quartet with fellow youngsters Bart Suer and Peter Bergman ao.

In 1992 Borstlap completed his studies with highest honors at the Conservatory in Hilversum, where he received piano lessons from Dutch masters like Henk Elkerbout and Rob Madna. He won the first prize as soloist at the Europe Jazz Contest in Brussels, and also received the first prize with the band Meeting Point at the same contest. Two years later he gave his first concert at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

In 1996 he received for his composition "Memory of Enchantment", the prestigious American Thelonious Monk / BMI Composers Award. Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter recorded this song for their album 1+1, and it also formed an integral part of the repertoire during their various world tours. A year later, the pianist signed an exclusive recording contract with Verve.

In 2003 he was commissioned by the Emir of Qatar invited to compose the Arab opera Avicenna, and wrote the book 'Opera in Qatar', which was published by Uitgeverij van Oorschot. Michiel wrote the book in Palermo - Sicily, Italy, where he resided for a month.

In 2007 Michiel teamed up with Canadian singer Gino Vannelli and played together in Montreal, Moscow, a series of concerts in Italy, in Sweden, and the Netherlands. In 2008 he performed with his project Eldorado Concert & Club, and did extensive tours with fame Brit drummer Bill Bruford. That year he received the prestigious Gouden Kalf for his music in the film Tiramisu , directed by Paula van der Oest.

Michiel Borstlap won with the jazz formation BBG (Bennink-Borstlap-Glerum) the Edison Jazz Award 2009.

The solo albums he released from 2010 onwards marked a turning point in the career of the pianist. In 2010 he released SOLO 2010 and in the 2011 album Blue (Songs from Father to Daughter). On this album, which is entirely dedicated to the birth of his daughter Blue, appears the composition "Levantine".

In 2012 he signed an exclusive contract with BMG. In 2013 Michiel toured with his solo album Reflective. This album appeared in a piano book. Michiel performed a selection of his works during the commemoration of Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, at the Oude Kerk (Delft, the Netherlands).

In 2014 was released his album Frames. He toured with this album in the Netherlands, and in 2015 this album played a central role in cooperation with the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. This collaboration will continue in 2019. In 2016 Michiel Borstlap released a live album, recorded at the Amsterdam ArenA. The album Arena includes both a CD and a DVD. In 2017 Velvet was released, an album played on his first upright piano. The album 'Velvet' received an Edison Publieksprijs 2017 nomination. An extensive tour for the Velvet project took place in 2017, bringing Michiel to more than 35 venues, including Paradiso Amsterdam. A pianobook of this album was published, also in 2017. During an extensive radio interview (Kunststof) with journalist Frénk van der Linden Michiel expressed his turn in music as follows: 'The shadow between two notes is a place in which I'd like to be very much'. The music of Michiel Borstlap wanders between Neo-classical and contemporary jazz.

An extensive 2017 Volkskrant interview revealed more of his music as well as private life which had a relevant impact on his music.

Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle The Netherlands acquired his sound-sculpture 'Audire et Videre I', which is now in the permanent collection of the Museum, and is heard in the atrium of the building.

In 2019 an extended duo-tour with harpist Lavinia Meijer has been announced, as well as solo-concerts in The Netherlands, Belgium, Baltic States, Russia, South Africa and China).

Throughout the years Michiel has been ambassador for Swiss watchmaker IWC and German grand-piano maker Steinway & Sons.

Michiel Borstlap performed in 92 countries, on all the continents, he lives in The Netherlands and is father of Blue.


Michiel Borstlap worked with many musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Bill Bruford, Gino Vannelli, Pat Metheny, Assala Nasri, Jimmy Haslip, Les Paul, Lori Lieberman, Han Bennink, George Duke, Ludovico Einaudi, Scapino Ballet, Lavinia Meijer, Alain Clark, Carel Krayenhof, Billy Cobham, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Carole Samaha, Edsilia Rombley, Metropole Orkest, Holland Symfonia, Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Kiev Soloist, Sherry Dyanne, Hans Dulfer, Jeff Tain Watts, Hans Teeuwen, Peter Erskine, Paul Haenen, Nick Mason, Chris Jagger, Rasha Rizk, Sibel Kose, Eric Vloeimans, Ruud Breuls, Peter Guidi, Benjamin Herman, Leonardo Amuedo, Jesse van Ruller, Leonie Meijer, Werner Herbers, Martin Bril, JW Roy, Tony Lakatos, Igor Butman, Till Bronner, Toumani Diabate, Stefano Bollani, Janine Jansen, Diggy Dex, Joris Voorn ao.


  • 2008 Akiko (Director: Michael Sewandono)
  • 2008 Tiramisu (Director: Paula van der Oest) (Gouden Kalf - Grand Prize of Dutch Film Industry for 'Best Music')
  • 2015 Bloed, Zweet & Tranen (Director: Diederick Koopal)


  • 1992 Michiel Borstlap Sextet - Day Off
  • 1995 Michiel Borstlap Sextet - The Sextet Live
  • 1997 Michiel Borstlap Trio – Residence
  • 1998 Michiel Borstlap, Ernst Glerum & Han Bennink - 3
  • 1999 Michiel Borstlap – Body Acoustic (Verve)
  • 2000 Michiel Borstlap – LiveLine (Verve)
  • 2001 Michiel Borstlap - Gramercy Park (Verve)
  • 2004 Michiel Borstlap – Piano Solo Standards (Verve)
  • 2004 Michiel Borstlap & Bill Bruford – Live In Holland
  • 2004 Michiel Borstlap & Bill Bruford – Every Step A Dance, Every Word A Song
  • 2005 Michiel Borstlap Trio – Coffee & Jazz
  • 2008 Michiel Borstlap & Bill Bruford – In Two Minds
  • 2008 Michiel Borstlap - Eldorado
  • 2009 Michiel Borstlap - BBG (Monk Vol. 1)
  • 2010 Michiel Borstlap - Solo 2010
  • 2011 Michiel Borstlap - Blue (Songs From Father to Daughter)
  • 2012 Michiel Borstlap Trio - 88
  • 2012 North Sea Jazzfestival - Legendary Concerts: Michiel Borstlap
  • 2013 Michiel Borstlap - Reflective (featuring Metropole Orkest) (Plus Pianobook)
  • 2014 Michiel Borstlap - Frames
  • 2016 Michiel Borstlap - Arena (Live at the Amsterdam Arena)
  • 2017 Michiel Borstlap - Velvet (Plus Pianobook)
  • 2018 Michiel Borstlap - Live - Special edition - Velvet (digital release only)
  • 2018 Michiel Borstlap - Georg
  • 2019 Michiel Borstlap & Bill Bruford – Sheer Reckless Abandon (Re Release)
  • 2019 Michiel Borstlap - The Power of Music Plays Silence and Shadow Within
  • 2019 Joris Voorn - \\\\ (aka Four) (Track 13: Blanky)

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