Michiel Borstlap

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

Borstlap started playing piano at the age of 5 years.

In 1992 he finished his piano studies at the Hilversum Conservatory with highest honors and won the first prize at the Europa Competition in Brussels. In 1994 he made his debut at the North Sea Jazz Festival.

His first performances as a leader were in 1992 with his own sextet on the album Day Off. He has travelled worldwide with his bands as well as a soloist and played at numerous festivals. In 1996 he won the Thelonious Monk Composition Competition with "Memory of Enchantment", a composition which was later recorded by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter on their album 1 + 1. At this time, Australian Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler once said of his work "He is an inspiration to us all. His dedication to his craft mirrors our dedication to our faith and is something to be celebrated." In 1999 Borstlap received a contract with Verve Records. In 2003 he received a commission from the Emir of Qatar to compose an opera "Ibn Sina" (Avicenna) about Arabian history. Michiel Borstlap won in 2008 a Golden Calf, the Grand Prize of Dutch Film Industry for his soundtrack of Tiramisu, directed by Paula van der Oest. In 2009 he won an Edison for the album Monk Vol. 1 Since 2010 Michiel is working on a solo piano career. This resulted in the albums Solo 2010 & Blue (Songs from Father to Daughter). During this time his music changed and became more 'spacious'. In 2012 he signed an exclusive publishing contract with BMG, and a partnership with record label Harmonia Mundi. In the fall of 2013 his album Reflective was released. Simultaneously with a piano book, with transcriptions of his works.

In 2014 Michiel Borstlap joined the band Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi 'Le Piano Africain, a collaboration with Ballet group Scapino Ballet emerged. Fall 2014 awaits the all new solo album of Michiel, 'Frames'.


  • 1992 Michiel Borstlap Sextet - Day Off
  • 1995 Michiel Borstlap Sextet - The Sextet Live 2CD
  • 1997 Michiel Borstlap Trio – Residence
  • 1998 Michiel Borstlap, Ernst Glerum & Han Bennink - 3
  • 1999 Michiel Borstlap – Body Acoustic
  • 2000 Michiel Borstlap – LiveLine (featuring Jimmy Haslip)
  • 2001 Michiel Borstlap - Gramercy Park (featuring Jeff Watts)
  • 2004 Michiel Borstlap – Piano Solo Standards
  • 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 (featuring Edsilia Rombley)
  • 2009 Michiel Borstlap, Ernst Glerum & Han Bennink - 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 (release date October 2012) (featuring Jimmy Haslip & Trijntje Oosterhuis)
  • 2013 Michiel Borstlap - Reflective (featuring Metropole Orkest)
  • 2014 Michiel Borstlap - Frames (fall 2014)


"Impressively subdued" (Volkskrant)

"Beautiful music. Thanks!" (Ludovico Einaudi)

"Crystalline pianoplaying" (New York Times)

"Heavyweight pianist. A Master!" (Ottawa Citizen)

"Overwhelming...lyrical heart" (Parool)

"Truly worldclass performance...enchants..mesmerizes" (Nadelunch.com)

"Borstlap has all the rich melody and tonal clarity of a Mozart Sonata" (Washington Post)

"Astonishing empathy" (Telegraaf)

"Full of intensity...beaufully detailed improvisations" (NRC)

"Parfait" (Le Vif Express)

"Phenonemonal" - What's on Kiev (Ukraine)

"Mesmerizing" - Time Out London (UK)

"Breathtaking" (jazzenzo.nl)

“I wanted to record Michiel's composition and play it at our concerts. Its very emotional” (Herbie Hancock)

"Bravura playing of highest order...Michiel covers territory well beyond the reach of most" (Bill Bruford)

"Michiel wants to make me practice. He has such a command of the instrument" (Georde Duke)

"If Borstlap was a drug he'd be illegal" - Harry Schnipper (Blues Alley Washington DC USA)

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