Allan Botschinsky

Long biography - click here for the short version

Born in Copenhagen in March 1940 into a family of musicians and artists, he showed such an early and avid interest in music that his parents would wake the six year old Allan Botschinsky late in the evening so he could listen to his favorite radio program - old time jazz. At eleven years of age, he began to play the trumpet. At first his goal was to become a member of the Tivoli marching band, but he soon discovered the new music they called "jazz". Already at 14, he entered the Royal Danish Conservatory and began two years later his professional career in a big band.

"One day, one of the trombone players in the band gave me a record and said, 'Go home, listen very carefully and try to play like this from now on." Allan was fascinated by the sound and the style - it was an album of Clifford Brown. Those who might jump to the conclusion that Brown was the greatest musical influence on the young Dane, forget the unique environment for a talented young jazz musician in Copenhagen of the 1960s.

In the Danish capital during that time, there lived or came for extended visits more great jazz musicians than any other place in Europe, except perhaps Paris. And so it happened that Allan Botschinsky, already a member of the important "Jazz Quintet 60" and Denmark's "Jazz Musician of the Year 1963" started a second apprenticeship, 'on stage' as it were, from which other young musicians could only dream.

"Dexter Gordon influenced us all. Oscar Pettiford's infectious feeling for swing forced us to play in a much more direct way than I had known before. And when I played with Stan Getz, also a dominating influence in Copenhagen, I was right in the middle of the "West Coast" scene. Quincy Jones, Ben Webster, Kenny Durham, Sahib Shihab and many other Americans also came to my home town." It would therefore be hard to speak of a singular important influence.

In 1964, Allan Botschinsky became a member of the "Danish Radio Jazz Group". He was also a member of the famous "Danish Radio Big Band", which has had some of the best conductors in the world - Thad Jones, Oliver Nelson, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson and George Russell.

In the 70s, Allan again took up his studies in classical and avantgarde composition, continuing an interest which had developed during his time as a scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He studied privately with Professor Svend Erik Werner. He had already written many compositions as a very young student. "When I started playing trumpet, I didn't have any young musician friends. So, my father would play the piano so that I could improvise. Since he came from the classical tradition and had to play from notes, I was forced to write everything down at an early age."

Only Botschinsky himself knows how many compositions and arrangements he has written over the years. Of special note is his prize winning suite for large orchestra and voice, "Sentiments", which was premiered in the "Nordring Radio Festival" in 1983. In that same year, Allan Botschinsky was awarded the coveted "Ben Webster Prize". His music was celebrated in a TV portrait special, " The Music of Allan Botschinsky". For this 1984 production, he presented works for duos, different jazz formations, a rock band, and even a string quartet. In 1986, he put together a quintet with, among others, Philip Catherine and George Mraz for two one-hour specials for the Swiss Television series, "Jazz in Concert".

Throughout Europe, the trumpeter Botschinsky is well known through his work with Peter Herbolzheimer's "Rhythm Combination and Brass" and Ali Haurand's "European Jazz Ensemble". He has also made his name through the "European Trumpet Summit" with his collegues Enrico Rava, Ack van Rooyen and Manfred Schoof, as well as through countless solo-concerts and festivals.

In 1985, Allan started his cooperation with the music publisher and producer Marion Kaempfert, daughter of the composer/bandleader Bert Kaempfert. In 1987, they founded the jazz label M.A Music.

Already the first two productions "First Brass" and "Duologue" (a duo album with bassist-friend Niels-Henning ěrsted Pedersen) have further spread Botschinsky's fame to America. Especially "First Brass", compositions and arrangements by Botschinsky, received the highest acclaim from critics and colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic. In the following years, he performed on and produced several albums for that label which stands for outstanding quality in music and sound.

In 1991, Botschinsky held master classes and performed at the "International Music Festival" in Cascavel, Brazil. In March 1992, he was featured at the "New Zealand International Festival Of The Arts" in Wellington, New Zealand, and in July 1992 at the "Copenhagen Jazz Festival" in Denmark. He was teaching at the Conservatory in Hilversum, Holland, a division of the Amsterdam University Of The Arts.

Botschinsky and Kaempfert married in 1990 and moved to Italy. In 1993 they decided to take residence in London.

In 1992 he recorded his solo album "Last Summer" in New York, with Dave Stryker, gt, George Mraz, bs, and Victor Lewis, dr. In summer 1996 his CD, "The Bench", was released, featuring British saxophonist Stan Sulzman. It was recorded with Jakob Fisher, Alex Riel and Jesper Lundgaard at the Jazzpar concerts in Denmark.

In the late nineties Allan Botschinsky joined the Danish composers group The Third Way and intensified his work as a composer of modern classical and crossover music.

Over the last ten years, Allan has intensified his activities in composing contemporary classical music. His works include a concerto for solo trumpet and chamber orchestra, a piece for solo-clarinet, and various pieces for brass- and wind instruments and mixed ensembles. In 2000 he started a close cooperation with publishers Peermusic Classical. He is currently working on a cycle "Colours" for solo-instruments.

©2004 - 2010 Allan Botschinsky