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Borg, Kim

Borg, Kim

Borg, Kim, Finnish bass, teacher, and composer; b. Helsinki, Aug. 7, 1919; d. April 28, 2000. He studied voice with Heikki Teittinen in Helsinki (1936-41; 1945-47), where he also received training in theory and composition with Leo Funtek and Aarre Merikanto, and then pursued vocal studies with Andrejewa de Skilondz in Stockholm (1950–59). He also studied biochemistry at the Helsinki Inst. of Technology (diploma, 1946). In 1947 he made his formal concert debut in Helsinki, and in 1951 his formal operatic debut in Àrhus as Colline in La Bohème. In addition to his concert appearances, he sang regularly in opera in Helsinki and Copenhagen (1952–70), Stockholm (1963–75), and Hamburg (1964–70). On Oct. 30, 1959, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Count Almaviva, remaining on its roster until 1962. In 1961 he appeared as Boris Godunov in Moscow. He retired from the stage in 1980. From 1972 to 1989 he was a prof. at the Royal Danish Cons. of Music in Copenhagen. He publ. the books Suomalainen laulajanaapinen (ABC for a Finnish Singer; Helsinki, 1972) and Muistelmia (Memoirs; Helsinki, 1992). Among his compositions were 2 syms., Sinfonietta for Strings, a Trombone Concerto, a Concerto for Double Bass and Strings, chamber music, a Stabat Mater, and songs. He also prepared orchestrations of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death and Without Sun, and of Wolf’s Michelangelo Lieder. In addition to Boris Godnunov, he also had success in such roles as Osmin, Don Giovanni, King Marke, Hans Sachs, Don Carlos, Pimen, Gremin, Rossini’s Don Basilio, and Debussy’s Arkel.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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