"in the pit, Tobias Ringborg and the Scottish Opera Orchestra pay scintillating attention to the score, holding the tension on a tight rein, and whipping up a real storm"
Sarah Urwin Jones, The Times
"Directed from the fortepiano by Tobias Ringborg, the orchestral playing is bold and imaginatively coloured"
Anna Picard, Independent of Sunday
"Most of the drama comes from the pit, thanks to Tobias Ringborg's big-boned musical approach."
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times
Tobias Ringborg has established himself on the concert platform as conductor and violinist, as in the opera house. His career started in 1994 when he won the prestigious Soloist Prize in Sweden. The same year he graduated from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and his violin studies continued at the Juilliard School in New York. He has appeared with every Swedish and several of the Scandinavian orchestras, both as soloist and conductor.
As an operatic conductor he made his debut in 2001 at the Stockholm Folkoperan and has since then been closely associated with the Royal Swedish Opera. He has also conducted productions at Malmö Opera, the Norwegian Opera, the Danish National Opera and Oper Leipzig. In 2005, he made his London debut with the English Chamber Orchestra at the Barbican.
In recent seasons Tobias Ringborg has conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic at the 2011 Nobel Prize Ceremony, Rigoletto at the Royal Swedish Opera and Scottish Opera, La Bohème, Don Giovanni and Macbeth at Opera North, Idomeneo in Malmö, Turandot and L’elisir d’amore in Gothenburg, Turandot at the Royal Swedish Opera, Die Fledermaus in Oslo, and Madama Butterfly at New Zealand Opera.
In 2015/16, performances included Turandot at Dalhalla, Tosca at New Zealand Opera, L’elisir d’amore at Opera North and Idomeneo at Garsington Opera.
This season’s highlights include I Puritani at Danish National Opera, where he also conducts a series of concerts to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary, Le nozze di Figaro at Scottish Opera, Aniara for Malmö Opera, and Giordano’s Fedora at Royal Swedish Opera
In 2010 Tobias Ringborg was awarded the Herbert Blomstedt Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and in 2011 he was elected a member of that academy (founded in 1771 by King Gustavus III).
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Royal Swedish Opera (December 2016)
The orchestra of the Royal Opera House, conducted by Tobias Ringborg, did a very good job of driving the action forward and giving the singers a rich musical carpet on which to shine. Ringborg conducted with force, never timid or afraid of covering his singers, but nevertheless careful of their needs. The strings provided a lustrous wall of sound when required. Several elegant details in the complex score were correctly highlighted. A very good performance.
Laura Servidei, Bachtrack ****
[The bicycle scene] has all the fun details in the score as Tobias Ringborg elegantly highlights. He directs with great sensitivity and precision, a perfect counterpart to Loy’s precise touch on the scene.
Bo Löfvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet
... the glossy orchestral sound Tobias Ringborg gets out of the Royal Orchestra ...
Per Feltzin, Sveriges Radio
The Royal Orchestra was led by Tobias Ringborg, who managed to bring an almost perfect representation of the work with the orchestra. Great compliment.
Peter Franken, place de l’opera
"Fedora" is a suspenseful melodrama dressed in gorgeous clothes and lush Pucciniesque music, which orchestra conductor Tobias Ringborg brings out and enhances so that you really do not get why nobody played this opera in Scandinavia before. The Royal Orchestra plays it sensitively and extremely balanced. Nothing is lost.
Gunilla Brodrej, Expressen
Ringborg and the Royal Orchestra and the Royal Opera Chorus make this Fedora resurrection are unforgettable.
Eleonore Büning, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The third musical star is conductor Tobias Ringborg with his terrific grip on Giordano's very colourful tonal language.
Camilla Lundberg, svt
Tobias Ringborg conducts with audible passion and excitement. The first bars already move the audience to a state of ecstasy, which … does not lift until the finale note. He plays with the passion in the ravishing and billowing melodies and together with Royal Orchestra he makes the evening perfect.
Jochen Rüth, Opernfreund
Garsington Opera (June 2016)
Streamlined by well-judged cuts, conductor Tobias Ringborg’s reading was emotionally intense. The orchestra was excellent, its ensemble tightly controlled, the sound country-house deluxe; the chorus supplied vast reserves of energy.
Flora Willson, The Guardian (4 stars)
Tobias Ringborg conducts a practical edition ... with electrifying momentum. A magnificent realisation of one of the greatest of serious operas.
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times
In the pit the orchestral thunderstorms thundered and raged, Tobias Ringborg an expert hand at the helm...
Rebecca Franks, The Times (4 stars)
In the pit, the orchestra showed themselves to be well versed in the prevailing style of period-inflected modern-instrument performance, playing with real punch and precision; ... The conductor Tobias Ringborg favoured drama over grandeur, perhaps, but never let any moments of Mozart’s score, full of so much glorious music, feel underplayed. All told, this was an imposing and impressive achievement.
Hugo Shirley, Opera Magazine
There was no doubting the conductor’s living and breathing the music. His enthusiasm was infectious; the orchestra’s vivid response ... was not the least of the evening’s special qualities.
Mark Berry, Boulezian & Opera Today
Heavily cut for a summer audience, Mozart's long opera comes in at under two and a half hours of music... But what riches remain, and how fabulously the cast and chorus sing under Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg. ... the stylish, ever sensitive Ringborg.
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage (4 stars)
The terrific chorus and orchestra are impressive under Tobias Ringborg, a newcomer to the Garsington family.
Claudia Pritchard, CultureWhisper (5*)
Tobias Ringborg, making his Garsington debut, directed the orchestra from the fortepiano. He is most definitely a singers’ conductor, and the playing on this occasion was of a chamber music quality ... The grand, elemental effusions were well managed. The cast, production team and orchestra were given a rapturous ovation, and rightly so.
Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH (4.5*)
There is orchestral authority, too, from conductor Tobias Ringborg in the very first bars, with dotted rhythms tense and commanding before a swing into a lightning-flash seascape. ... Ringborg does emphasise the through-composition of the drama, amazing for 1781...
David Nice, The Arts Desk
... the orchestra responds to conductor Tobias Ringborg’s flexible approach with a notable sense of historically informed style.
George Hall, The Stage (4 stars)
The orchestra plays magnificently under the direction of Garsington newcomer Tobias Ringborg.
Tim Hughes, Oxford Times
Mr Ringborg gets an urgent, wholly committed performance from his orchestra of Mozart’s music.
Paul Levy, Arts Journal
Opera Arias with Pumeza Mathsikiza
Decca (rel. June 2016)
The conductor Tobias Ringborg ensures a sequence of secure and characterful accompaniments, with the Turandot extract a particular highlight.
George Hall, Opera Magazine
Orchestra of Opera North (February 2016)
Ringborg vividly brought out the dramatic contrasts within [Tchaikovsky’sFantasy-Overture: Romeo and Juliet]. Equally powerful, in the second half, was his intense treatment of the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, the composer’s own concert version of the overture and Isolde’s Act 3 aria that bookend an opera devoted to the transfiguring power of love.
Ron Simpson, The Reviews Hub
New Zealand Opera (September 2015)
You will be spellbound from Puccini's dramatic opening chords, delivered by a magnificent Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, under a conductor, Tobias Ringborg, who knows how to make the music bloom.
William Dart, NZ Herald
What really made the evening compelling was the spellbinding musical direction of Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg. Here is a musician who completely understands Puccini’s music; when to move forward to avoid any sentimentality-filled wallowing and when to pull back to create a mesmeric moment. He created plenty of tension to go with that on stage, but also delivered superbly controlled rubato. Line was always paramount, making each new musical episode seem logically born out of the previous. The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra followed their conductor’s lead with maximum flexibility. Special attention should be called to the gloriously soaring string tone doubling the voices in the love duet and the plaintive wind solos so atmospheric in the opening of the last act. It is fantastic to hear the orchestra as an equal dramatic player in its own right, here matching the stellar contributions of those on stage.permeating out from the thuribles.
Simon Holden, Bachtrack
In the pit Tobias Ringborg and the Auckland Philharmonia gave a powerfully dramatic performance of the score that served both the singers and the work well, while the chorus contributed strongly particularly with their powerful and chilling rendition of the ‘Te Deum’ at the end of Act 1.
Michael Sinclair, The Opera Critic
The APO delivers magnificent committed playing, with a thrilling dynamic range under the faultless direction of Tobias Ringborg. The pianissimo, the vibrant string playing and the full throated roar of brass and percussion is never less than spot on.
Penny Dodd, Theatre Review
Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg knows every word and every note of this opera and conducts the Auckland Philharmonia with immense energy from the pit.
Takeshi Ito, Stuff
The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Tobias Ringborg was wonderfully polished and clear.
Sam Jury, Broadway World
Dalhalla Opera (August 2015)
... a musically ... magnificent performance [by the cast] as well as the sonorous and well disciplined chorus, all under Tobias Ringborg's fiery command.
Av Lars Sjöberg, Expressen
The orchestra, Dalasinfoniettan combined with Gävle Symfoniorkester, sounds fine under Tobias Ringborg.
Claes Wahlin, Aftonbladet
The combined orchestras of Dalasinfoniettan and Gävle Symfoniorkester sounded exquisitely well. Tobias Ringborg conducts a grand and revolutionarily dramatic Puccini, without ever becoming contrived - fully in tune with the production's magnificent visuals.
Av Bo Löfvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet
Scottish Opera (May 2015)
Scottish Opera ended its 2014-15 season on a high with this solidly cast, superbly conducted revival. The transformative agent was Tobias Ringborg… Ringborg has two essentials for a Verdi conductor: temperament and style. The former was evident from the vitality he drew from the very first choral tableau, and his knack of drawing the threads of a scene into a natural, powerful climax; the latter in his sensitive, never manicured phrasing of the aria accompaniments, always giving his singers the right support and allowing the music to breathe. Verdi’s instrumental voicing pulsated under his care…The immaculately tuned succession of chords at the start of the prison scene was another pleasurable detail. Ringborg is the most inspiring Verdi conductor I’ve heard since Richard Armstrong; I can’t think of higher praise.
Andrew Clark, Opera Magazine
With the conductor, Tobias Ringborg, encouraging razor-sharp rhythms and tubby, ominous bass lines from the orchestra and the chorus delivering stonking denunciations of everyone, this is true Verdian music-making.
Richard Morrison, The Times ****
In the pit, Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg elicits a renewed sense of purpose from the Scottish Opera Orchestra. There is fire in their belly, tempered nonetheless by Ringborg’s insistence on clarity of texture and energised, but disciplined, pacing. He reacts instinctively to the nuances of the singers, without allowing the momentum to falter.
Ken Walton, The Scotsman ****
Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg keeps the orchestra crisp and the pacing neat...
Kate Molleson, The Guardian
... the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by Tobias Ringborg, plays as well as it has all season. ... Ringborg subsequently achieved a near-perfect balance between pit and stage.
Keith Bruce, Herald Scotland ****
Under the brisk baton of Tobias Ringborg the Orchestra of Scottish Opera sound full blooded throughout.
Lauren Humphreys, The Public Reviews ****
This is also a distinguished night for the company’s orchestra and chorus, both of them providing taut music-making and unstoppable dramatic momentum. Much of the credit goes to Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg, who pushes the score along as if he had real fire and brimstone in his veins.
George Hall, The Stage ****
Down in the pit, Tobias Ringborg was managing to get the most sensitive playing out of the orchestra that has been heard in the Theatre Royal all year. Consistently quite reserved tempi allowed the singers the chance to shine and there was a wonderful (and in Glasgow, rarely achieved) balance between the pit and the stage. At just one moment in the third act did it seem that there was the danger of everything going out of kilter but this was soon rectified. Musically this production was something of a triumph.
Kelvin Holdsworth, Opera Britannica ****
Le Nozze di Figaro
Scottish Opera (October 2016)
I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a single note of Ringborg’s Mozartian soundworld.
Andrew Clark, Opera Magazine
The orchestra, conducted by Tobias Ringborg, deserves mention for being a notch higher than Scottish Opera’s usual standard, delivering Mozart’s score with vivid attention to detail and a fine dynamic range.
Gregor Forbes, Bachtrack ****
Conducted by Tobias Ringborg, a confident orchestra sets to at a very brisk clip and plays with spirit and precision throughout...
Keith Aitken, Scottish Daily Express *****
The musicians, under Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg, emerge from the evening with the great credit.
Keith Bruce, The Herald
But it’s in the pit where extraordinary things are happening. It’s been a while since the Scottish Opera Orchestra has sounded so energised and psyched up as they were on opening night under Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg, leading from the fortepiano. From the opening note of the overture, he has us on the edge of our seats. This is vigorous, articulate Mozart, the strings – particularly the cellos – digging in with swashbuckling determination, yet maintaining an airborne topping of refinement and clarity. Ringborg finds unexpected gems in the wind writing, like the bassoon motif that suddenly pokes through the texture to make its mischievous point. The dances sparkle with feisty, Rameau-like panache. Ringborg’s bristling musical vision is the distinguishing feature of this stage-friendly Figaro. Indeed it drives it, presenting the orchestral score as the spiritual engine room of the opera. It’s where the emotional welly of this production lies.
Ken Walton, The Scotsman ****
There is a drive and verve from the pit, where Tobias Ringborg has the Orchestra of Scottish Opera shimmering.
Thom Dibdin, The Stage
...conducted by Tobias Ringborg, this is a more gripping and surprising Rigoletto than any I can remember. The visual aesthetic - bright single-colour costumes against a black
background, perfectly lit...finds an echo in Ringborg's taut, extremely stylish conducting: he is a find. Ringborg ensures that everyone, including the chorus, sounds well schooled.
Andrew Clark, Financial Times
Down in the pit, Tobias Ringborg and the Scottish Opera Orchestra pay scintillating attention to the score, holding the tension
on a tight rein, and whipping up a real storm. The duets soar and the penultimate scene crackles...with lightning, both visually
and in the pit.
Sarah Urwin Jones, The Times
And honours go to the precise and stylish conducting of Tobias Ringborg, who has musicianship coming from every pore, while
the orchestra played its socks off for him.
Michael Tumelty, The Herald
Tobias Ringborg drives the house band through Verdi's stormy score with pace and panache...
Keith Aitken, Scottish Daily Express
Tobias Ringborg Opera Repertoire
Ungdom og Galskab (Youth and Folly)
Cristina di Svezia
La Clemenza di Tito
Il Barbiere di Siviglia
The Bartered Bride
Ariadne auf Naxos
Loranga, Masarin och Dartanjang