In 1992 Michiel 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 for Best 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 to compose the first Arab opera in world history, Opera Avicenna, and wrote a 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 giant 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". Between 2000 and 2013 Michiel Borstlap was a regular guest on several dutch TV shows such as Vrije Geluiden, DWDD, Goedemorgen Nederland, Koffietijd en Maxx.

In 2013 Michiel signed an exclusive contract with BMG and 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 Oranje-Nassau, at the Oude Kerk (Delft, the Netherlands).

In 2014 his album Frames was released. 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 continued 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 the album 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.

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 can be heard in the atrium of the building.

In 2019 an extended duo-tour with harpist Lavinia Meijer took place, as well as solo-concerts in The Netherlands, Belgium, Baltic States, Russia, South Africa and China. In the summer of 2020 Michiel Borstlap and Techno DJ giant Joris Voorn collaborated in a project where Michiel played 4 songs of the DJ, resulting in an EP. 

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

PRESS QUOTES

Germany - Aachen Zeitung: ‘Magische Welt’

Canada - Ottawa Citizen: ‘Borstlap is a heavyweight’

USA - New York Times: ‘Crystalline piano playing’

USA - Washington Post: ‘His music has the clarity of a Mozart Sonata’

The Netherlands - de Volkskrant 'So intense and melancholic, impressive vocabulary'

The Netherlands - Elsevier 'if anything stands out it's the ability to touch the key which is probably one of the finest touches that I've ever heard'