Anders Hillborg gained his first musical experience singing in choirs and he was also involved in various forms of improvised music. From 1976 to 1982 he studied counterpoint, composition and electronic music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where his teachers included Gunnar Bucht, Lars-Erik Rosell, Arne Mellnäs and Pär Lindgren. Brian Ferneyhough, who was a guest lecturer at the College of Music on several occasions, was also an important source of inspiration.

Apart from occasional teaching positions, Hillborg has been a full-time freelance composer since 1982. His sphere of activity is extensive, covering orchestral, choral and chamber music as well as music for films and pop music.

1983 composed muoayiyaoum for mixed choir

1983-85 composed Celestial Mechanics for 17 solo strings and percussion

1986-89 composed Clang & Fury for large orchestra

1990 professor in composition in Malmö, Sweden

1991 The Christ Johnson Prize for Celestial Mechanics

1992 Celestial Mechanics selected work at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers

1995 composer-in-residence at the Avantti! festival in Porvoo, Finland with Magnus Lindberg and Franco Donatoni

1995 Violin Concerto selected work at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers

1996 Grammy (the Swedish Gramophone Award) as Composer of the Year for the CD "Jag vill se min älskade komma från det vilda" ("I want to see my beloved coming from the wild")

1997 Christ Johnson Prize for Violin Concerto

1999 featured composer at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Composer Festival

2002 The orchestra piece Dreaming River wins 1st prize at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers

2003 featured composer at the Soundstreams Festival, Toronto, Canada

2005 featured composer at the Avantti!-festival in Porvoo, Finland

2008 composer-in-residence at The Aspen Music Festival

2010-2012 composer-in-residence at Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS), Uppsala, Sweden,
Björn Wittrock, director

2011 world premiere of Cold Heat with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and David Zinman conducting. (January 12)

2011 world premiere of Sirens with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Master Chorale, A S von Otter, Hila Plitmann, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (November 25)

22-31 January 2012 Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition at University of Toronto

2012 Grammy (the Swedish Gramophone Award) for Best Classical CD of the Year for the album Eleven Gates featuring 4 orchestral works by Hillborg.

2013 First recipient of the Gannevik Prize

2013 April 26 world premiere of The Strand settings in Carnegie Hall, NY, with Renée Fleming and The New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert.

2014 July-September - Fellow at Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy.

2014 November 13-20 featured composer at the annual International Composer's Festival at The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic

2015 composer-in-residence with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester season 15/16

2015 Awarded the Music Export Prize by the Swedish Government 

2016 Grammy (the Swedish Gramophone Award) for Best Classical CD of the Year for the album Sirens

2016 World premiere of Violin Concerto nr 2 with Lisa Batiashvili, Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic

2017 March 2: world premiere of Bach Materia with Pekka Kuusisto, violin, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Tomas Dausgaard, conductor.

2018 April 21: world premiere of Mantra - Elegy

2018 September 16: world premiere of Duo with Jakob Koranyi, cello, and Juho Pohjonen, piano

2019 January 16: world premiere of Sound Atlas with London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Marin Alsop, conductor

2019 October 12: world premiere of The Breathing of the World with St Jakob's Chamber Choir, Gry Graden, conductor, Filip Graden,cello, Theo Hillborg, soprano saxophone

2020 February 6: world premiere of Through Lost Landscapes with Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, Andrew Gourlay, conductor

2020 February 22: featured composer at BBC's Total Immersion

2020 October 23: world premiere of Cello Concerto in Antwerpen by Nicolas Altstaedt and Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Fabien Gabel, conductor

2021 March: composer-in-residence with Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

2021 March 11: world premiere of string orchestra version of Kongsgaard Variations, Christian Karlsen, conductor, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

2021 October 21: world premiere of Viola Concerto with Lawrence Power, viola, Andrew Manze, conductor, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

2022 September 7, Lucerne Festival: world premiere of Peacock Tales, Millennium version for Soprano Saxophone and orchestra, Valentine Michaud, soprano saxophone, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

2022 September 14, Paris: world premiere of Skysong with Ensemble Intercontemporain, Matthias Pintscher, conductor

2022-23 composer-in-residence with Sinfonieorchester Basel

2023 August: composer in residence at Staunton Music Festival, Virginia

2023 October 12: World premiere of Piano Concerto 2 with Emanuel Ax, Esa-Pekka Salonen and San Francisco Symphony

2024 January 18, 19: portrait concert with Swedish Radio Orchestra, The Radio Choir, The Eric Ericson Choir, soloists Ida Falk Winland, Hannah Holgersson, Eldbjörg Hemsing, Theo Hillborg, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen

2024 February 22-24: New York premiere of Piano Concerto 2, Emanuel Ax, piano, Sun Sun Kim, conductor

Anders Hillborg's orchestral music has been performed by many major conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Alan Gilbert, Sakari Oramo, Gustavo Dudamel, David Zinman, Andrew Manze, Andrey Boreyko, Yannick Nézet-Seguin, Michael Gielen, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Susanna Mälkki, Hannu Lintu, John Storgårds, Daniel Harding, and many others.

Orchestras that have performed his music include Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Bayerishe Rundfunk Orchester, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Orchestra,, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonie, Helsinki Philharmonic.

He has received commissions from leading performing organisations such as Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zürich, New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Gothenburg Symphony among others. Notable musicians he's worked with include Esa-Pekka Salonen, clarinetist Martin Fröst, mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, soprano Renée Fleming, violinist Lisa Batiashvili, violist Lawrence Power, choir conductor Eric Ericson.