Gravgaard Madsen, Allan

Born in 1984, Danish composer, arranger and curator. He studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus with Simon Steen-Andersen, Niels Rønsholdt and Joanna Bailie, and took part in masterclasses given by François Sarhan, Stefan Prins and Rasmus Zwicki. 

In his “poetically insistent” works, he explores the tension between stillness and movement. His compositions make up a microworld of sound with sparse textures and limited musical material, drawing attention to the physical aspects of playing classical instruments. Often listeners can hear in them noise, air, dampened sounds combined with harmonics, sounds in the extreme registers, multiphonics and other extended techniques, creating a subtle universe in which it is possible to distinguish traces of the strict structures underpinning the sonic surface. 

Allan Gravgaard Madsen’s music has been performed by the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), ensemble recherche (Germany), JACK Quartet (USA), Mimitabu (Sweden), SCENATET (Denmark), Current Saxophone Quartet (Norway), Ensemble Lemniscate (Switzerland), Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles (Belgium), Aksiom (Norway), and many more. He has been active in many corners of the Danish music scene, participating in crossover projects with artists such as Efterklang, Annika Aakjær, and Troels Primdahl. For ten years he was a member of AUT, a non-profit organisation for music and sound art (founded in 1966). He is also a former board member of the National Centre for Contemporary Music and Sound Art (SNYK) and the Young Nordic Music Days (UNM), and cohost of the radio show Taktløs on P2, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s channel for classical music. Since September 2014, he has been a guest curator at the online radio channelThe Lake and in 2018, he was invited to be the new artistic director of the Århus Sinfonietta. 

Allan Gravgaard Madsen has received the Léonie Sonning Talent Prize (2017) and the Carl Nielsen & Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Grant (2016) as well as a Special Prize from the Danish Arts Foundation for the symphonic song cycle BEINTA (2016), which he shared with his cocomposer Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð. In 2013 he was awarded the Danish Composers’ Society’s Prize and in 2015 he was selected for the prestigious Next Generation programme at Donaueschinger Musiktage with his piece Tanz Suite. 

From 2018 until 2021 he will be the composer in residence at the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. He is also currently working on a new double concerto for violin, piano and orchestra for Duo Åstrand / Salo and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, which will be premiered in 2019. 

Selected works: A moment for orchestra (2005–6), Dharma Dream Eater for ensemble (2006), Piece for viola and piano (2005–7), Lament of Job for soprano, tenor and male choir (2005– 7), So Debris for soprano (2006–7),Meditation for choir and organ (2007), Wind Episodes for ensemble (2007), Glass Variations for ensemble (2007–8), Guest Among Shadows for clarinet, cello and piano (2008), Gloria for choir and ensemble (2008), Waves for nine trumpets (2008–9), Variations for eight keyboard instruments (2008–10), Crystal Tapestry for string quartet (2010), for guitar (2011), Intermezzi for percussion and piano (2011), Silberlichtfor voice and string quartet (2012), Standstill. Dust for 12 pianos (2012), Boom for transistor radio, three double basses and cardboard on floor (2012), Intermezzi for string quartet (2012), Presents for video (2012), Det er så yndigt at følges ad for alto saxophone and tape (2012), Nachtstück for accordion and cello (2012), Match for saxophonist and assistant (2013), Schattentanz for ensemble (2013), Tik Tak for alto flute and cello (2013), Schattenschwarz for prepared saxophone quartet (2013), Weiss. Schwarz. Blau for piano trio (2013), Unvollendetfor orchestra (2013), [six] for soprano, countertenor, percussion and piano (2014), Concerto in G Minor for piano and strings (2014), Ragtime for alto flute, cello, percussion and piano (2014), Tanz-Suite for ensemble (2013–15), Air for piccolo, violin and viola (2014– 15), Intermezzi for voice, three clarinets and double bass (2015– 16), Aria for voice, three clarinets and orchestra (2015–16), BEINTA for voice and orchestra (2015–16), Overture for ensemble (2016), DEBUT for performer, video and sound (2015–17), music to the film Musikkens Børn (2017), Suite for ensemble (2014–18), Fanfare for brass ensemble, percussion and organ (2018), Nachtmusik for violin, percussion and organ (2018–19).