Martin Stauning writes intense and evocative music. His works always have an immediate and sensuous quality demonstrating Stauning's distinctive, personal, lyrical expression.
Originally educated and worked as a dancer at The Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Martin holds a Postgraduate Advanced Diploma (Soloist) in Composition from The Royal Danish Academy of Music. Martin has counted among his teachers Hans Abrahamsen, Bent Sørensen and Niels Rosing-Schow.
His works are often characterized by a duality. He frequently explores the tremendously dramatic and intense expression with large volume and clear form, immediately engaging and challenging the listener. And he manages to turn that expression around, gradually dissolving the structure so that the music practically seeks within itself a quiet dream world of beautiful soundscapes.
Martin writes for any combination of instruments, with or without electronics, as well as working in sound performance and installation. Martin has written incidental music for plays and music for dance and theatre.
Martin is also an active performer and has performed works by John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Jeppe Ernst and himself.
Written about Martin's music:
"Stauning's music is characterized by an exquisite material economy, and [it] conveys a distinctive poetic fragility."
“The highly concentrated material in Martin Stauning’s Verdorrte Räume (2015) hits us with great power. Rarely does one experience an avantgarde piece in which the ingredients are so few and almost boiled down to a kind of concentrate.”
"...a presentation of what Martin Stauning does so well: Writing lyrical music with a withheld breath that captures the listener while the instruments - through small, sliding movements - create surprising spaces, moments of insecurity – and not least of beauty.”
Martin is the recipient of the Axel Borup-Jørgensen Composer Prize 2015 and was awarded a Léonie Sonning Talent Prize in 2016. Martin received the 2017 Carl Prize - Composer of the Year, Small Ensemble and in 2018 the H.C. Lumbye / Agerby Prize. In 2020, Martin received another Carl Prize - Composer of the Year, Small Ensemble for the work Stèle à Six Faces.