My double concerto Nachtmusik is now online! What a privilege it has been to work with such amazing artists and nice people! Very honoured to share my first ever release on Dacapo Records with Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (1932-2016) and his For Violin and Orchestra which he also wrote for Christina Åstrand. Nachtmusik was written for Christina Åstrand (violin), Per Salo (piano), Ryan Bancroft (conductor) and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and premiered September 5th 2019 in DR Koncerthuset. Find the album, where you usually buy your music: https://lnk.to/Nachtmusik
On Friday December 13th the album Nachtmusik · For Violin and Orchestra will be released. The recording presents two concertante works from one of my heroes, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and yours truly. Dacapo Records just publish an article about the album. Read it here! (in English!)
On December 13th at 5pm there will be a release-event at Apollo Bar in the occasion of Dacapo Records’ release of the album Nachtmusik / For Violin and Orchestra. The album includes two concerts written by one of the most iconic Danish composers, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and yours truly.
The concerts were recorded by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra with concertmaster Christina Åstrand as soloist in both works – and in my Nachtmusik her duo-partner and husband, Per Salo, joins her.
During the release-event Christina Åstrand, Per Salo and yours truly will talk about the two pieces, our collaboration and listen to excerpts from the two pieces. After the Talk there will be a reception and celebration of the release and the new CD can be purchased at special price. See the facebook-event here!
cover design: Denise Burt
My November newsletter is out! This time mostly focusing on my double concerto Nachtmusik with excerpts from articles, interviews, reviews, podcast and more. Read the newsletter here! (in Danish)
It has just been announced that my double concerto, Nachtmusik, has received a Special Recognition by the Danish Arts Foundation. I’m very thankful for this great honour!
Nachtmusik was commissioned by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (“DR SymfoniOrkestret”) and premiered September 5th 2019 by Christina Åstrand, Per Salo and DR SymfoniOrkestret with Ryan Bancroft conducting.
“[…] Hypnotic. […] Allan Gravgaard Madsen has created a deeply fascinating work, which embodies compositional control and uninhibited sound beauty that can only awake enthusiasm.” (Excerpt from the committee’s motivation.)
9 works have received a Special Recognition this year. Read the full press release here. (in Danish)
Photo: Søren Krabbe / DR
An early Christmas present in the mail for me! Warszawska Jesień / Warsaw Autumn has sent me a 10 CD-box set with recordings from the 2018-edition of the festival, where the always amazing ensemble recherche premiered my SUITE.
I began writing the piece when I participated in ‘Klassen-Arbeit’, the ensemble’s project for young composers, in 2014 and four years later I finished all the five movements, which the ensemble then premiered at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in September 2018. It’s been a privilege and pleasure to get to know such dedicated musicians and nice people.
The 10-CD box set published by the Polish Music Information Centre
Thank you to Cikada and Halldis Rønning for a brilliantly beautiful Norwegian first performance of my SUITE in the dark filled Bodø north of the polar circle Friday November 15th. The concert was a part of the Nordic Music Days, which is a festival for Nordic music founded in 1888!
Photo: Audun Selnes / Pott og Panne
Yesterday the radio show about classical music, Hammer & Cilius, aired a new episode focusing on night music and they invited me to come and talk about what fascinates me about the night and how you hear this in my newest piece Nachtmusik. Practise your Danish and listen to the show here.
Mathias Hammer (left) and Frederik Cilius (right) are hosts at the weekly radio show about classical music
Friday September 20th 2019 Den Korte Radioavis received Best Satire Show of the Year for fifth year in a row at the official radio awards Prix Radio! Producer Nina Ahrenkiel Nielsen and writer Lise Benthin Præstgaard received the award on behalf of the whole team. Thank you for letting me play along once in a while!
photo: Mads Brügger
Radiojournalist Mikkel Bøgeskov Andersson followed my work with my double concerto, Nachtmusik, for 1,5 year from the first meeting with the two soloists Christina Åstrand (violin) and Per Salo (piano) to the first rehearsal with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra three days before the premiere September 5th with Ryan Bancroft conducting. The 65-minutes long podcast is in Danish, but if you want to give it a listen anyway you can do it here.
My double concerto, Nachtmusik had its world premiere Thursday September 5th with Duo Åstrand/Salo and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ryan Bancroft. Edition·S have made a recap of three reviews, where Nachtmusik is described with very fine words. The piece was performed after Verklärte Nacht by Arnold Schönberg and before Jean Sibelius’ 5th Symphony. Read the recap here.
After the premiere of Nachtmusik last week, I talked to my local news paper growing up: Viborg Stifts Folkeblad. We talked about how important the local music scene has been to me growing up and my musical development: The music lessons at Hald Ege School and Viborg Katedralskole, MGK at Viborg Music School and singing in Viborg Cathedral with the choirs there. Something that was not included in the article was also the concerts with classical music in Viborg Musikforening, the collaboration with now closed Det Jyske Ensemble and the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra’s annual concerts in the Viborg Cathedral School Gym hall. Especially the concerts with live symphonic music in the local community have left traces to this day. Thank you!
Earlier today I was a guest in the radio show 4. division at channel P1 at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. I was invited by the hosts Reimer Bo Christensen, Adam Holm and Chris Pedersen to talk about my double concerto Nachtmusik, which was “cultural recommendation of the week”. The interview was in Danish and will start at 01:38:48 on this link.
My publisher Edition·S has made a recap of some of the reviews of the first performance of my double concerto Nachtmusik written for Christina Åstrand, Per Salo, Ryan Bancroft and the DR SymfoniOrkestret! Read it here! It’s been a great privilege and pleasure for me to get to know such dedicated musicians and nice people.
Photo: Søren Krabbe / DR
One night in the end of August I went for a 4-hour walk with journalist Mie Haugaard from Politiken / iByen around Copenhagen. We did the walk in occasion of the first performance of my double concerto Nachtmusik, which I wrote for Duo Åstrand / Salo, conductor Ryan Bancroft and Danish National Symphony Orchestra / DR SymfoniOrkestret. Read the interview here (in Danish)
Photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull for DR
Frederik Bjerre Andersen from the Danish Broadcasting Corporation interviewed me yesterday. We talked about the upcoming premiere of my piece Nachtmusik with Duo Åstrand / Salo, conductor Ryan Bancroft and DR SymfoniOrkestret tonight and many other things. Read the interview here. (in Danish)
Photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull for DR
10 days to the premiere of my double concerto Nachtmusik written for Christina Åstrand, Per Salo, Ryan Bancroft and Danish National Symphony Orchestra / DR SymfoniOrkestret! Practise your Danish and read an interview by Jens Cornelius here. Looking forward to share this piece with you.
Heading back home after a few days in Lucerne. Picture from yesterday’s seminar about notation with the JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Wolfgang Rihm, Dieter Ammann and composers from the Lucerne Festival Academy.
What a treat to be a part of the Badesøen Festival! Thank you to the audience, production team and volunteers for a nice day with great music and positive and cosy atmosphere! Looking forward to the festival next year!
Photo: Malthe Folke Ivarsson
I’m looking very much forward to be hosting the main stage at Badesøen Festival again this year! The one-day festival, arranged by The Lake, Forbrændingen and Friluftsbadet Badesøen in Albertslund just outside Copenhagen, will take place Saturday August 10th from 1pm to the evening. Line-up includes When Saints Go Machine, Michala Petri, Jada, and many more! Tickets and full line-up here!
Very overwhelmed to receive a grant of DKK 100,000 from the Danish Arts Foundation. The grant is given for the continuation of my artistic work in 2019 and this grant helps me to secure the possibility to focus on my work. I want to thank the grant committee with all my heart for this trust and honor.
Press release from the Danish Arts Foundation about the 227 music grants that were awarded this year (in Danish)
Today the full programme for the upcoming Nordic Music Days 2019 was announced. I’m very happy to say that my piece SUITE was selected for performance at this years festival, which is held in Bodø, Norway. The Nordic Music Days was founded in 1888 and is therefore the oldest festival for contemporary music in the Nordic region. This year over 600 works were submitted and the compact program will present about 60 composers from all over the Nordic region! SUITE will be performed @ the Stormen Cultural Center by Norwegian Cikada Ensemble on November 15th 2019.
Later this month I will travel to Freiburg, where ensemble recherche will give SUITE its German premiere in a concert at the EnsembleHaus, May15th. SUITE is dedicated to ensemble recherche, who I wrote the piece for between 2014 and 2018. Looking very much forward to work with them again.
Screen shot of the website for the Nordic Music Days 2019
Thank you to the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, conductor Andreas Delfs, producer Preben Iwan, all the people behind the stage and not least the audience for an intense and inspiring week, which ended with a concert performance of the symphonic song cycle BEINTA by Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð and yours truly on Saturday April 27th.
In the week leading up to the performance we did a studio recording of the piece, which we are looking very much forward to release in the near future. You should too, the orchestra sounds like a million.
A special thanks must also go to the film duo Rammatik for their poetic film elements, the AUT concert organization – Aarhus Unge Tonekunstnere – which commissioned the piece for their 50th anniversary in 2016 and not least the SPOT Festival, which hosted the first performance for almost three years ago. BEINTA is of course the result of the artistic collaboration between Anna Katrin and I, but the piece is also the testimate of strong local collaborations. Thank you Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, SPOT and AUT for this opportunity. May others be as fortunate as we were.
Photo: Klaus Kehlet Hansen
BEINTA is a symphonic song-cycle of darkness and longing, about daring to set out into the unknown. Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð and I wanted to explore and combine sonorities from contemporary classical music and alternative pop accompanied by the raw, atmospheric work of Faroese film duo Rammatik. The piece was premiered in 2016 as a part of AUT‘s 50th Anniversary at the SPOT Festival in collaboration with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. This year the piece will be performed in Symfonisk Sal, Musikhuset Aarhus, Saturday April 27th 2019 at 1pm. Tickets here!
Photo: Ditte M. Joensen
I was invited to watch and talk about the Chuck Norris-movie Top Dog in the podcast Hakkedrengene. Practise your Danish and listen to the podcast here.
In the beginning of the year, Nikolaj Koppel and I worked on a new piano arrangement of the song Amsterdam by Danish rock band Nephew. The arrangement will be performed by Nikolaj at Nephew’s 12-concert Ring-i-Ring Arena Tour 2019, which Nikolaj was invited to participate in. 11 out of 12 concerts are sold out, so hurry up if you want tickets! The tour begins today and ends March 30th.
Nephew’s website, where you can buy tickets
Thank you to Reader in Composition Richard Causton from the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, for inviting me to present a Talk about my music this week. It was very nice to meet some of the composers studying at the University and to visit Cambridge for the first time.
Unfortunately I didn’t have as much time to explore the city as I would’ve liked, but courtesy of RIchard Causton I got a special guided tour in King’s College and not least the Chapel. The vaulted ceiling was overwhelmingly beautiful.
The astonishing vaulted ceiling in King’s College Chapel, a building constructed from 1446 to 1531.
On September 5th and 6th 2019 my new double concerto for violin, piano and orchestra, Nachtmusik, will be premiered @ DR Koncerthuset by Christina Åstrand and Per Salo with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and – just announced – conductor Ryan Bancroft! I feel very thankful for this opportunity to work with such skilled, encouraging and supportive musicians! Ticket sales will open on March 1st 2019!
Click on the picture for info about the concert (in DK)
Thank you to Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen and conductor Jean Thorel for their great performance of my Ouverture yesterday at Johan Borups Højskole! It was a very nice concert, where you could also experience a premiere of a new monumental work, ENSEMBLE, by Simon Christensen and a Danish first performance of Missy Mazzoli‘s In Spite of All This from 2005.
Applause after the premiere of Simon Christensen’s new 40-minute piece ‘ENSEMBLE’
My piece Ouverture opens the show, when Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen performs the concert titled ‘Old formats – new works’ in Copenhagen this coming Sunday. The piece was originally commissioned by ensemble recherche with support from the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung and performed by them a number of times. This will be the first performance of the piece in Denmark, and also the first time Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen performs a work by me. The concert also includes the Danish first performance of In spite of all this by Missy Mazzoli and the premiere of ENSEMBLE by Simon Christensen. Read all about it here (in Danish)!
This year Aarhus Symphony Orchestra will premiere my new arrangement of Glade Jul, Dejlige Jul (“Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht”) at their annual Christmas Concerts. It was written for soloists Frederikke Kampmann (soprano), Anders Christensen (tenor) and school choirs from Aarhus and Ole Faurschou will be conducting. The arrangement will be premiered in Symphonic Hall, Musikhuset Aarhus, December 19th at 7pm and repeated in the same hall by Ole Faurschou, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and Akademisk Kor Århus December 20th 7:30pm.
Photo: Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
December 1st to 3rd Århus Sinfonietta and conductor Rei Munakata will tour the Central Denmark Region with Christmas Music by Juliana Hodkinson, Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen, Birgitte Alsted and Line Tjørnhøj performed at three concerts. The last two pieces were commissioned by the Sinfonietta for this project. To weave all the pieces together, I have composed three new intermezzi for guitar, celesta, violin, cello and voice to be premiered by the ensemble and Anna Ottertun (voice) during this project. I hope that you will find your way to one of the concerts with this very exciting take on Christmas Music and the traditions connected to the season. See more info here! (in Danish)
“Gaude! Gaude!” December 8th the Swedish chamber choir Riddarholmens Kammerkör and conductor Stefan Boström will perform my arrangement of the hymn Veni, veni Emmanuel at the Gustaf Adolfskyrkan in Stockholm. The two performances will be the Swedish first performance of the arrangement, which was recorded by Vocalgroup Concert Clemens and conductor Carsten Seyer-Hansen in 2016. Drop by the concerts with Riddarholmens Kammerkör, if you are in Stockholm December 8th or listen to the arrangement with Concert Clemens on Spotify here!
Photo: Riddarholmens Kammerkör