Allan Gravgaard Madsen's works are “poetically insistant” in their exploration of the tension between standstill and movement. The works consist of a micro world of sounds, sparse textures and limited musical material in which attention are drawn to the physical aspects of the classical instruments used in the composition. Often you can hear noise, air, dampened sounds combined with harmonics, pitch in extreme registers, multiphonics and other extended techniques to create a subtle universe in which one can make out traces of the strict structures underpinning the sonic surface.
Allan Gravgaard Madsen's music has been performed internationally by Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (DK), ensemble recherche (DE), JACK Quartet (US), Mimitabu (SE), SCENATET (DK), Current Saxophone Quartet (NO), Ensemble Lemniscate (CH), Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles (BE), Aksiom (NO) and many more.
He has been active in many corners of the Danish music scene. He has worked cross-genre with artists like Efterklang, Annika Aakjær and Troels Primdahl and for 10 years he was a part of the nonprofit organisation for music and sound art in Aarhus, AUT (founded in 1966). He is a former board member of SNYK and Young Nordic Music Days (UNM) and he has also co-hosted 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 channel The Lake and in 2018 he was invited to be the new artistic director of Århus Sinfonietta.
He has received Talent Prizes from Léonie Sonning Music Fond (2017) and Carl Nielsen & Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's 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 co-composer Anna Katrin Øssursdóttir Egilstrøð. In 2013 he was awarded the Danish Composers’ Society Prize and selected for the prestigious Next Generation-programme at Donaueschinger Musiktage with his piece ‘Tanz Suite’ in 2015.
He studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, with Simon Steen-Andersen, Niels Rønsholdt and Joanna Bailie including additional master classes with François Sarhan, Stefan Prins and Rasmus Zwicki.
From 2018 to 2021 Allan Gravgaard Madsen will be the composer-in-residence at the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra during which he is commissioned to write three orchestral pieces.