Martin Stauning's works always have an immediate and sensuous quality that demonstrates his characteristic, lyrical expression. His music has been called both "crystalline" and "smouldering until evil flowed darkly down the walls." Even before he made his debut as a composer from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2016, he distinguished himself as a composer who truly masters the sound of the orchestra and has a unique instrumental understanding, which also applies to his pieces written for smaller ensembles.
Martin Stauning composes sumptuous soundscapes and small vibrating details so intensely that time and place cease to exist. "He has the ambition and the ideas to create poetic music that touches the listener in new, different ways," said a critic in connection with the premiere of Stauning's orchestral work Liminality in 2018.
Among his notable works in recent years is his Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, which was commissioned by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and written for the orchestra's solo harpist Zachary Hatcher. The work clearly demonstrates Martin Stauning's talent for exploring an enormously intense expression that immediately engages and challenges the listener. "There is an amazing power and at the same time a very clear intention in everything he writes. It is as if his music manages to express every feeling or mood incredibly accurately, ”said Hatcher about the work, which premiered in May 2021. Later this year, a recording of the work will be released as a digital album at Dacapo Records.
In addition to chamber and orchestral works, Martin Stauning also makes performance works - both works written for others and works where the composer himself goes on stage as the performer. An example of the latter is the work Kiebelmacher's Quarters, which was premiered at SPOR Festival 2021. As the only performer on stage, Martin Stauning is wired from head to toe with contact microphones, and the music emerges from his movements as extremely amplified reproductions of even the most trivial actions.
Martin Stauning's works have been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, Athelas Sinfonietta, SCENATET, Nordic String Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Storstrøm, Cikada String Quartet, Neo Quartet and others.
Until 2006, Martin Stauning was a dancer at the Royal Danish Ballet. He is educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Hans Abrahamsen, Bent Sørensen and Niels Rosing-Schow as his teachers. He has received several grants and awards, including the Carl Prize in 2017 and 2020, H.C. Lumbye / Agerby Legat 2018, Léonie Sonnings Talent Award 2016 and Axel Borup-Jørgensen Composer’s Award 2015.