Storyteller / Troubadour
Marco Blaauw has an international career as a soloist and is a member of the Ensemble Musikfabrik in Cologne, Germany.
Important focus for Marco Blaauw has always been to further develop the trumpet, it’s playing technique, and to initiate new repertoire. Blaauw works in close collaboration with composers of our time. Many works have been written especially for Blaauw, including compositions by Peter Eötvös, Georg Friedrich Haas, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders and John Zorn. Blaauw worked intensely with Karlheinz Stockhausen. Flying over the orchestra in a gimbaled cage, he played the leading role in Stockhausen’s MICHAELs REISE. He presented the premier of HARMONIES for trumpet for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and has premiered many solo roles from the opera cycle LICHT. In 2015 he started working with La Monte Young on “the Second Dream of the High Tension Line Stepdown Transformer”. Since than he produced many concerts to share La Monte Young’s groundbreaking work for audiences in Europe.
Marco Blaauw’s work is widely documented through radio, television and CD recordings. His sixth solo CD, Angels, was awarded the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2014.”
As a composer, Blaauw was awarded the 2016 Karl Sczuka Prize (support grant) for his first radio play, “deathangel”.
Blaauw has been intensely active as a teacher, f.e. in international master classes and most recently a master’s program at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Projects Marco Blaauw
Since 1993 Marco Blaauw is member of Ensemble Musikfabrik, one of the leading ensembles for contemporary music . The group of 16 international soloists take all business- and artistic- decisions as a collective. Next to their outstanding performances of conducted ensemble repertoire, the ensemble developes interdisciplinary projects, solo- , chamber- and ensemble music repertoire, and works using open form and improvisation.
Master “aus LICHT”
In June 2019, LICHT, a major part of seven operas composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen, will be performed in a single programme, designed by Pierre Audi. This mega project, the largest-ever operatic production, is a joint production of the Royal Conservatoire, the Dutch National Opera and the Holland Festival.
This master program at The Royal Conservatoire The Hague offers a chance for a new generation of musicians to reimagine the monumental work of Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Marco Blaauw is member of the faculty, starting in September 2017.
“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air”.
JF Kennedy, 1963
Global Breath is an international research and concert project comparing the archaic role of the trumpet with its use by pioneering trumpet players today.
Supported by the Kunststiftung NRW and the Société Gavigniès, Blaauw works with a small team on the realization of this project.
Is the sound of the trumpet a basic common link between humans?
Searching worldwide we are interviewing trumpet “pioneers” who have achieved iconic importance on the instrument.
Global Breath serves to create a recording archive of the iconographic sounds, as well as a video archive of the interviews.
Definition Monochrome: “Consisting of or displaying images in black and white or in varying tones of one colour” (based on Greek monokhrōmatos ‘of a single colour’.)
Inspired by the work with La Monte Young, Marco Blaauw started an ensemble for multiple trumpets, exploring the huge variety of trumpet sounds and playing techniques.
The Theatre of Eternal Music Brass Ensemble
Ben Neill, Stephen Burns and Marco Blaauw joined forces in 2014 to form an ensemble of 8 trumpets for performing La Monte Young’s “The Second Dream of The High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer.”
In January 2015, they worked closely with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in their New York Dream House, gaining deep insight in the work and performance practice. After 2 initial performances in the Chelsea Dream House, NYC, the ensemble played performances i.a. in Warsaw, Huddersfield, Paris, Oslo, Amsterdam, Krems, Cologne, Polling and will continue sharing La Monte Young’s groundbreaking work for audiences in Europe in coming years.
Anthony Braxton, Composition 103
short note by Taylor Ho Bynum, close collaborator of Anthony Braxton:
Composition 103 (For Seven Trumpets) features notated music and choreography for seven costumed instrumentalists. Written in 1983, the composition fully exploits the sonic potential of the trumpet: timbral shifts with multiple mutes; sharp articulations contrasting with breathy gestures; half-valved squeezes and virtuosic runs; and ringing unisons, harmonies, and clusters basking in the rich brass overtones. Even the choreographed movements are specific to the instrument, not just manipulating the directionality of the sound, but also referencing the Groucho-inspired stagger of Braxton’s old comrade Lester Bowie.
First performances scheduled in autumn 2018.
through old traditions of free improvisation and contemporary exchange with composers of our time, Blaauw keeps developing performances and repertoire.
Most recent: Julien Jamet, (Glossomanie), Rebecca Saunders, (i.a. YES for ensemble, White for trumpet solo), Georges Apreghis (Intermezzi for 15 soloists), John Zorn (Merlin), Georg Friedrich Haas (I can’t breathe), improvisation duo’s with Marcus Schmickler, Gijsbrecht Roije and Yannis Kiriakides.
Blaauw (coproduction with Deutschland Funk, label BVHaast)
HOT (coproduction with Deutschland Funk, label BVHaast)
blue dog (coproduction with Deutschland Funk, label BVHaast)
Angels (coproduction with Deutschland Funk, label BVHaast)
Michaels Reise (coproduction with Deutschland Funk, label BVHaast)
Improvisations (duo with Gijsbrecht Roije, bass cither, coproduction with World Edition)
play robot dream (duo with Yannis Kyriakides, live electronics, coproduction with Unsounds)
“THE OTHEROOM” is a collaboration between choreographers Heine Avdal (NO/BE) and Yukiko Shinozaki (JP/BE), composer Rolf Wallin (NO/UK), and co-composers/ performers Marco Blaauw, Christine Chapham, Bruce Collings, Melvyn Poore.
In THE OTHEROOM the audience is entering a ritual, the purpose of which is unknown to them, but clearly of utmost importance for those involved.
Everything moves. There are no chairs, the audience is free to move or being moved. Elements of the room, the theatre, become part of the ritual, the movements, and serve as physical manifestations of the musicians’ thoughts and their interactions.
Each musician is seated on a high mobile “pedestal”. Four dancers move the pedestals with the musicians around in the performance space, arranging them in ever new geometric constellations.
Storyteller / Troubadour
It is apparent that Blaauw has the technical and musical prowess to perform these contemporary works with conviction and musical expression. All these works challenge the trumpeters range, flexibility and endurance, yet Blaauw manages to perform with grace and ease… (John Burgess).
2006 June, ITG Journal
Met Zimmermanns trompetconcerto ‘Nobody knows the trouble I see' kregen we de fenomenale speeltechniek van de trompettist Marco Blaauw erbij. Zijn loepzuivere intonatie, de ragfijne details en zijn vermogen om zelfs in de meest verstilde passages iedere toon secuur neer te zetten, gaven het concerto een intense gloed.
2009 De Standaard, Antwerpen
Rebecca Saunders‘ „Alba“ für Trompete solo – hier mal wieder unübertroffen Marco Blaauw, der mit Georg Friedrich Haas‘ Solo „I can't breathe“ elegisch brillierte –
2015, Neue Musik Zeitung
Whatever the material, Blaauw’s readings have a lot of space and dynamics, and always a crystal clear tone that he occasionally ruffles and musses…. It’s a different kind of solo recording, a rich feast.
2006 July, Cadence
...wie Marco Blaauw als Michael-Trompeter inmitten des teuflischen Orchestertreibens von Luzifer in einer Solokadenz um das Schöne und Vollkommene rang, das berührte zutiefst: Für einen Moment schien die Zeit stillzustehen.
2013 Neue Züricher Zeitung
Eötvös’s Snatches of a Conversation, Playing a double bell trumpet, which allowed him to alternate rapidly between different mutes, Marco Blaauw transcended the work's limitations and illuminated its strengths.
2006, February, seen and heard concert review
de oermuzikale Blaauw kan klanken produceren waarvan je het bestaan niet had vermoed, maar hij is ook een poeet. Vooral deze kant krijgt op Angels alle vrijheid.
2015, Het Parool
...wie die auf dem Höhepunkt des wüsten Totentanzes von Marco Blaauw unwiderstehlich gespielte Piccolo-Trompete. Die kommende Überwindung Luzifers, des Widersachers und Bösen...
2013 Süddeutsche Zeitung
“Blaauw” (“Blue” in Dutch.) Blaauw took us on a journey of various sounds and textures - strident moments, far-off echoes, doubling effects...a mesmerizing work of small sections, well punctuated, very introspective.
2007, November, Jerusalem
Harmonien, a fifteen-minute trumpet solo episode from the Fifth Hour (a BBC commission receiving its first performance in the Royal Albert Hall): a series of twenty-four melodies...a dazzling performance by Marco Blaauw.
2008, August, Times online
Only Stockhausen would have dared it...a lone trumpeter came on to the platform and, in between long burnished notes, announced, word by word, the phrase "Lob sei Gott!" - "Praise your God!"
This was the opening gesture of his late work Harmonien, commissioned by the BBC, which was being given its world première by the astonishing Dutch trumpet virtuoso Marco Blaauw. Even for a confirmed atheist like me there was something moving in that naïve, imperious command
2008, August, Telegraph
HARMONIEN (‘Harmonies’)...was an opportunity for solo trumpeter, Marco Blaauw, to shine and he took it – with mesmerising musicality, theatricality, and virtuosity.
2008, August, www.operacritic
Kulenty’s Concerto sounded as perfectly well as on its premiere 8 years ago. […] Marco Blaauw, its addressee, proved once again that he was an ideal performer of the work, and nobody could rival him as far as trumpet virtuoso art and emotional commitment are concerned
2011 Ruch Muzyczny magazine, Poland
LUZIFER’s TANZ: Blaauw’s alternation between unmuted and muted trumpet, to which certain extended techniques were added, was as flawless as one would expect, yet nevertheless deserving of comment. His unsuccessful – dramatically, that is – yet impressive soliloquy marked an especial highpoint.
2008, November, seen and heard international
Insane Climax of minimal Music Festival!
The Second Dream of La Monte Young was easily the highlight of the fifth edition of the World Minimal Music Festival.
2017, Het Parool, Erik Voermans
…The soloist Marco Blaauw was outstanding…managing to communicate Michael's raw rage and indignation even as he was playing lying on his back.
2008 November, MUSICALCRITISISM.COM
… “Michaels Reise” is as arresting as anything you will see in an opera house…and, to top it off, a movable crane attached to an open cage in which the trumpet virtuoso Marco Blaauw, as a punkish, wild-eyed Michael, takes his trip...this mesmerizing Michael soars in his rotating cage above groups of instrumentalists, all the while playing with authority, imagination and, when called for sassiness…
2013 July, New York Times
Marco Blaauw, who swooped bravely about the stage atop a moving crane, trumpeted fearlessly in the title role.
2013 July, Financial Times
There were pre-echoes of the Stravinsky in Pintscher’s own Chute d’Étoiles... Written for two trumpets – the awesome Marco Blaauw and Tine Thing Helseth in this case –a magical wash of alluring, spectral colourings
2013, May, 17, Thescotsman.com
Marco Blaauw, the high-flying hero of Ensemble musikFabrik's Michaels Reise at the Lincoln Center Festival last summer, has a riveting new CD called Angels, containing "sound images of winged creatures"
2013, 12, 17 Alex Ross
...it occurred to me that there could be few other musicians who would be capable—scratch that: allowed!—to perform both Stockhausen and La Monte Young
in two different festivals in the space of a month. From memory (naturally), in both cases. The idea that a single musician could somehow shoulder the gargantuan weight of these ‘titans’ and their verlags is something to contemplate.
lawrencedunn.co.uk, 2 0 1 5 Reviewing HCMF & LCMF 2015
Angels: 10 pieces all feature one or more trumpets, with the remarkable playing of Marco Blaauw as the focus...with the huge range of weird and wonderful sounds that Blaauw can extract from his instrument.
2014, January 16, The Guardian