Martijn Padding (Amsterdam, 1956) studied composition with Louis Andriessen and musicology at the University of Utrecht. He is currently professor and head of the composition department of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague Holland. Padding has a fascination for transparency and contrast between the logical and illogical. In his work he seeks the cunning rather than grand gestures. Although his compositions often have a technical point of departure, theatrical elements become more relevant lately in his work.
Padding’s oeuvre ranges from works for solo instrument to large-scale compositions for orchestra and music theater and opera. His compositional aesthetic precludes any hierarchical relationship in music, for instance between modernist and experimental elements, influences from popular culture and history rooted doctrines.
Padding’s compositions are performed by many leading ensembles, soloists and orchestras worldwide. In 2014 the opera Laika, composed at the request of Pierre Audi on a libretto by P.F Thomése and directed by visual artist Aernout Mik, was premiered at the Holland Festival. In 2015 he wrote a farewell work “Ick seg adieu ‘commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the departure of their chief conductor Mariss Jansons.
Padding also made radio documentaries for many years and he was a long time pianist accompanist of modern dance groups led by Krisztina de Châtel and Beppie Blankert. Several years he was the artistic director of Orkest de Volharding.
In 2009 Padding won the UNESCO prize (International Rostrum of Composers) for his First Harmonium Concerto written for Orkest de Ereprijs and Dirk Luimes. In 2011 he received the Edison Classical award for the Asko | Schönberg CD recording of his ‘Three Concerti’. Padding was awarded the Johan Wagenaar prize 2016 for his complete oeuvre. Recently Softly Bouncing for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was completed. Currently Padding works on a triple concerto for english horn, bass clarinet and contrabass bassoon for the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and a new music theatre work with novellist F.P Thomese is in preparation.