Belgian-born guitarist Maarten Stragier has garnered praise from such luminaries as Oscar Ghiglia and Eliot Fisk for his musical sensitivity, intelligence and unflagging desire for innovation. An ardent advocate of contemporary music, Maarten has brought new works to audiences both in Europe and the US, performing solo or in affiliation with the Ictus ensemble, the Callithumpian consort, the Mimesis ensemble, the KOA Guitar Quartet and the Moriarty Company.
Maarten started his musical education at the Tienen Music Academy, from which he graduated maxima cum laude in 2003. He pursued further studies at the Royal conservatory of Ghent under Yves Storms and later at the Royal conservatory of Brussels under Antigoni Goni, where, in 2009, he graduated magna cum laude from the master of music program in guitar performance. Recently, Maarten has moved from Brussels to Boston to pursue the Doctor of Musical Arts degree under Eliot Fisk at the New England Conservatory.
As a member of the KOA Guitar Quartet, Maarten performed extensively throughout Belgium and the Netherlands, recorded the full CD KOA (2005) and performed for a live broadcast on the Flemish classical radio Klara in BOZAR, Brussels (2008). In 2010, he founded The Moriarty Company, a contemporary chamber music group based in the cities of New York and Boston. The Moriarty company combines staples of the contemporary repertoire with promising voices of the twenty first century and economy of instrumentation. Its aim is the creation of a flexible, yet highly practical ensemble format with the goal of achieving a more fluent concert experience and bringing new music to venues of all size and means.
As a freelance musician, Maarten performed with the Ictus Studios Ensemble (Brussels), the Mimesis ensemble (New York) and the Callitumpian Consort (Boston).
In his solo work, Maarten straddles the traditional and the experimental. These two extremes not only inform Maarten’s interpretations, but also his programming, in which the old and the new are often combined in symbiotic elucidation.