Belgian guitarist Maarten Stragier’s refreshing take on concert programming and a passion for contemporary music take his performances from the original to the unusual. His musical sensitivity and innovative spirit have brought him to European and American audiences, on such stages as BOZAR in Brussels; Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, the ICA in Boston; the Kennedy Center in Washington DC; Merkin Hall in New York; and the Palazzo Chigi in Siena. He has appeared in festivals such as Tanglewood, Ars Musica, Boston GuitarFest, the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, Composit, and Klara in het Paleis.
Committed to invigorating musical conversation, Maarten frequently collaborates with composers. He has worked with Tristan Murail, Salvatore Sciarrino, Philippe Leroux, Chaya Czernowin, Davide Ianni, Roger Reynolds, and Christian Wolff.
In addition to his solo career, Maarten recently joined forces with Vincent Daoud (saxophone), Tom de Cock (percussion), and Nicolas Crosse (double bass) to form the Aporia Survival Kit, and with accordionist Luca Piovesan to form Promenade Sauvage. In an extraordinary effort of musical innovation, these ensembles are collaborating with young as well established composers to bring entire concert programs of new compositions. With dedication habitually reserved for the standard repertoire, they wish to share the full potential of a fresh musical present.
As a freelance artist, he has performed with the Ictus ensemble (Brussels), the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Callithumpian Consort (Boston), Sound Icon (Boston), the Radius Ensemble (Boston), the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Opera Boston and the Mimesis ensemble (New York). He has recorded for Dorian Records, BMOP/sound and Collectief Debonair.
Maarten’s performances are further enriched by his work as a musical scholar. He is currently a doctor of musical arts candidate in the studio of Eliot Fisk at the New England Conservatory, specializing in the oeuvre and aesthetic theories of spectralist composition. Before arriving at the New England Conservatory, Maarten studied under Antigoni Goni at the Royal conservatory of Brussels, and at the Accademia Chigiana under Oscar Ghiglia. He is a recipient of the 2010 Köberle award for extraordinary musical achievement.