Martin Grubinger


Dubbed by critics as "A wizard of percussion", Austrian multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger has achieved the extraordinary feat of turning solo percussion into the highlight of the classical concert world. A regular guest at many of the top orchestras and the world\'s most prestigious venues, Grubinger’s repertoire is unusually broad and ranges from solo works and chamber music, with partners including his own Percussive Planet Ensemble and pianists Ferhan and Ferzan Önder, to percussion concertos.

 Amongst the growing number of works especially written for Grubinger are Avner Dorman’s “Frozen in Time” (2007) and Friedrich Cerha’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (2008), performed and recorded with the Wiener Philharmoniker under the baton of Peter Eötvös on Kairos, as well as Tan Dun’s concerto, “Tears of Nature” (2012). His well known percussion projects “The Percussive Planet” and the recently premiered “Caribbean Showdown” are examples of his versatility.

Highlights of the current season include premieres of HK Gruber’s new concerto “Into the Open” and Peter Eötvös’ “Speaking Drums – Four Poems for percussion solo and orchestra”. Additionally, Martin will debut with the NSO Washington and embark on a number of high-profile tours with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Camerata Salzburg amongst others, with performances throughout Europe.

Martin was named Artist in Residence at the 2008/09 Leipzig Gewandhaus, followed by residences with the Camerata Salzburg, at the Philharmonie Köln, Philharmonie München and Wiener Konzerthaus. Martin Grubinger has also appeared with NHK Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg and NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Münchner Philharmoniker, Hamburger Philharmoniker and Dresdner Philharmoniker, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Wiener Philharmoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In 2011, the multi-percussionist made his US debut with the Kansas City Symphony, followed by his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach.

Regular guest appearances have led him to the Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein Music festivals, Bregenz Festival, Beethoven Festival in Bonn and Salzburg Festival, Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Brass & Percussion Festival in Tokyo’s famous Suntory Hall and the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. In 2013 he was ‘Artiste étoile’ at Lucerne Festival.

Winner of multiple prizes, Martin Grubinger is recipient of the Bernstein Award from the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival and the prestigious Jeunesses Musicales’ Würth Prize. Grubinger’s first CD, "Drums ‘n’ Chant" (released in October 2010) was soon followed by a live recording of "The Percussive Planet" on DVD, both for Deutsche Grammophon. He has since recorded a number of projects for various labels.

Born in Salzburg, Martin Grubinger studied at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz and at the Salzburg Mozarteum. He had already garnered attention in his youth, having appeared at several international competitions, amongst others at the second World Marimbaphone Competition held in Okaya, Japan, and at the EBU Competition in Norway.

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Short Profile

NameGrubinger, Martin
Born inAustria, Europe
Main languageGerman
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Wo Grubinger zuschlägt, wächst die Avantgarde
2014-05-19 Die Presse, Wien
"...Die Instrumente scheinen mit ihrem Meister in Interaktion zu treten..."
(Wilhelm Sinkovicz)
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Tan Dun and Shostakovich form a dark, compelling programme in Vienna
2014-04-27 backtrack,
"...Tears of Nature was composed for the superfluously talented percussionist Martin Grubinger. It is a richly coloured work which utilizes not only traditional percussion instruments but also non-traditional elements. 

...Grubinger's energy was absolutely infectious and by the middle of the second movement at the latest, we were all sold. Grubinger is an absolute genius, who regularly performs feats which seem technically impossible, always with a smile on his face. He is redefining the image of the percussionist and is especially impressive in how he utilizes piano dynamics. ...
(Chanda VanderHart)
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Tempo Macher
2014-04-23 Red Bulletin, Vienna
"Der Schlagzeuger Martin Grubinger ist der radikale Weltstar der zeitgenössischen Musik. Für seinen Job trainiert er wie ein Spitzensportler."
(Andreas Rottenschlager)
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Ein Mann nimmt Maß
2014-03-31 Mannheimer Morgen, Heidelberg
"Grubinger-Auftritte sind Events im positiven Sinne. Er spricht ein Publikum quer durch geschmackliche Vorlieben und Altersstufen an, seine sympathische Art und sein überbordendes Handwerk faszinieren. So entfesselte er auch jetzt wieder beim Heidelberger Frühling in der Stadthalle ein stürmisch bejubeltes Volksfest seiner Kunst."
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Filharmonija BBC-ja i Martin Grubinger nastupili u Lisinskome
2014-03-25 Dalmacija News, Zagreb
"Vrlo inspirativno izveo je Koncert za udaraljke i orkestar op. 23 Brune Hartla, svojevrstan eksperimentalni glazbeni patchwork u kojemu svaka solistička udaraljka ima vlastitu temu ili motiv sa zajedničkim strukturalnim temeljem.   U nastavku Grubingerova nastupa, eksplozija zvuka u rapsodiji "Prizma" za marimbu i orkestar japanske marimbistice i kompozitorice Keiko Abe također je izazvala oduševljenje publike."
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NSO review: Contemporary percussion staple hits NSO
2014-01-24 Washington Post, Washington, D. C.
"Oh, and it has Grubinger, the 30-year-old percussion wunderkind who commissioned it, who has to date been its exclusive performer and who made his NSO debut Thursday night - a young man who has the build and physical ease of a basketball player turned choreographer, moving between instruments and mallets with fluid grace and pulling amazing clusters of sounds in joyful handfuls out of the fortifications of instruments around him."
(Anne Midgette)
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