Madeleine Isaksson, born in Stockholm, studied piano and composition at Royal College of Music of Stockholm. After two Diploma (MFA) - in piano education and composition - she continued her studies abroad: in Amsterdam for one year’s studies with the composer Louis Andriessen, and further in Paris where she since lives and works as composer.
Meetings with composers - Brian Ferneyhough in Stockholm and at the composition courses at Royaumont in France, Iannis Xenakis, Morton Feldman and Emmanuel Nunes - have all contributed to Isaksson’s development as a composer. The exposure to the music of Giacinto Scelsi and Helmut Lachenmann in Darmstadt 1986 came also to play an important role.
Her music is highly concentrated, characterised by a wealth of detail and considerable variation in the treatment of phrases, sonorities and well-integrated processes which are held together by an almost physical movement in flucturating meters. Her basic frameworks can be described as forms of space: those of interval, register, and time where the material is developed through different time levels and contrasting terms.
Madeleine Isaksson writes for various ensembles, instrumental as vocal, and for orchestra.
Among her compositions, some titles can be mentioned: the septets Sondes (2009) and Isär (2012), for vocal ensemble, Ciels (2010) and Terre de l'absence (2012), for countertenor and baroque ensemble, Hemligheten (2013) text Tomas Tranströmer, her first string trio, Traces (2017) and for improvising pianist and ensemble, Springkällor (2018).
In 2005 her CD Failles appeared at the swedish label Phono Suecia. and other CD:s with her music have followed during the years. She received the Järnåker Award 2012 for Les sept vallées for solo recorder.
She is awarded the Rosenberg prize in 2019.
The music of Madeleine Isaksson is regularly performed by prominent international musicians and ensembles at concerts and festivals across Europe, Asia and overseas.
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