Short Biography

Madeleine Isaksson, born in Stockholm, studied piano and composition at Royal College of Music of Stockholm. After two degrees (MFA), in piano pedagogy and composition, she continued her composition studies abroad: one year in Amsterdam and then in Paris where she has since lived and worked as composer.

Encounters with composers, their different traditions and aesthetic features - Brian Ferneyhough, Louis Andriessen, Iannis Xenakis, Morton Feldman and Emmanuel Nunes... as well as the music of Giacinto Scelsi and Helmut Lachenmann - have all contributed to Isaksson’s development as composer.

Her music is highly concentrated, characterized by a wealth of detail and considerable variation in the treatment of phrases, sonorities and well-integrated processes that are held together by an almost physical movement in fluctuating meters. Her basic frameworks can be described as forms of space: those of interval, register and time, where the material is developed through different temporal levels and contrasting terms.

Madeleine Isaksson writes for various ensembles, instrumental as vocal, and for orchestra.

During 2016-2017 she was Composer in Residence at Gävle Symphony Orchestra with two compositions: Bridges and Ljusrymd.

In 2021-22, several commissioned pieces have been premiered: three solos Écrits sur l'eau for piano, Tjälen går ur jorden (Soil frost thawing) for violin, and Span for organ, the ensemble pieces Capsuled Time and Infiltrations , an orchestral part Tornio (Flows) and Graphe for five percussionistes.

She received the Saltö Chamber Music Award in 2012 for Les sept vallées for solo recorder, and in 2019 awarded the Rosenberg prize :

"Madeleine Isaksson's music is characterised by careful work with and interest in the unique sound worlds of acoustic instruments. She receives the prize for a long-standing, versatile and original production characterised by uncompromising and high artistic integrity."

Madeleine Isaksson's music is regularly commissioned for and performed by leading international musicians and ensembles at concerts and festivals in Europe, Asia and overseas.