'This is not just very good music. This is great and significant music, heralding the arrival of a man who, in my opinion, has a superior musical mind and high values to match his talent [...] If his other music is even 2/3 as good as these piano preludes, he will certainly be a major force to reckon with in the 21st century. These pieces are nearly all gems, and are also beautifully played and recorded.’ Lynn René Bayley, 2022. Read full review HERE
Read Martin Skafte reflecting on the composition of the 24 Preludes HERE
'From Super Nintendo to a dialogue with Debussy...': Interview on Planet Hugill
Martin Skafte is a Swedish composer known for his works for solo piano, chamber music, voice, and choir. His compositions are published by Gehrmans musikförlag in Sweden and Norsk Musikforlag, Musikkforlagene in Norway.
He came to international recognition in 2017, when his piano suite 24 Preludes – Inspired by Claude Debussys Préludes for Piano was published by the leading Swedish publisher Gehrmans Musikförlag. The 24 Preludes were released in 2022 on Toccata Classics, recorded by pianist Jonas Olsson. He was invited to speak about his work to international audiences, which include Boston Conservatory and Berklee School of Music in the USA and Norges musikkhøgskole and Musikhögskolan i Malmö in Scandinavia.
Among Skafte’s notable compositions are three reworkings of selected mazurkas by Chopin, Three Etudes, Six Bagatelles (to be performed with Beethoven’s Op 126 Bagatelles), a song cycle Preludier for soprano, Scala Fenicia for cor anglaise and piano, and Engång for mixed choir and solo soprano.
His music has been championed by the leading Swedish pianist Peter Jablonski, for whom he has written a Fantasia over two works by Scriabin, premiered at the Karlskrona International Piano Festival on 14 November 2021. Jablonski gave the Japanese premiere of a selection of Skafte's work on 20 February 2023 in Tokyo, in concert that was broadcast on the main network NHK in May 2023. His music has also been performed and promoted by the pianists Jonas Olsson (Sweden) and Stephen Porter (USA), among others.
Skafte was educated at Gotland School of Music Composition in Visby, Sweden, and at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg, Sweden. He held artist residencies at Visby International Composers Centre in 2016, 2019, and 2020, and Villa San Michele – Anacapri, Capri in 2019. He is recipient of multiple grants and scholarships, which include funding from Swedish Arts Grants Committe, STIM, Helge Ax:son Johnsons Foundation, and Längmanska Foundation, among others.
His current projects include composition of his second piano trio and a piano concerto To The Lighthouse (based on the eponymous novel by Virginia Woolf) for Peter Jablonski.
Future plans include a European tour with American pianist Stephen Porter, who will perform a selection of his piano works for international audiences.
September 2023. Not to be altered without permission.