Composer Peter Machajdik (makh-eye-dick) grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia but he has been living in Berlin, Germany for the past 17 years.
At six, he began music lessons and at seven, took up the piano. In the 1980's he was not accepted into the Music Academy of Bratislava because his concept of music, at that time, was heavily influenced by the Western avant-garde. At 27, Machajdik graduated from the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Peter Machajdik first became internationally recognised after the success of his multi media work Intimate Music featuring David Moss at Inventionen 1994 in Berlin. His prolific output has since been performed and broadcast around the world, placing him in the front rank of today's composers. His major works include Nell'autunno del suo abbraccio insonne for Italian harpist Floraleda Sacchi, Si diligamus invicem for mixed choir a cappella, Najdene zabudnute for orchestra, and Namah for string orchestra which was premiered by conductor Anu Tali at the Concert Hall of the Slovak Radio Bratislava in 2002, and was also a featured work at both the Epoche and Divertimento Musicale festivals in 2006. The CD Namah with guest appearances such as Jon Anderson of Yes, Floraleda Sacchi, David Moss, Guido Arbonelli, Eniko Ginzery and others was released on musica slovaca label in September 2008. Machajdik has also composed a lot of music for stage and film.
Machajdik has received numerous commissions and awards from, among others, the Kulturfonds Foundation, Russolo-Pratella Foundation, Slovak Music Fund, Czech Radio, German Accordion Society, and from Bratislava Music Festival. In 1992 he was invited to live and work in Berlin as a guest of the prestigious DAAD Kuenstlerprogramm. Machajdik was also the composer in residence at Schloss Wiepersdorf, Germany, at Künstlerhäuser Worpswede, Germany, and at Künstlerhaus Lukas in Ahrenshoop on the German Baltic coast. In 2006 he was awarded the Jan Levoslav Bella Prize, the most significant classical music award in Slovakia.
Machajdik´s works have been performed widely, including at Inventionen, Berlin; New Work Festival, Calgary; Hörgänge, Vienna; young.euro.classic, Berlin; Nuovi Spazi Musicali, Rome; Melos-Ethos, Bratislava; 5 Giornate per la Nuova Musica, Milano; Musica Nova, Sofia; Festival de Jazz et Musiques d'Aujourd'hui, Mulhouse; Review of Composers, Belgrade; Audio Art Festival, Cracow, as well as in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, the Czech and Slovak Republics, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S.A. Some of the venues where his works have received their first performances include Deutsche Oper Berlin, Slovak Philharmonic Hall Bratislava, Konzerthaus Berlin, Tenri Cultural Institute New York, Ignacy Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic Hall, Adolphus Busch Hall Cambridge (MA), and Sala Filarmonica in Trento. Performers of Machajdik´s music have included artists such as David Moss, Floraleda Sacchi, Carson Cooman, Guido Arbonelli, Elina Mustonen, Rocco Anthony Jerry, Boris Lenko, Milan Pala, Natalia Pshenichnikova, Ivano Ascari, Mayuko Kida Takine, Juan Maria Solare, Piet Van Bockstal, Ulrike Mattanovich, Julie Hanson-Geist, Darry Dolezal, Lubomir Mitzev, Niels Bijl & Gertie Bruin, conductors Anu Tali, Aleksander Gref, Peter Breiner, Maria Makraki, Marián Lejava, Ondrej Koukal and Karol Kevický, the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Kosice, ARTE Quartett, Slovak Chamber Orchestra, AccoDuo, Camerata Europea, Veni Ensemble, Zwiebel Quartet, Slovenian Clarinet Quartet, and many others.
Machajdik´s interest in other performing arts and in collaborations led him to compose numerous works for film, theatre, modern dance companies and visual artists. He was co-founder of the Transmusic Comp., which introduced mixed-media, free improvisation and performance work in former Czechoslovakia. In the late 1970s and early 1980s he had smuggled some of his compositions to the famous American minimalist duo George Cup & Steve Elliott, who used his music in their video works.
Machajdik has lectured on new music, led workshops, and curated festivals of contemporary music. His music has been broadcast many times on radio and TV all over the world.
Machajdik often chooses to compose his works in solitary places. His compositions draw on several sources of inspiration, especially from the polyphony and modal harmonies of early music. In recent years Machajdik´s works have been typified by both economy of material and stringency of method, thereby demonstrating that what may be simple musical language can nevertheless be powerful. Also elements such as controlled use of dissonance, sustained sonorities, inconspicuous melodic motion and frequent use of minor tonalities apply to Machajdik´s compositional style. Most of his compositions have a meditative character.
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