updated 13 September 2021
© Verlag Neue Musik, Berlin

Malte Giesen

German composer born 28 February 1988 in Tübingen.

Malte Giesen composed his first pieces at age 14. In 2007, he began studying composition and computer music at the State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart with Marco Stroppa and Oliver Schneller, before pursuing his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris with Gérard Pesson and at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin with Hanspeter Kyburz and Wolfgang Heiniger. He also took lessons with Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Peter Ablinger, among others. He was selected as the composer representing Germany at the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance’s 2018 European Contemporary Composers Orchestra project in Brussels, which aimed to promote contemporary music.

In 2015, Giesen began teaching contemporary improvisation at the Karlsruhe University of Music and, in 2016, electroacoustic music at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. He remains active in teaching new musics in various schools and conservatories. A founding member of the Klang Büros e.V. in Stuttgart, he also participated in Initiative für Neue Musik - SUONO MOBILE as well as the Neue Töne (New Tones) day at Open R Festival in Stuttgart.

His pieces have been played in Germany and abroad by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Sonar Quartett, Quatuor Diotima, the sonic.art Saxophone Quartet, Ensemble Ascolta, ensemble recherche, ensemble mosaik, L’Instant Donnée, and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, among others, and at festivals such as Donaueschingen Festival, Wien Modern, Klangwerkstatt Berlin, Acht Brücken Cologne, Ars Nova Rottweil, Blurred Edges Hamburg, and Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. Giesen has been director of the Studio for Electroacoustic Music at the Academy of Arts in Berlin since 2021.

In 2016, the jury of the Composition Prize Carl von Ossietzky of the City of Oldenburg wrote that his compositional approach “is the result of tension between the individual and society, the realization of the self, and socio-political positioning.” Giesen himself affirmed this view, saying that “art does not need to be beautiful, but it must have power.” In fact, Giesen’s works contain a sizable political component. Whether with chamber music, solo electronics, or works for soloists or large orchestras, an accompanying video is often responsible for conveying this political aspect. Two examples are Wolfsschlucht (2019), a musical theater piece that works across the themes of the seven deadly sins, repressive migration policy, climate change, and even pornography, and FRAME (2020), a transmedia musical theater piece that critiques how one’s understanding of the world is informed by the media’s framing. In Stock footage piece 1- business (2019) Giesen turned his eye toward internet archives and their use in art, as is also the case in lowest common denominator (2017), which misappropriates a 1984 German music video that became a YouTube sensation, acquiring the title of fourth worst music video of all time. By reinterpreting this video, Giesen examines the relationship between the composer and their times, as well as the shifting nature of unpopularity.

His works are published by BabelScores and Verlag Neue Musik.

Prizes and Awards

  • Composition Prize of the City of Stuttgart, 2017
  • Composition Prize Carl von Ossietzky of the City of Oldenburg, 2016
  • Winner of the Neue Szenen III competition of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2015
  • Prize at the masterclass in orchestral composition of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, 2012
  • Winner of the German Music Composition Competition, 2009

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2021


Site du compositeur, Berliner Festspiele, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, arsmondo

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en septembre 2021).


(liens vérifiés en septembre 2021).


  • Malte GIESEN, mit Verlaub, dans « Infinite Jest | Invading Pleasures », 1 CD Gruenrekorder, 2016, Gruen 156.