Belgian guitarist Maarten Stragier’s refreshing take on concert programming and a passion for contemporary music take his performances from the original to the unusual. His musical sensitivity and innovative spirit have brought him to European and American audiences on such stages as Bozar and Flagey in Brussels; La Philharmonie in Paris; the Oslo Opera House; Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, the ICA in Boston; the Kennedy Center in Washington DC; Merkin Hall in New York; and Villa Romana in Florence. He has appeared in festivals such as Lucerne Festival, Tanglewood, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Festival d’Automne, Wien Modern, Musica Strasbourg, Holland Festival, Maerzmusik, Ultima, and Boston GuitarFest
Committed to invigorating musical conversation, Maarten frequently collaborates with composers. Tristan Murail, Salvatore Sciarrino, Philippe Leroux, Chaya Czernowin, José Maria Sánchez-Verdú, Franck Bedrossian, Roger Reynolds, and Christian Wolff have worked with him on the interpretation of their music. He has premiered compositions by distinguished artists such as Olga Neuwirth, Raphaël Cendo, Kasper Toeplitz, Matthew Shlomowitz, and up-and-comers Mauricio Pauly, Michelle Lou, Santiago Diez-Fischer, Andrea Mancianti, Giovanni Bertelli, Michelle Agnes, Marta Gentilucci, Lorenzo Troiani, and Davide Ianni.
Together with accordionist Luca Piovesan, Maarten makes up Promenade Sauvage, a duo devoted to sharing music from a new generation of composers. As a freelance artist, he has performed with Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), Ictus Ensemble (Brussels), Plus Minus (London), Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Callithumpian Consort (Boston), Sound Icon (Boston), the Radius Ensemble (Boston), East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Opera Boston, and Mimesis ensemble (New York). He has recorded for Dorian Records, BMOP/sound, and Collectief Debonair.
Maarten holds a doctorate in Musical Arts from New England Conservatory, where he studied under Eliot Fisk. He earned a master’s degree under Antigoni Goni at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and studied at the Accademia Chigiana under Oscar Ghiglia. Currently Maarten is a senior researcher and professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He lives in Brussels with his wife Jennifer and their Australian shepherd Hildie.