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„Under Martin Mallaun’s hands the zither becomes an incredibly versatile, exceedingly expressive concert instrument.“1
The musician and biologist Martin Mallaun is successful in two completely different areas: in the one he examines the impact of climate change on high Alpine regions; in the other he is an active zither player comfortable with a broad spectrum of musical styles, including contemporary music, native folk music and European lute music.
Born in Kitzbühel/Tirol in 1975, he studied concert zither with Harald Oberlechner at the Tyrolean State Conservatory and botany at the University of Innsbruck. Both during and after his studies he attended workshops in the field of historical performance practice (Hopkinson Smith, Rolf Lislevand, Jürgen Hübscher) and of contemporary music/improvisation. Private studies with lutenist Hubert Hoffmann in Vienna have left a special mark on his musical development.
„Martin Mallaun is without doubt one of the most versatile artists currently active in the area of experimental music. Improvisation, electronic music, Baroque lute music, Alpine folk music, contemporary New Music: in all of these areas the Tyrolean musician seeks new sounds and new means of expression, while moving freely between utterly different performance concepts (music information center austria, www.mica.at).“ Aside from his many projects in cooperation with other musicians, actors and writers, he has originated countless projects on his own. Martin Mallaun has been engaged by the National Royal Scottish Orchestra, the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and the Orchestre de Picardie.
In 2004 Martin Mallaun was an award winner at the 1. Volkmann Prize Competition (Munich), the first international zither competition. He was a member of the jury of that competition in 2008. His debut solo album „zwischen steinen“ („between stones“) brought him the Austrian Radio (Ö1) Pasticcio Prize in 2005. His CD „OMONÉRO“ with recordings of contemporary music for zither solo was released in 2010. In 2012/13 Martin Mallaun holds a grant from the Austrian Office of Foreign Affairs for the NASOM (New Austrian Sound of Music) program.
Martin Mallaun is a freelance musician and is also employed as a teacher for the Tyrolean Music School Organization. He gives concerts in countless countries from France to the Czech Republic and as far as Japan, and has been guest artist at international festivals (including the Edinburgh International Festival/United Kingdom, the Munich Biennale in Germany and the Klangspuren in Austria). In addition, he has been a member of the research project GLORIA, which investigates the effects of climate change on the vegetation of the Alpine ecological systems (www.gloria.ac.at), since 2001.