Martijn Padding (Amsterdam, 1956) studied composition with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, piano with Fania Chapiro and musicology at the University of Utrecht. His oeuvre ranges from solo instrumental works to large-scale orchestral compositions and music theatre. His more recent works are less prone to the angular construction and pithy harmonic structure of his earlier pieces, and although Padding's music often still exhibits a technical-musical aspect, a theatrical element is increasingly evident.
Padding's compositional aesthetic precludes any hierarchical relationship amongst, for instance, modernistic elements, influences from popular culture and historical-based doctrines. His compositions, accordingly, treat a broad spectrum of subjects and personages including Thelonious Monk, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg.
His compositions are often the result of a close working relationship with the musicians themselves. Padding's collaboration, since 1998, with the avant-garde quintet Ensemble LOOS has resulted in a number of works, both with and without electronics. The ensemble played the premiere of the opera TATTOOED TONGUES, to a libretto by Friso Haverkamp, at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 2001. Padding's works are performed by prominent ensembles, soloists and orchestras in the Netherlands and abroad.
Additionally he has made radio documentaries, and was the longtime piano accompanist of the modern dance company led by Krisztina de Chetel. Nowadays Martijn Padding is a member of the composition faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague.