© 2018 by MARTIN MALMGREN

"Carwithen is an interesting composer type. In the 1950s she turned her attention to movie music and produced over 30 scores for the silver screen while also making sure she got paid as much as her male colleagues! In the piano concerto however we are dealing with an extremely well written eclectic neoclassical work with a demanding solo part, which Martin Malmgren handled with both virtuosic extroversion and emphatic lyricism."

- Doreen Carwithen, piano concerto

Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, cond. James Kahane, 8.3.2019

Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet

"Malmgren’s interpretation was masterly and I particularly liked the second and third movement’s shimmeringly fresh expression. The long piano solo at the beginning of the Andante was absolutely delicious, played more in the vein of a jazz ballad than of Slavic melancholy.”

- Rachmaninoff 1st piano concerto

Oulu Sinfonia, cond. Ari Rasilainen, 11.11.2016

Hannu Hirvelä, Kaleva

"A winner of numerous competitions and accolades, Martin Malmgren appeared as soloist in Prokofiev’s 5th piano concerto. While the program leaflet described the concerto as cold and lacking memorable melodies, the melodies are actually there in abundance: they just are so quick and hearty, that attention is required from the listener in order to receive all information. The concerto speaks of the technical skill of its performers: if one can master this level of complication, neither the soloist nor the orchestra need to prove themselves any further.”

- Prokofiev piano concerto nr 5

Sinfonia Lahti, cond. Dalia Stasevska, 18.2.2015

Petri Poutiainen, Etälä-Suomen Sanomat

“Nine composers and some twenty piano pieces was what the pianist Martin Malmgren conjured up from his piano-hat on his recital. A few well-known works got company with many less known and relatively modern works…. Malmgren truly challenges the audience with his wonderfully rich playing! One highlight of the recital were the two Skazkas by Medtner. Here Malmgren showed his lions paw, which impressed greatly….Martins touch, formidable technique and subtle feeling for diversity in nuances gives us a new big name among pianists.” 

Dag Lundin, Eskilstunakuriren

“The big offer of the evening was the Swedish pianist Martin Malmgren’s interpretation of Prokofiev’s 5th piano concerto, a work he won the Ilmari Hannikainen competition with in Jyväskylä this spring. And it should be said that Malmgren’s interpretation feels thought-out and empathetic….In the Toccata movement Malmgren and the gang emphasized the boldness and in the Larghetto-movement, the sublime qualities became particularly prominent. One would certainly like to hear Martin Malmgren in all Prokofiev’s piano concerti.”

Wilhelm Kvist, Hufvudstadsbladet

“Malmgren is a young but experienced pianist. His pianistic technique enables him to tackle even the most challenging works with ease. His program included music by Sibelius and Nielsen, two composers often compared with one another, as well as a number of lesser-known works. (…) Malmgren started with the Sibelius Sonatinas. In these works the casual sound of the Schimmel grand piano worked well, and the pianist captured their unpretentious, easy-going style.
Nielsen’s, in it’s originally Lucifer-named misunderstood and very rarely played Suite op.45 is in it’s exciting eccentricity far away from Sibelius’s clearly defined feelings. Malmgren highlighted strongly the characters of the movements and captured for example the fourth movement’s innocence aptly.(…)
The main work of the evening was Ravel’s mystical Gaspard de la nuit. Here the resistance of the instrument became evident; to achieve the richness of the sound, a better instrument would have been needed. Malmgren nevertheless managed to bring forth a respectable amount of colours from this one the most challenging pieces of the standard repertoire. (…)”

- Sakari Hildén, 

“After the last performance the jury deliberated and chose 27-year-old Martin Malmgren as the winner. Malmgren (…) played Sergei Prokofiev’s fifth piano concerto as his final piece. The rarely heard concerto has five movements, and it suited its performer perfectly and accentuated his personal style.

Out of all the finalists Malmgren had the broadest interpretative and dynamic scale, which vibrantly emphasized the musical extremes. The phrase “piano is a percussion instrument” was often accurate about the nature of the concerto, and the accuracy of intensity, length, and timing of Malmgren’s accents was astounding. He was just as at home during the quieter and more peaceful parts of the concerto.”

Santeri Kaipiainen, Keskisuomalainen

 

“Martin Malmgren was secure and comfortable in his playing. With big musicality, a firm touch and skillful technique he played [Bartok’s 3rd piano concerto]”

Helsingborgs Dagblad

“With remarkable symbiosis between emotion and intelligence, and with poetic touch and virtuosity, he puts the music first.”

Jury of the Ljunggren competition (October 2013)

“Martin Malmgren sits unusually far from the grand piano, which brings certain extra objectivity to the sound control. Alban Bergs Sonata was far from the paleness that is easily affiliated with fin de siecle, and he managed to insert impressive sparks into his Lindberg pieces. (…) Ravels Gaspard de la nuit took the listener to a whole different wave lenghts. (…) Colourful sound, fine dynamics and indescribably intensive rythm swept one away.”

Matti Asikainen, Keskisuomalainen