Martin von der Heydt studied piano with Prof. Till Engel at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1998 and finished his postgraduate studies in 2000. In addition, masterclasses with Vitaly Margulis, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Jean-Philippe Collard and Leonard Stein had a strong formative influence on him. Martin von der Heydt’s repertoire encompasses all epochs from Renaissance music to the most recent compositions, and includes standard repertoire as well as many hidden gems.

He is particularly fond of juxtaposing historical repertoire with contemporary compositions in his solo programs. As a champion of new music, von der Heydt has been entrusted with many first performances and worked with numerous internationally renowned composers such as Henri Pousseur, Juan Allende-Blin, Aribert Reimann, Cristobál Halffter, Akira Nishimura, In-Sun Cho, Jia Guoping, Sidney Corbett, Gerald Eckert, Carola Bauckholt, Sven-Ingo Koch, Jin-Ah Ahn, Gordon Kampe and Valerio Sannicandro.

Von der Heydt has won several prizes at international piano competitions. He has performed in the important music centers in Germany as well as in many European countries, the USA, Brazil, Chile, China, Korea and Japan. His concerts have been broadcasted by the WDR Cologne, Deutschlandfunk, SWF Stuttgart and DeutschlandRadio Berlin. Von der Heydt teaches at the University of the Arts Bremen and the Folkwang University of the Arts Essen and has given piano masterclasses and workshops at German and international universities.

photo by Martin Gendig

E-MEX Ensemble was founded in 1999 by 6 musicians from Cologne and the Ruhr in western Germany and has grown to be become one of the most independent voices in the new music scene in the greater Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. With projects ranging from large ensemble works to solo pieces, the ensemble’s core group of 10 musicians has been the unifying factor that has over the years helped shape the ensemble’s distinctive personality and sound. E-MEX’s profile as an ensemble is intimately link to their encounters with other art forms taking their inspiration from a broad interdisciplinary perspective, and the ensemble has been a tireless advocate of this multidisciplinary approach by actively developing new concert forms that integrate visual arts, theater, literature and performance art.

Over the years the ensemble’s repertoire has grown to encompass more than 400 works running the gamut from small chamber formations to large ensembles. In addition to the large number of newly commissioned works that E-MEX has premiered, their repertoire includes a wide selection of modern classics such as works by Elliot Carter, Iannis Xenakis, Franco Donatoni, Gérard Grisey, Toshio Hosokawa, Salvatore Sciarrino or Helmut Lachenmann. The ensemble is regularly entrusted with the premieres of works by emerging and established composers, such as Cort Lippe, Henry Fourès, Guoping Jia, Xiaoyong Chen and Karin Haußmann. The artists are also committed to collaborations with the next generation of young composers, including projects with Jagoda Szmytka and Marcin Stańczyk.

The ensemble’s wide ranging artistic output arising out of its international partnerships has been documented in regular live-recordings produced and broadcast by public radio networks in Germany and a number of CD productions.

Concert tours and workshops have taken E-MEX throughout Europe, to North and South America as well as to Asia, especially several tours to China in recent years. Most recently the ensemble was invited to the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music to participate in the Beijing International Composition Workshop and other programs for students, composition faculty, musicologists and artist from across China.