Márton Illés, born in Budapest, received his early musical training in Győr, Hungary. He attended the Basle Academy of Music, where he studied with Detlev Müller-Siemens (composition) and László Gyimesi (piano). This was followed by studies in Karlsruhe with Wolfgang Rihm (composition) and Michael Reudenbach (theory). His catalogue of works includes pieces for solo instruments, chamber music, string quartets, vocal works, ensemble compositions, electronic music, music theatre and works for string orchestra and large orchestra. His music has been performed at leading international festivals and concert halls. He has taught composition at Würzburg University of Music between 2011 and 2013 and music theory at Karlsruhe University of Music since 2005. Illés has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Christoph and Stephan Kaske Prize, the Composers Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, as well as the Schneider-Schott Prize and the Paul Hindemith Prize. Additionally, Illés received fellowships from the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome, the International Artists Residence Villa Concordia in Bamberg and the New York based Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria.


Re-akvarell“ for clarinet and large orchestra – Lucerne Festival, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg/François-Xavier Roth, Sabine Meyer – clarinet – premiere

Psychogramm II – „Rettegős“ (Fearful) for solo clarinet – Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Boglárka Pecze – clarinet – premiere

Tört-Szín-Tér“ for large orchestra – Eclat Festival Stuttgart, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, Rupert Huber – premiere

Három akvarell klarinétra“ (Three Watercolours for clarinet) – Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschulwettbewerb, Berlin, compulsory piece, Magdalena Faust – clarinet – premiere

Újra Körök“ (Circles Again) for two trumpets and horn – Festival Stage, Teater Republique, Kopenhagen, Saar Berger – horn, Valentin Garvie, Sava Stoianov – trumpets (Ensemble Modern) – premiere

Scenic performance of „Torso V“ with the Asasello Quartet and MOUVOIR/Stephanie Hirsch in Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Düsseldorf and Wiesbaden

Chamber music performances in Rome, Helsinki, Rotterdam, Tel-Aviv, Viitasaari, Amsterdam, Köln, Hitzacker, Badenweiler, Freiburg, Frankfurt, Essen a.o.


Chamber music performances in Cairo, Cologne, Frankfurt, L’aquila, Lübeck,Viitasari, Zürich, a.o.


Rajzok III“ – Trio – Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Trio Catch – premiere

Rajzok IV“ – string quartet – Cheltenham Festival, Signum Quartet – premiere

Psychogramm I“ „Jajgatós“ (Wailing) for solo viola – portrait concert, IgnM-Basel, Gare du Nord, Megumi Kasakawa – viola (Ensemble Modern), Asasello Quartett, Trio Catch

Rajzok“ for 24 strings, RAI Nuovamusica 2013, Auditorium Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra della RAI/Marco Angius


Eufóriák III“ for five glockenspiel and a quarter tone glockenspiel – Europäische Kulturtage Karlsruhe, Isao Nakamura Sextett/Márton Illés – premiere

Artist residence at the Civitella Ranieri Center Umbria/Italy

Tánc-Tér“ far ensemble – Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Ensemble Modern/Jean Deroyer – premiere

Abenteuer Neue Musik „Manische Linien“ – imparting new music at grammar schools, a pedagogic project in cooperation with the Deutscher Musikrat and the Donaueschinger Musiktage.


Artists residence at the Villa Concordia Bamberg.

Rajzok“ for 24 strings, Kölner Phiharmonie, Münchener Kammerorchester/Alexander Liebreich

“Rajzok” for 24 strings – Prinzregententheater München, Münchener Kammerorchester/Alexander Liebreich – premiere

Lectureship for composition at the University of Music Würzburg (2011-2013)

Scene polidimensionali X „Vonalterek“ – Musica Strasbourg

Portrait-CD at te label Wergo, „Edition Zeitgenössische Musik“, Deutscher Musikrat. A cooperation of Deutscher Musikrat, the NDR Hamburg and the ZKM Karlsruhe.

Double portrait concert (Scene polidimensionali IX „Szintek“, Torso III und Scene polidimensionali XVI „…Körök“ für Ensemble and works of Ligeti) – Ensemble Modern/Franck Ollu

Rajzok II for piano and orchestra – Kölner Philharmonie, Bamberger Symphoniker/Jonathan Nott, Márton Illés – piano – premiere


A three days composers portrait of the Konzertgesellschaft Basel at the Theater Basel.

“Scene polidimensionali XVII “Die Weisse Fürstin” – music theatre, Münchener Biennale, Carl-Orff-Saal, Gasteig München and at the Theater Kiel, Orchester des Theaters Kiel/Georg Fritzsch, Regie: Andrea Moses – premiere

“Torso III”, Tokio Summer Festival, Suntory Hall Tokio, Ensemble Nomad/Norio Sato


Torso III“ – Ultraschall Festival, Berlin – Ensemble Modern/Ilan Volkov

Rome Prize, an annual residence at the Deutsche Akademie Villa Massimo Rom

Beginning of the collaboration with the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel

Torso III“ Cité des Arts Paris, Ensemble Intercontemporain/Susana Mälkki

Scene polidimensionali XVI „…Körök“ – for ensemble – Konzerthaus Berlin, Ensemble Modern/Franck Ollu, Into Dubai – a project of Ensemble Modern and Siemens Arts Program – premiere

Scene polidimensionali X „Vonalterek“, Festival Saison d’orchestre de Caen, Ensemble Accroche Note

Composer in residence and a chamber music coach at the Thüringische Sommerakademie Böhlen.

Scene polidimensionali XVI „…Körök“ Auditorium, Rome, Ensemble Modern/Stefan Asbury

Torso III“ Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, NDR Hamburg, Ensemble Modern/François-Xavier Roth

“Eufóriák II” for piano – Beethoven Internationaler Klavierwettbewerb Bonn, compulsory piece – premiere


Ernst von Siemens Composers prize

Paul Hindemith Prize of the Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival

Schneider-Schott-Prize of the city of Mainz

Post Torso“ for string orchestra – Gasteig München, Münchener Kammerorchester/Alexander Liebreich – premiere

Into Dubai… project of Ensemble Modern and Siemens Arts Program with a one month residence in Dubai (performances and lectures in Dubai at Dubai Art)

Torso VI“ piano trio – „dedicated to Haydn“ Haydn Festspiele Eisenstadt, Haydn Trio Eisenstadt – premiere

Workshop concert with the Cuarteto Casals at the Heidelberger Frühling Musikfestival

Participant of the international composers workshop at the Experimentalstudio für akustische Kunst Freiburg


Emily Dickinsons Uhr“ music theatre after Jürgen Muck’s „Unabgelenkte Aufmerksamkeit“ – theatre music for 4 clarinets, mezzosoprano and electronics, Eclat-Festival Stuttgart, Experimentalstudio für akustische Kunst Freiburg, Thierry Bruehl – director, Friederike Kammer – actress, Katalin Polgár – mezzosoprano

Torso III“ for ensemble – Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Ensemble Modern/Lucas Vis – premiere

Torso V“ – string quartet – Kasseler Musiktage, Keller Quartet – premiere

Torso IV“ – piano quartet – Münchener Biennale, Gasteig München, moderation – Peter Ruzicka, Ensemble Triolog – premiere


Torso II“ for piano, Kasseler Musiktage, Markus Bellheim – premiere

Scene Polidimensionali XIII „Gesztikus vonalak“ (gestic lines) for orchestra – Saalfeld, Thüringer Symphoniker/Mathias Husmann – premiere

Scene polidimensionali XIV „Tördelt vonalak“ (broken lines) for ensemble – Festival „Hommage à Bartók“ of the Hungarian Radio Budapest, Componensemble Budapest/Zsolt Serei

Torso polidimensionale“ for string quartet and piano – Stiftung Schloß Neuhardenberg, Athena Quartet, Márton Illés -piano / for György Kurtág’s 80th birthday – premiere


Christoph und Stephan Kaske Prize, München

Scene polidimensionali X “Vonalterek“ (line spaces) – Heidelberger Frühling Musikfestival, Jörg Widmann – clarinet, Hanna Weinmeister – viola and Márton Illés – piano

Since 2005 lecturer for music theory at the University of Music Karlsruhe


Music teacher at the Kinder-Musik-Schule in Karlsruhe

Portrait concert at the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg. 

Scene polidimensionali IX „Vonalmezök“ (Line Fields) – string quartet – Klangspuren-Festival Schwaz/Austria, Minguet Quartet – premiere

Participant at the 1st Internationale Composers Seminar of the Ensemble Modern with Helmut Lachenmann and Franck Ollu. First performance of Scene polidimensionali IX „Szintek b“, Hessischer Rundfunk, Ensemble

Modern/Alejo Perez und Alexander Adiarte.


Scene polidimensionali VII „Szintek“ (Layers) – Berliner Philharmonie, Kammerensemble des Deutschen- und des Rundfunk Symphonieorchesters Berlin/Johannes Kalitzke – premiere

Le kulli shäi´in“ – Andalusian-Arabic Elegy after a poem of Salih Abu Al Baqa’ Al Sharif Al Radey. Performances in the Cairo Opera House (premiere) and the Liederhalle Stuttgart, choir of the Cairo girls school (Schule der Borromäerinnen), orchestra of the Eberhard Ludwigs Gymnasium Stuttgart/Peter Bachofer


A feature by the SWR 

A radio feature by the SWR2

Scholarship of the Hoepfner Foundation Karlsruhe

2001 –  2005

Studies at the University of Music Karlsruhe with Wolfgang Rihm (composition), music theory (Michael Reudenbach).

2001 and 2002 Scholarship of the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung des Südwestrundfunks. 

Ballettmusik“ – Festival Europäischer Musikmonat, Basel, Ensemble Phoenix/Jürg Henneberger – premiere


Studies at the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel with László Gyimesi (piano, soloists diploma, 1998) and composition with Detlev Müller-Siemens

2nd Prize at the international piano competition „Premi Ciudad de Berga“, Spain

Winner of the piano competition „Concours Piano 80“ Switzerland

Scholarships of the Géza Anda Stiftung Zürich, Robert und Lina Thyll-Dürr Stiftung, Hans J. Rapp Stiftung, Basel/Switzerland and the Győr Kulturáért Alapítvány

Activita as a piano soloist, chamber musician and orchestra pianist (with the Sinfonieorchester Basel in various contemporary opera productions at the Theater Basel).

Participant of various masterclasses for piano and composition with Lazar Berman, Sándor Falvai, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, György Sándor, György Kurtág und György Ligeti.


Guest studies at the Musikhochschule Zürich with Hadassa Schwimmer (piano)

1. Prize at the piano competition „Rencontres Musicales de la Venoge“, Lausanne/Switzerland 

Sirató“ – for percussion quartet, premiered by the Győr Percussion Ensemble

1981 – 1994

– Initial musical training at various Kodály-schools in Györ/Hungary, receiving lessons in in piano, composition and percussion.

12.12.1975 Born in Budapest