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Kai Stensgaard

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Kai Stensgaard


Kai Stensgaard (b. 1952, Denmark) is a Danish composer, arranger and percussionist.

Mr. Stensgaard is one of the pioneers in six mallet playing, and he has composed several works for six mallets. Many of his compositions and arrangements have been performed by marimba players all over the world. He has been giving concerts and clinics in Europe, the USA, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.

He is the author of the method for six mallet playing called The Six Mallet Grip and has published seven CDs and a DVD displaying his compositions and personal marimba style. He also premiered many works for marimba, among those a concerto for marimba and orchestra Ballet in Dark by Martin Knakkergaard. This piece was later choreographed for performance on the stage by a dancer from the Royal Danish Ballet.

His first CD, Marimba Classic, consisted of transcriptions of classical music for marimba. His second CD, Ballet in Dark, is a collection of newly composed marimba music, including a composition for marimba and symphony orchestra by Martin Knakkergaard. His third CD, Singing Wood, is inspired by Central American folk music as well as displaying a wide range of Stensgaard’s performance repertoire. In 2005 he has completed the Concierto Mexicano for marimba and symphony orchestra. On his fourth CD, Calabash, he is playing duo with the Danish saxophone player Jakob Mygind combining classical and jazz music. His fifth CD duo with pan flute player Charlotte Halberg features original compositions inspired by folklore music from all over the world. His sixth CDm Marimba Music by Kai Stensgaard, presents works for four and six mallets and a recording of his Concierto Mexicano.

In 2011, he and engineer Michael Hansen invented a new mallet instrument called the Aluphone. It is a new instrument that can be used as a solo instrument in the same way as the marimba and the vibraphone. Composers have already started writing music for his new instrument, among those Anders Koppel's Concerto for Aluphone & Orchestra. Kai Stensgaard plays solo recitals using the Aluphone combined with the marimba.

Works for Winds