Marco Blaauw studied trumpet at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. He continued studying with Pierre Thibaud and with Markus Stockhausen. He has an international career as a trumpet soloist and is a permanent member of the ensemble musikFabrik in Cologne. Some of the orchestras and new music ensembles with which he has performed as soloist are: the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Klangforum Wien, London Sinfonietta and Asko|Schönberg Ensemble.
Marco Blaauw's goal is the further development of the trumpet, its technique and its repertoire. He works in close collaboration both with the established and younger composers of our time. Many works have been written especially for Blaauw or have been inspired by his playing, including compositions by Peter Eötvös, Rebecca Saunders, Richard Ayres, Isabel Mundry and Hanna Kulenty.
Since 1998, Marco Blaauw has worked intensely with Karlheinz Stockhausen, and has premiered solo roles in scenes of the opera cycle LICHT. In August 2008 he presented the premiere of "HARMONIES for trumpet" from Stockhausen’s unfinished cycle KLANG for BBC Radio 3 in the Royal Albert Hall.
Marco Blaauw's performances are widely documented in radio and CD recordings. The first solo CD Blaauw was released in September 2005, his second solo CD, HOT, came out in October 2006. In 2007 he presented Improvisation, a duo album with Gijsbrecht Roye.
In 2003 Marco Blaauw was awarded the Orpheus Prize for his performance of Hanna Kulenty’s Trumpet Concerto during the Warsaw Autumn Festival. In 2008 he received the Karel de Grote-award from the city of Nijmegen.
He is also active as a teacher with notable residencies since 2003 at the Stockhausen Courses in Kürten and in 2004 and 2006 at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music. From August 2008 Marco Blaauw is guest teacher at the School of Music of Lucerne, Switzerland.
Marco Blaauw plays different sorts of trumpets and related instruments: C trumpet, Es flat/ D trumpet, Bflat trumpet, Piccolo trumpet, C-Cornet, Flugelhorn, Natural trumpet, Tibetian trumpet, Indian temple trumpet, Didgeridoo in D, Shofar (a horn of a ram), Conch (a shell) and the Double bell trumpet. He plays instruments manufactured by fellow Dutchman Hub van Laar.
One trumpet Marco Blaauw plays needs special attention: the double bell trumpet is a special designed trumpet with two bells.
"The self designed trumpet is build by Dieter Gärtner, from the company Gärtner und Thul in Düren, Germany. The trumpet uses the standard three valves, plus a fourth and fifth valve. The fourth valve enables me to play quarter-tones, fast and over the whole range of the trumpet. An extra, surprisingly good and controllable effect is playing half-valve; in combination with the three “normal” valves, it sounds relatively well in tune over the whole range. It is like using a strange kind of mute. The fifth valve is for changing between the two bells: having two bells on a trumpet was an old dream of mine, it gives many extra possibilities:
Before starting experimenting, I considered it almost impossible to extend the trumpet and improve it in the same time. The cheerful experiment worked out very well though! It seems that the evolution of the trumpet is far from reaching an end-point."