David Garrett
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Full Biography
“He is extremely honest to the intention of the composer. He doesn’t make unusual deviations of interpretation. He is very classically oriented, ‘cause that’s the way he grew up. So I’m very impressed with how true to the intentions of the composer he plays it. In other words he uses his technique and his beautiful sound to serve the music he’s playing. And that’s very important.“ (Zubin Mehta, December 2013)
Since his return to the stage, now as a Juilliard School graduate and student of Itzhak Perlman, David Garrett has been on a continuous artistic path to present various programs in the Music Halls of this world. He is determined to introduce the Masterpieces of the classical genre to a mass audience, using the popularity of his crossover programs.
The idea for crossover already sparked as a child prodigy, and further developed during this time at Juilliard. “As sixteen-year old I always wondered, why are my friends and peers not at the concert halls? They are missing the wonderful music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven or Bruch…”. While at Juilliard, David got in touch with other art forms such as theatre and dance, but noticed that these students rarely go to a classical concert. However on jam sessions, where David frequently performed pop songs on his violin, the crowds were captured by his classical tunes, mixed into other pop arrangements. And so the idea was cemented, to use pop arrangements to introduce the audience to the world of classical music. And his success proves him right. Never mind which program he is performing, from Asia or Latin-America, solo or with a symphonic orchestra, band or chamber ensemble; the audience and critics love whatever he has performed for them or recorded for them.
Many extraordinary events happened during the 25 years since David Garrett took to the stage. In 2016 he was celebrating his 25th stage anniversary after picking up his first violin at the tender age of four. He was born in Aachen, son to a German lawyer and American prima ballerina. David Garrett debuted at the Hamburger Philharmonic at the age of 10. When thirteen years old he was the youngest-ever artist to sign a record deal with Deutsche Gramophone. He performed with important orchestras and conductors, among them Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Yehudi Menuhin. Then in 1999, at the peak of his carrier, he decided to move to New York, a pivotal decision for his future. Enrolling at the prestigious Juilliard School he perfected his technique and developed a sound theoretical foundation. Focusing his studies on musicology and composition, he attended a class with Itzhak Perlman. In 2003, he wins the composition competition of the Juilliard School for his achievement by composing “Fugue in the Style of Johann Sebastian Bach”. His composition instructor Eric Ewazen states “The intensity of his spectacular and expressive violin play has astonished us. Everyone who had the pleasure to instruct him, notices his extraordinary talent.”
In the autumn of 2007 David published his first Crossover-CD “Virtuoso” aka “Free” with DECCA/Universal. Every year since then, David has published one record either crossover – including Titles such as “Encore”, “Rock Symphonies”, “Music”, or “Explosive” – or classical violin concertos including works such as “Classical Romance” (Mendelssohn violin concerto), “Legacy” (Beethoven and Kreisler), and “Timeless”(Brahms and Bruch with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta). His CDs receive international recognitions and placements on pop-charts.
Celebrating his cinematic debut in 2013, David Garrett performed the main role as Niccolo Paganini in Bernhard Rose’s “The Devil’s Violinist”. In addition to starring in the movie, he also composed the film music alongside Franck van der Heijden, fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams. He took the chance to honor Andrea Bocelli, among others, with the song “Ma Dove Sei”, which he wrote himself. Following the movie success, his CD “Garrett vs. Paganini” won the 2014 “ECHO-Klassik" in the category “Bestseller of the Year”.
In 2012 he was honored by her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II, and was chosen as “European Artist” to perform for her, during her Diamond Jubilee concert. During President Obama’s visit to Germany, David Garrett was distinguished to perform for the US President and Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2013. In addition David was honored with the BAMBI award, the same year. In April 2017, David Garrett received the German Music Award “Musikpreis Frankfurt”.
Like Leonard Bernstein, David Garrett believes that there are only two types of music – good and bad. This is explicitly noticeable in the crossover repertoire, where David Garrett combines a variety of different styles. Among these spectacular concerts, was the concert in Munich “Köningsplatz” in front of 17.000 people; his concert at the “Waldbühne” in Berlin; and several concerts in Mexico performing for 10.000 people selling out the “Auditorio Nacional” in 2014 and 2016. In November 2016, David Garrett started his “Explosive” world tour in Germany, which continued to Eastern Europe in December, cities include Moscow (Kremlin Palace), St. Petersburg, Minsk, Kiev, and Odessa. This tour continues in 2017 to South-America, East-Europe, and Israel.
Despite his success in the crossover-genre, David Garrett stays true to his roots and frequently performs classical concerts. Previously he has performed Brahms and Bruch in 2014 through 2015. And many invitations followed, performing with the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the orchestras of Genoa and Naples, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Zubin Mehta. In 2015, David Garrett debuted at the Russian National Philharmonic in Moscow, the RAI in Turin, the Filharmonica della Scala conducted by Riccardo Chailly, and with Christoph Eschenbach and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The last seasons was dedicated to Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto, with reinvitations by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, RAI Turin, and Basel Symphonic Orchestra. He debuted with the Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, under the leadership of Alondra de la Parra and BBC Philharmonic under the direction of Juanjo Mena. David played the Bruch Concerto with Filharmonica della Scala conducted by Myung Whun Chung. He was collaborating with conductors such as Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Andrey Boreyko, and Omer Meir Wellber. David Garrett was honored to participate at Andrea Bocelli Festival with Maggio Musicale and Zubin Mehta, and to perform one of the seasons from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” at the Anniversary concert of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra alongside Pinchas Zuckermann, Julian Rachlin, Ilya Konovalov conducted by Manfred Honeck, in December 2016.
The highlights of the current season of 2017/2018 are his performance at the Enescu Festival Bucharest, and Lugano with Riccardo Chailly and Filharmonica della Scala. Further, David returns to the Israel Philharmonic with Gianandrea Noseda, Vienna Symphony, the Russian National Philharmonic with Vladimir Spivakov, and a Tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach. He will perform with the Munich Philharmonic at the “Odeonsplatz Open Air 2018” under the leadership of Valerie Gergiev.
In addition David frequently performs recitals program with his long-time piano partner Julien Quentin all around the world, in city such as Berlin, Munich, Paris, Luzern, Luxembourg, Sofia, Mexico City and Istanbul, to name a few.
The ARD documentation “Germany, your Artist” (2012) and the ZDF-Production “Garrett plays Brahms” (2013) are among the best television appearances of David Garrett.
David Garrett is ambassador for the José Carreras Leukemia Foundation.
David Garrett plays the Stradivarius “A. Busch” from 1716.

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