David Garrett

“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)

David Garrett looks back upon an unparalleled career of over 20 years. Since the fall of 2007 and the release of his first crossover CD, “Virtuoso”, the violin star has been redefining standards step by step in both the classical and crossover scene. His CDs were Bestsellers of the Year in Germany for three consecutive years (2010 with “Classic Romance”/ Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, 2011 and 2012 with “Legacy”/ Beethoven Violin Concerto). David Garrett made his acting debut and fulfilled a dream by playing the main role of Niccolò Paganini in “The Devil’s Violinist– Der Teufelsgeiger” (Director: Bernard Rose), appearing in movie theaters in October 2013. Together with Franck van der Heijden, Garrett also composed the music for the film, dedicating his aria, “Ma Dove Sei”, to the star tenor, Andrea Bocelli.

While many of his more conservative contemporaries are still contemplating whether uncompromising standards and popularity and art and commerce are at all compatible or should be, David Garrett has long since managed to prove that it is possible, and in doing so, has captivated listeners of all ages. To make classical music less daunting, in particular for younger listeners, and to raise a whirlwind in the music scene, drawing in as many people as possible are goals Garrett is realizing at a formidable rate. Since 2007, David Garrett has achieved the balance between popular and serious music; a differentiation the successful violinist himself doesn’t make. Like Leonard Bernstein and many others, he is convinced that there is only good or bad music – regardless of genre. This becomes obvious especially with crossover programs in which David Garrett combines differing musical styles and eras. Just such programs were featured at outstanding concerts including the open air concert in front of 17,000 listeners at the Königsplatz in Munich on June 1st, 2014, as well as his first concert in Mexico in February, 2014, for an audience of 10,000. Further open air concerts by Garrett took place in June of 2015 including the Waldbühne in Berlin, among others.

David Garrett stays true to his roots, performing purely classical programs time and time again. The years 2014 and 2015 are dominated by the violin concertos by Brahms and Bruch. Invitations by various orchestras led him to the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the orchestras in Genoa and Naples and to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. This collaboration resulted in the newest CD, “Timeless” with the (only) violin concerto by Johannes Brahms in D-major and the Violin Concerto No.1 in g-minor by Max Bruch. In 2015, David Garrett made his debut with the Russian National Philharmonic in Moscow and the RAI Turin, among others. Another important debut took place in May of 2015 with the Filharmonica della Scala under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. Invitations for return engagements include performances with the Vienna Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic and the Orchestre di Teatro San Carlo, Naples. He will be performing the Brahms concerto with Christoph Eschenbach and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in November 2015.

He also went on an extended tour together with his piano accompanist, Julien Quentin, performing the three violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms. Tour stops included debuts in Paris, Lyon, Istanbul and Luxembourg.

In 2016 David Garrett will focus on the Violin Concerto by P.I. Tchaikovsky. He has been reengaged to play this piece by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Andres Orozco-Estrada and the Museumsorchester Frankfurt with Andrey Boreyko.

Born in the town of Aachen to a German lawyer and an American prima ballerina, Garrett received his first violin at the age of four and already gave his first performance together with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra at ten years of age. At thirteen, he became the youngest artist to sign an exclusive contract with the Deutsche Grammophon. In 1999, at the peak of his career, the aspiring artist marks a caesura. He decides to stray from his laid out path as a classical violinist and move to New York – not to take a break but to perfect his technique and build a theoretic foundation upon which to build his musical skills: He registers at the Julliard School, majoring in Musicology and Composition and studies with Itzhak Perlman. His education lends completely new angles to his performance. David Garrett’s special passion for composing is literally distinguished in 2003, winning the Julliard composition competition with his work – a fugue in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. His composition professor, Eric Ewazen, describes Garrett: “We were completely overwhelmed by the intensity of his spectacular and expressive playing. Every individual who had the honor and pleasure to teach him recognized his outstanding giftedness and his incredible talent.”

Since the violin visionary completed his studies, he has had a clearly defined goal in sight: He wishes to lead young people to classical music and awaken enthusiasm for supposedly “serious” music. For him, the merging of classical music and elements from pop, rock and rhythm and blues is a means to an end, and, as the great virtuosi from Paganini to Heifetz took a similar approach during their lifetimes, Garrett is following in the footsteps of his idols. Furthermore, he is committed to youth work and has performed with the vbw-Festivalorchester in Bad Wörishofen. Whenever organization allows, he invites children and youth to dress rehearsals.

By now, David Garrett is able to boast an extensive discography. The CD, “Legacy”, featuring the violin concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven enjoyed extraordinary success: directly following its release, the album shot to number 6 in the Media Control Charts, the highest chart entry of any classical instrumental album in German music history. “Legacy” sprang right to number 1 in the classical music charts in both England and Germany – the CD eventually reaching platinum in Germany. The ARD documentary “Deutschland, Deine Künstler” (2012) and the ZDF Production “Garrett spielt Brahms” (2013) belong to the some of the outstanding TV portraits featuring the violinist.

David Garrett performed in front of the US President and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel during Barack Obama’s visit to Germany in 2013. Furthermore, he was honored with a BAMBI award in November of 2013.

David Garrett is ambassador of the José Carreras Leukemia Foundation.

David Garrett plays a 1716 “A.Busch” Stradivarius.


Events with David Garrett: