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Biography
David Garrett

“You have to be a world-class violinist in order to record a good crossover CD.” (David Garrett)

“Only those artists can afford to do crossover who have already made a name for themselves in the classical music scene.” David Garrett sets high quality standards. And he knows what he is talking about. In Fall 2007 the recording artist made his appearance in Germany with the release of his crossover album Virtuoso and he has been redefining standards in the classic and crossover scene step by step ever since. The native of Aachen, son of a German jurist and an American prima ballerina, can allow himself to sound out the limits. After all, at age 32, he already looks back on a matchless career.

He gets his first violin at age four and makes his first appearance with the Hamburg Philharmonics at the early age of ten. At age thirteen he is the youngest artist to be awarded an exclusive contract with the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft. In 1999, at the height of his career, the shooting star redirects his energy, deciding to leave his predetermined path as a classical violinist and move to New York – not to take a time-out but rather to place his musical proficiency on a theoretical foundation and perfect his technique. He enrolls at the prestigious Julliard School, studying musicology and composition.

Instruction with Itzhak Perlmann lends his performance completely new facets. David Garrett’s particular enthusiasm for studying composition earns him a distinction in 2003 when he wins the renowned Composition Competition of Julliard School with a fugue composed in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. In doing so, he lays the foundation for what have become legendary arrangements. His highly esteemed American composition teacher Eric Ewazen has said of him “As a violinist, his spectacular, heartfelt and expressive playing already dazzled – even when he was a student – those of us who had the great pleasure of teaching him, and we recognized his extraordinary gifts and his amazing talent.”

Since completing his studies, the visionary violinist has committed himself to a clearly defined goal – introducing young people to the classics and kindling enthusiasm for reputedly serious music. Combining classical elements with those of pop and rock as well as rhythm and blues is a means to this end. “Regarding the crossover pieces I arrange, I strive to attain a level of performance at least equal to that expected of classical works. When another violinist looks at one of my scores he must say “The violin part is damned good. It is so difficult I’d have to practice it for hours before being able to play it.” Concerning his ambitions, David Garrett puts it succinctly. “You have to be a world-class violinist in order to record a good crossover CD. This poses an even greater challenge than classical music does because you want to present things to your listeners in a completely new light while putting on a superb violinist’s performance. The great virtuosos from Paganini to Heifetz did just that. Anything else would be merely mindless commercialism.”

Whereas many conservative contemporaries wonder whether uncompromising excellence and popularity, art and commerce can or may even be reconciled, David Garrett long ago proved that it is possible, enthralling listeners of all ages. The same new, incredibly electrifying spirit pervades lofty philharmonic halls holding sold-out classical concerts and open-air arenas staging crossover programs. The people sense that they are being taken seriously, that a person is performing who approaches the task with utmost discipline while creating an awareness for various musical genres and styles. Garrett’s desire to diminish the awe of classical music felt by young audiences in particular, to spark a whirlwind in the music scene while striving to sweep as many people off their feet as he possibly can is fulfilled to an overwhelming degree.

David Garrett is not only a technically brilliant recording artist who has received the praise and support of such eminent violin virtuosos as Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin and in particular Ida Haendel. His greatness is also reflected in his mental countenance. As one of the few classically versed artists he has an undistorted perspective on tradition and modernity. Thinking in terms of fixed categories is foreign to him. “In my eye, the Paganinis, Liszts and Chopins of the 19th century were the world’s first rock stars,” he says. Garrett knows the secrets of great music and understands that the more substance a work has, the more possibilities an artist has to make it his own and place it in new contexts. “Bach arranged Vivaldi and Mozart arranged Turkish marches. Beethoven wanted to enchant the masses too, employing musical means to this end. Great composers have always incorporated elements which were popular in their day and there is nothing reprehensible about that. On the contrary.”

Thus his musical expertise inspired him to interlace Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal with Mozart’s Turkish March – and he did so before Michael Jackson’s death, before the world paid tribute to this exceptional talent. David Garrett sets trends of his own because he is also ahead of his time. And yet he knows that talent and a command of one’s instrument do not suffice alone if one is to intellectually and spiritually penetrate a work and gain a grasp of it. A background knowledge of music theory enables the well-traveled artist to analyze and scrutinize scores. “Many great works are unbelievably rich in diverse possibilities. A certain passage in Mozart’s Turkish March and one in Smooth Criminal have almost the same harmonic progression. This goes to show that apart from instrumentalization, music has hardly changed at all over the past 250 years. We continue to work with the same material.”

Only this mixture of perfectionism and openness, thoroughgoingness and foresight explain the overwhelming success which David Garrett has had since the release of Virtuoso. With this recording the artist presented the public with his vision of how various musical styles can be creatively fused on a high artistic level without compromising musical standards. The succession of his own compositions interspersed with arrangements of classical pieces ranging from the virtuoso “Paganini Rhapsody,” based on Caprice No. 24 by Niccolò Paganini, to the emotionally intense rock classic “Nothing Else Matters” by “Metallica” stunned the music world. Advocates and critics sparked off a dialogue about musical orientations which has rekindled and refocused interest in how music communicates itself.

The artist was rewarded with an ECHO Classic 2008 in the category “Classic without Borders.” The “Encore” followed fast on this first success in October 2008, even surpassing the former release as a follow-up album. In the USA, “David Garrett” stayed number one in the classical and classical crossover charts for months.

With the album “Classic Romance”, released in November 2009, the violin virtuoso returned to classic turf. He created a special, very personal CD centering around Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, accompanied by seven small works from the Classic and Romantic periods. “Classic Romance” had an enormous resonance, winning Garrett the ECHO Classic 2010 in the category “Bestseller of the Year”. “Classical music is where my heart lies and I am elated that I succeed in bringing my message across to the audience.”

In June 2010 all previous musical activities of the star violinist culminated in a further exciting challenge: Rock Symphonies. At the legendary concert at Park Wuhlheide in Berlin, David Garrett delivered an unprecedentedly individual “musical address” to his multi-generational audience. Classics from all epochs – from the Baroque Age to modern times, from Bach to Nirvana – are presented in a newly arranged symphonic idiom. Once again his courage to embrace new things was rewarded.

In 2011 he received no less than two ECHO awards for his “Rock Symphonies”. The DVD “David Garrett: Rock Symphonies – Open Air Live” was distinguished in the category “Best Domestic DVD Production” and as “Best Artist” in the category “Rock/Pop Domestic”. “To date,” Garrett says, “‘Rock Symphonies’ is my most extraordinary and ambitious project. For this reason I look forward to getting together with the guys in my band, the orchestra and the audience on the 2011 Tour. For me, these people are all part of one large musical family.”

After his successful Rock Symphonies Tour in 2011, David went back to his classical roots. In the autumn, the star-violinist was Honorary Judge in the category violin at the International Music Competition Cologne. He fulfilled his lifetime-dream with the recording of the DECCA album “Legacy”, which was first released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On this CD you can listen to the Beethoven Violin-Concerto, which David considers this “the ultimate masterpiece of the violin repertoire”, plus various works by Fritz Kreisler.
Kreisler was not only a famous violinist, but also an exceptional composer. He wrote two beautiful solo cadenzas for the Beethoven Concerto, a longer one for the first movement and a somewhat shorter one for the third movement. David has always admired Kreisler’s profound understanding of music and has considered him an iconic figure. It seemed only natural to follow this tradition and play both Kreisler cadenzas.

Legacy proved to be an exceptional success. As soon as the album was released, it reached rank 6 on the overall-charts in Germany, the highest-ranking instrumental classical album in German chart history. In January 2012, the album reached gold-status. Legacy was released in the UK on 12th March and in the US on June 05.

© Dr. Burkhard und Sibylle Schäfer

David is playing the “A. Busch” Stradivarius (1716)


Displaying 41 Comments

  1. Posted by    23/09/2016 18:31

    Perfection, I adore your work and movie. Thank you.
    Although I have quite extensive training in music I was moved to go back to school and learn more.
    You were the catalyst for this and I thank you.
    I have played since I was 3 yrs old. Music was my first love and it will be my last.
    Whenever I listen to this ( or anything of yours ) I am deeply moved. Again a big thank you.

  2. Posted by    22/09/2016 12:16

    Im a huge fan from Argentina !! I LOVE YOUR MUSIC !!! WHEN ARE U COMING TO VISIT US ?
    PLEASE MAKE ARGENTINA TO BE PART OF YOUR TOUR !
    WE ARE LOOKING FOWARD TO SEEING U
    HUGS ::: MARIANNE

  3. Posted by Lisa Lisa    19/09/2016 04:47

    What makes one person stand out from all other people? For David Garrett, it’s his extraordinary depth of music and his interpretation and mastery of the violin. I applaud you, Dave, for your talent, and for sharing it with us. Best wishes.

  4. Posted by zoie stefania    05/09/2016 06:41

    Dear David,your present given to us for your birthday is superb and I consider him the best present received on my birthday which will be soon,also in September.Thank you so much!!!With all my love,Ștefania

  5. Posted by    04/09/2016 17:55

    I wish you a Happy Birthday David!

    May bigger dreams come as well as the possibilities make them true in the same proportion. May you continue attracting people for the amazing guy you are. May they be enchanted by your work. May your number of fans double, triple, and become increasingly loyal and devoted to you because you really deserve every one of us. May you always have a reason to smile, and to feel that life is extremely good to live. May you never lack true hugs, tight and breathtaking. May you never lack real friends, people that you love and want forever with you, by your side. Good health, for you to feel willing to go after your goals. Peace, because if it lacks, you do not have anything else. I wish you not only on this day of yours, but also on the others ahead. May you be extremely enlightened. May you never lose the desire to love and to plant love in people’s hearts. May your birthday be filled with light and good things, and your life be always so, because that is what you transmit; this will to always continue walking rhythmically and with your chin up. I admire you for all that you are, for what you never ceased to be, for all that you won.

  6. Posted by    04/09/2016 05:51

    David,

    I wish you a Happy Birthday!

    May bigger dreams come as well as the possibilities make them true in the same proportion. May you continue attracting people for the amazing guy you are. May they be enchanted by your work. May your number of fans double, triple, and become increasingly loyal and devoted to you because you really deserve every one of us. May you always have a reason to smile, and to feel that life is extremely good to live. May you never lack true hugs, tight and breathtaking. May you never lack real friends, people that you love and want forever with you, by your side. Good health, for you to feel willing to go after your goals. Peace, because if it lacks, you do not have anything else. I wish you not only on this day of yours, but also on the others ahead. May you be extremely enlightened. May you never lose the desire to love and to plant love in people’s hearts. May your birthday be filled with light and good things, and your life be always so, because that is what you transmit; this will to always continue walking rhythmically and with your chin up. I admire you for all that you are, for what you never ceased to be, for all that you won.

  7. Posted by zoie stefania    04/09/2016 05:13

    Happy Birthday,dear David!!!A long and beautiful life together with your family,with your friends and your fans!You always enjoy us with your music,with your warm smile and gentle!To be loved and treasured wherever you live and perform!To follow your dreams and ideals!With all my love,Ștefania

  8. Posted by zoie stefania    26/08/2016 10:38

    Dear David,I wish you inspiration,passion,hard working,value,prestige,public gratitude,admiration and love of the fans to you and your music yet fifty years from now.The distance between us can prevent a hug but can not prevent’ll send a good thought.With all my love,Ștefania

  9. Posted by    14/08/2016 06:52

    Dear David….you make me speechless.

  10. Posted by zoie stefania    11/08/2016 09:23

    Dear David,Thank you because you exist and I enjoy music and your angelic face,with your eyes so gentle,cheerful and…so deep.I listen to your music daily and I want to know that you can not imagine what this means to me.You are so amazing and so gorgeous!!!You radiate kindness and tenderness!How lucky we are all your fans are contemporary with you!You are a comfort and a caress for the soul!To always be healthy,always be happy and to be inspired with your family,your friends and the people who deserve you.Protect your heart!Do not let little things changed.Forget!Forgive quickly and not remembering the old annoyances.Just look to the future!I am looking forward to next year in Romania.I want enormous and I hope to receive an autograph from you when you will perform next year in Bucharest.With all my love,Ștefania

  11. Posted by    11/08/2016 09:07

    Dear David,Thank you because you exist and I enjoy music and your angelic face,with your eyes so gentle,cheerful and …so deep.I listen to your music daily and I want to know that you can not imagine what this means to me.You are so amazing and so gorgeous!You radiate kindness and tenderness!How lucky we are all your fans that are contemporary with you!You are a comfort and a caress for the soul!To always be healthy,always be happy and to be inspired with your family,your friends and the people who deserve you.Protect your heart!Do not let little things changed.Forget!Forgive quickly and not remembering the old annoyances.Just look to the future!I am looking forward to next year in Romania!I want enormous and I hope to receive an autograph from you when you perform next year in Bucharest.With all my love,Ștefania

  12. Posted by Andrea Schubert    03/08/2016 11:04

    Lieber David, Deine Musik und Dein Lächeln wärmen mir das Herz. Danke dafür! Mögest du jemanden finden wo auch Dein Ich sich so fühlt und es auf Gegenseitigkeit beruht.

  13. Posted by    17/07/2016 21:19

    Any chance you have plans to come to Sweden? Ever since I’ve discovered you by a friend who posted one of your videos on Facebook, I’ve completely been mesmerised with your music and videos on Youtube. Great work, passionate, sensitive, breath taking! love it! Thank you for your dedication David! Best wishes!

  14. Posted by    06/06/2016 02:45

    Me apasiona escucharte… desearía poder escucharte en vivo… Vení a Argentina!!! pleaseeee

  15. Posted by    28/05/2016 19:32

    Hallo David! I am the fan Who Told You “Das ist nicht möglich!” as I met You walking To The Ponchielli Theatre At Cremona Last April 15. You replied To me “hallo!” …I still remember your voice so nice, I Will carry It in My Heart And Ears forever. It Was a Wonderful concerto! Please apologize for The lack of air forcing….I am so sorry You were suffering for the too high temperature! Kisses

  16. Posted by    18/05/2016 20:56

    David, I knew your grandparents, Dove and Horace, and over the years we knew them, she spoke so often of you, your brother and sister until I felt I knew you. I have one of your earliest CD’s. Yesterday at the retirement home where I now live, I met a lady who had lived down the street from Dove and it brought memories back to me and so last eve, I went searching and there you were on the web. I am so glad that you have not wavered and are still performing. Remember me to your mom. From another grandmother of 94 presently living near Charleston, SC.

  17. Posted by    13/05/2016 22:32

    I know what violins sound like in Heaven. What a gift, thank you David.

  18. Posted by    12/05/2016 04:08

    Lovely guy, lovely music he plays!

  19. Posted by    26/04/2016 19:57

    Hallo Her bongartz ich komme aus dem iran und ich liebe dich uber alles und ich hoffe ,eines tages konnen sie in Iran sehen

  20. Posted by    04/04/2016 11:24

    I can´t unlove you!!!!!!

  21. Posted by    26/03/2016 01:12

    Gracias a la Vida, que me ha dado… (Violeta Parra) ….la suerte de escuchar ese hermoso, apasionado, delicado y emocionante sonido que David hace salir de su violín. Lo más lindo es que él lo disfruta con todo su cuerpo y su alma. El amor y el respeto circulan entre David y el violín.
    Cuídese David de que toda esa fama no lo aturada, y que su familia y los que lo quieren de verá, lo apoyen a quedar con los pies sobre la tierra.
    Atentamente una chilena que admira su talento y el niño que vive en Usted. Jéssica

  22. Posted by Mariana Yarnold    22/03/2016 11:47

    Anyone knows when David Garrett is touring the UK next?

  23. Posted by DBRDBG    12/03/2016 00:07

    Yes, YOU are the Mozart of our generation.
    LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

    your biggest fan
    Daniela. ❤️

  24. Posted by DBRDBG    12/03/2016 00:05

    the truth is that your music , you can reach us feel so many beautiful feelings .
    I love you so much.
    And I want you to know that I attended your concert in Guadalajara, and it was great .

    I love you very much and hope you come back soon to Mexico .

  25. Posted by DBRDBG    12/03/2016 00:01

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR MUSIC, WHEN I HEAR YOUR MUSIC, I CAN REMEMBER YOU.

    AND YOU ARE SO AWESOME.

    LOVE YOU SINCERELY.

  26. Posted by DBRDBG    11/03/2016 23:59

    Yo fui el 5 de marzo a tu concierto en Guadalajara, YA CUMPLÍ UNO DE MIS SUEÑOS, te quiero mucho, y esperó que regreses muy pronto.

  27. Posted by    10/03/2016 08:24

    David Garrett♡ THANK YOU ☆ MUCHO GRACIAS ♡ YOU ARE AN AMAZING VIOLINIST☆THE BEST OF ARE TIME ♡2016 YOU HAVE BEEN A ROLE MODEL FOR MY SON ANTHONY WESTROPE HE IS A YOUNG INSPIRING VIOLINIST IN THE 11TH GRADE NOW BEEN PLAYING SINCE 4TH GR. HE LOVES YOUR MUSIC, STYLE AND HAS FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW! AS WELL AS MY SELF LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR BEAUTIFUL MUSIC AND HOPE TO SEE YOU WHEN YOU RETURN TO CALIFORNIA HOPE IN THE NEAR FUTURE ☆ LOVE TO TAKE MY SON TO SEE YOU IN CONCERT WOULD BE A EXCITING EXPERIENCE & WISH COME TRUE ♡☆ KEEP DOING WHAT YOUR DOING YOU REALLY ARE SPECIAL AND ONE OF A KIND MUCH LOVE IN CALIFORNIA mucho gracias & mucho besos Always keeping us motivated with your music ☆ violin thank you! !!!

  28. Posted by HiloWahine    09/03/2016 05:43

    The sound that you create is like nothing I have ever heard on this earth. Thank You for sharing your gift with the world over. You and your violin are magic

  29. Posted by    05/03/2016 04:37

    Después de bastante tiempo de desearlo, MAÑANA iré a un concierto tuyo!!!! La música es un lenguaje único, común, universal y mágico. Quien la interpreta con todo su ser provoca hasta la última fibra del espíritu. Eres maravilloso!!!! Hasta mañana en Guadalajara, David, bienvenido!!!!

  30. Posted by    02/03/2016 14:04

    hola Sr. Garrett, le deseo una hermosa semana. le agradezco la magia que transmite cuando interpreta las partituras en su violín, es tan hermoso escucharle que el mundo deja de girar y uno se olvida de las penas, una luz entra en nuestra alma y la ilumina, jeje, es muy grato escucharle en cualquier tipo de música, navideña, rockera , clásica, moderna o simplemente actual. Deseo que pueda deleitarnos por muchisisimo tiempo jeje, soy egoísta no?, pues si, cada dia leo mi face y las redes para conocer a que parte del mundo alegro hoy, gracias, nunca dejes de ser tan bello, buen dia, un abrazo!!

  31. Posted by khu khu    23/02/2016 09:14

    Hi, nice to know you!!!! Brother. I like yr violin voice so much. When I listen yr music, my depression are lost. So it make my heart that flow in the air. Actually i want to talk with u and want to be yr fri or younger sis, can i??? But i don´t think so:-) :-) :-) I want to proficient in playing violin like you, bro. Keep trying, bro. We r here to proud of yr music. God blessu, bro. And I like yr sweet and friendly smile. Sis like your hair style ,too. Actually, I don´t interest a man who has long hair.However, I love your hair style so much, bro. :-) :-) :-)

  32. Posted by Susan Howard    21/02/2016 07:29

    I was ‘raised’ on classical music. Several years ago, when I knew my eldest daughter was coming over (her name is Elise), I started playing Fur Elise as they entered. My eldest granddaughter was enchanted. She started taking classical piano that summer at my home and then continued at her home for the next 5 years. I had her watch and then listen to your violin playing of both classical and crossover pieces. She received a violin this past Christmas and is already playing it. (It helps that her boy friend and best girl friend also play the violin). They all PREFER Classical Music to be played, but listen to the songs their peers like, too…especially your crossover music. This summer, I get a chance to introduce her younger sister to classical piano and ballet.
    My other granddaughter of the same age as the youngest already is playing classical piano. THANK YOU! You make learning and sticking to the classical music possible for my grandchildren. Without your spectacular talents, they may have given up on classical music and by now perhaps would only listen to rap or whatever the current fashion is. Forever in your gratitude. ( I also have your CD’s playing nightly as I work on the computer)

  33. Posted by    14/02/2016 17:04

    Congratulations! It is an indescribable feeling hearing you play the violin. You are an inspiration for so many people (young and old), who love music. Thank you for being here, for letting us share the gift you have been blessed with.

  34. Posted by    08/02/2016 07:08

    What an extraordinary gift to mankind! Transcending space and time, his is the music of Heaven here on earth. I look forward to his concert experience in Toronto, Canada on March 10th, 2016. His music make my soul sing.

  35. Posted by    19/01/2016 08:15

    He is amazing on the violin. It helps me sleep at night. What a wonderful talent!

  36. Posted by Sabrina Tirado Gomez    08/01/2016 17:17

    I can be in the concert of Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico (5 of march)
    I Love, Thanks for you music!!

  37. Posted by Sabrina Tirado Gomez    08/01/2016 17:14

    He is a excelent musician and artist the best of world!
    Saludos desde Jalisco, Mexico.

  38. Posted by    03/01/2016 21:26

    Please…..come to show in Brazil- São Paulo….
    we love you and your music….touches our soul….kisses

  39. Posted by Angélica Ocampo    01/01/2016 22:55

    Saludos desde Ecuador, soy su gran admiradora David, su música es maravilloso, se siente en el aire tanto sentimiento en su música, usted toca con pasión y entrega, su voz es el violín. Dios lo siga bendiciendo cada día, espero en algún momento venga a mi país.

    Le pediría por favor su dirección de correo postal en Alemania, para enviarle un recuerdo de mi país y cariños, usted a llegado a mi corazón con su música. Éxito y felicidad en este 2016. Abrazos. Gracias por su Amor y su música. :) :)

  40. Posted by    18/12/2015 05:53

    He is the Mozart of our generation.

  41. Posted by    18/11/2015 23:25

    Brakuje słów. Wirtuozeria, mistrzostwo muzyczne i aktorskie. Muzyka Nicolo opanowała mnie bez reszty. Dziękuję

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