I was born in 1973 in Troisdorf, a small town near Cologne, Germany. My dad bought a piano when I was nine months old and one of my first childhood memories was sitting on my dad's lap while he was playing a tune that became the soundtrack of my childhood - the first movement of Mozart's sonata in A, K 331. It was also my father who taught me the love for music by making me listen to his impressive record collection, taking me to classical concerts and giving me books about those who were to become childhood heroes – Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt et al. The old 1920s upright piano was my favourite toy and, when repair costs were about to skyrocket, dad decided it was time I got lessons. So at the age of seven I started to learn the piano properly, being taught by a young church musician, Norbert Schmitz. After a few years, I changed to Markus Grünter, at that time a music student and composer. Then, from 1988 to 1994, I was taught by the pianist Eleonora Sauer. In the meantime I got my Kawai R-1 grand piano, which I have been playing ever since.
Between 1987 and 1992 I was awarded first and second prizes at local piano competitions (Musizierende Jugend im Rhein-Sieg-Kreis and Jugend Musiziert) both as soloist and accompanyist. I played my first solo recital in a piano house in Bonn in 1993. The programme included Mussorgky's Pictures At An Exhibition. Other recitals followed, but I never pursued the path of a professional pianist.
Instead, I studied English Language and Literature in Germany and the UK, got infected with the Shakespeare virus and studied the English romantic poets - Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats. I have been working as a freelance teacher of English as a foreign language for well over a decade now.
At some point I started exploring other musical realms. I learned the electric bass and played keyboards and bass in a few local rock and metal bands. From 2000 – 2002 I wrote for an American hardrock / heavy metal online magazine doing interviews with Iron Maiden and the like. However, after the sad demise of one of the bands I played in until the summer of 2006, I decided to shelve the bass guitar and take up playing the piano again – the prodigal son comes to mind here.
In 2008, after ten years of not playing the piano in public and after two years of intense practice, I played a series of recitals in churches and at smaller venues located between Bonn and Osnabrück. The programme included Schumann's Kinderszenen, Brahms's Intermezzi Opus 117, Beethoven's Pathetique and Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No 2.
This year I am looking forward to the premiere of Makus Grünter's 9 Miniaturen für Klavier, Liegeklänge und CD zu Bildern von Udo Eich on 28 April and another series of recitals with music by Messiaen, Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt