Gerhard Reichenbach, classical guitar

„Listening to your playing I feel confident about the future of the guitar. The work, the performer, the interpretation- phantastic!“

(Prof. Konrad Ragossnig, Wien)

Gerhard Reichenbach Portrait

Gerhard Reichenbach (* 1965) ist einer der international führenden deutschen Konzertgitarristen und gilt als einer der interessantesten Gitarristen seiner Generation.

During already 40 years of performing recitals (debut recital in Düsseldorf in 1980, international debut at the Volos Guitar Festival Greece 1990)) he played solo recitals and concerts with orchestra at many of the biggest international guitar festivals and in philharmonic concert halls. He was the first german guitarist who had the honour to perform a recital at the International House of Music in Moscow, one of the biggest concert houses in Europe. In 2003 he was invited to his concert debut to the Berliner Philharmonie.

His audiences, musical experts and the critical acclaim are enthousiastic about his intepretations of classical guitar repertoire from many different musical styles, and his performances are highlights of a masterly guitar playing which combines virtuosity and brilliance, sensitivity and a special poetic sense for sound with an impressive stage presence. His active concert repertoire (about 35 different solo programmes, chamber music and a number of concertos with orchestra) consists of music from 5 centuries and from all classical styles. Among this works , his transcriptions of baroque keyboard music – especially his transcriptions of the piano partitas 1&3 by Johann Sebastian Bach – have been considered as outstanding, establishing his reputation as one of the best Bach interpreters in the classical guitar world.

Apart from discovering unknown classical guitar pieces he is an avid supporter of contemporary guitar music performing world premieres and first performances of music of our time ( such as Leo Brouwer, Hans-Werner Henze, Arvo Pärt, Boris Assafiev, Ulrich Leyendecker, Manfred Trojan, Lutz-Werner Hesse, Rossen Balkanski, Atanas Ourkouzounov). A number of composers dedicated works to Gerhard Reichenbach, who is also one of the very few guitarists who perform large cycklical works (for example Rossen Balkanski, Sonata Nr.2 with a duration of 43 min or Buck Wolters, 12 concert studies op.47 with a duration of 70 minutes).

As an artist Gerhard Reichenbach wants to represent clear, pure and simple interpretations. He feels that all parts of a normal career mechanism (traveling, recording, filming, advertising, visibility etc.) easily could disturb the purity of musical interpreation – and as a result of this he denied to fight for a kind of career which would present him at all possible places. He tried to keep the number of his concerts low as well as the number of his recordings; this has contributed to his relative obscurity in compare with some of his colleagues. Since 30 years he is exclusively performing on a spruce top guitar by the american luthier Thomas Humphrey (millenium model), recently he also performs on a guitar by the german luthier Thomas Merz.

Teaching and sharing his musical experience is essential for Gerhard. At the age of 29 years he became professor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar (Germany.) In the year 2000 he moved to Thessaloniki (Greece) where he built up the new classical guitar department of the State Conservatory Thessaloniki. Since 2009 until now he is holding a full professor position at the Hochschule für Music und Tanz Köln (University of Music Cologne). Many of his former students are prizewinners at international competitions, concert performers, professors or successful teachers worldwide.

Gerhard is serving jury boards of international competitions and he is active as an organizer of guitar concerts and guitar festivals (Vissani Guitar Festival, Bergisches Gitarrenfestival).