“David Garrett has an astonishing technique and natural musicality.” – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
David Garrett was born in 1980 in Aachen, Germany, the son of an American prima ballerina and a German lawyer and violin auctioneer. He was given his first violin at the age of four. His father not only recognized his extraordinary aptitude for this instrument; he also worked with David himself on the violin for many years. In addition the boy received a special violin training for gifted young violinists from Coosje Wijzenbeek in The Netherlands. This was followed by studies at the Lübeck Musikhochschule with Zakhar Bron as well as in Berlin. In August 1991 he made his debut with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra. An encounter with Ida Haendel in London led in 1992 to an intensive period of coaching from the great Polish violinist. As a young artist of 13, he was signed to an exclusive contract by Deutsche Grammophon. That year he was invited by the then German president Richard von Weizsäcker to give a concert at Villa Hammerschmidt, his official residence in Bonn. David’s move to New York to study at the Juilliard School – musicology as well as violin with Itzhak Perlman and composition with Eric Ewazen – has also enabled him to write and arrange works for himself. The winner of five ECHO awards and Golden Camera prize-winner is active as an ambassador for the German branch of the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation.
1994 A tour of Italy with Claudio Abbado and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe is followed by a recording of Mozart’s two D major Violin Concertos, K.271a (271i) and K.218 with Abbado and the COE as well as the Violin Sonata in B flat K.454 with pianist Itamar Golan. USA debut concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Appears at the Verbier Festival in the Swiss classical event’s inaugural year. Studies and collaborates with Isaac Stern.
1995 His Deutsche Grammophon debut album is released: Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata, Bach’s Partita no. 2 in D minor BWV 1004 and Mozart’s Adagio for violin and piano K.261 with pianist Alexander Markovich. Makes French concert debut at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The recordings with Claudio Abbado are also released in October.
1996 Tour of Japan with the NDR (Hamburg Radio) Symphony Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt. The programme includes Mendelssohn’s E minor Violin Concerto op. 64.
1997 Release of Paganini’s 24 Caprices op. 1, partnered by Bruno Canino playing the piano accompaniments composed by Robert Schumann. Marking the 50th anniversary of Indian independence, Garrett tours that country with Zubin Mehta and the Munich Philharmonic, appearing in Mumbai and Delhi.
2000 Garrett plays the Third Violin Concerto of Saint-Saëns with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra under Pavle Dešpalj and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Mario Venzago.
2001 The year begins with concerts with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Deutsche Grammophon releases his CD of Tchaikovsky’s D major Violin Concerto plus the E minor Violin Concerto of Jules Conus; Mikhail Pletnev conducts the Russian National Orchestra.
2002 Deutsche Grammophon issues the collection “Pure Classics”. Appearances with the Tallinn and St. Petersburg Festival chamber orchestras as well as the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Emmanuel Krivine.
2003 Garrett wins Juilliard’s composing competition with a fugue in the style of J. S. Bach. Concerts with the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, performing the Sibelius concerto. Various engagements take him to, among other countries, Norway, Finland, Spain and Slovenia.
2004 Continues to tour Europe, with concert destinations including Belgium and the Czech Republic. In August he plays the Tchaikovsky concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and in September the Brahms with the Saarland State Orchestra under Jiří Kout.
2005 Along with concerts in Malaga and Italy, Garrett appears in South America and Asia. He plays a Mozart concerto with the Saarland Radio Orchestra under the baton of Günther Herbig.
2006 His playing excites audiences this year in South America, Israel and Japan. Collaborations include the Israel Chamber Orchestra under Gil Shohat and the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion under Dan Ettinger. In December he plays a Mozart concerto in Luxembourg with the Orchestre Philharmonique conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.
2007 Release of the album “Virtuoso” – his first with the violinist’s own arrangements. Tours of Europe and Asia. Appears at the “Last Night of the Thurn-und-Taxis Proms” in Regensburg, Germany. Concerts follow with the Duisburg Philharmonic, at the “Next Generation” Festival in Dortmund and the “Classical Spectacular” in London’s Royal Albert Hall. He presents a duo programme with pianist Catherine Gordeladze. His year concludes at Barbican Hall in a concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Simon Wright.
2008 Following up on the huge success of “Virtuoso”, a sequel is issued – “Encore”. Its new concept, coupling classical works with pop and rock music, draws increasing attention from both press and public and the album is awarded the ECHO Klassik-ohne-Grenzen (Classics without Borders) prize. Recital in Valladolid, Spain with Daniel Gortler and a concert at Regensburg’s Thurn-und-Taxis Festival. Appears at the Verbier Festival in July. Recital tour with pianist Milana Chernyavska. Tours the US and in September plays with the BBC Concert Orchestra before 40,000 listeners at London’s Proms in the Park.
2009 On his new CD “Classic Romance” he couples the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with shorter pieces such as Dvořák’s Humoresque and Messiaen’s Méditation. His accompanists are Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie Orchester and conductor Andrew Litton. Appearances with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie of Rheinland-Pfalz under Ari Rasileinen are followed by a visit to Hong Kong. Another recital tour with Milana Chernyavska. He plays Bruch’s First Concerto with the Prague Chamber Orchestra. Performs with the Orchestra of the Berlin Deutsche Oper under Yves Abel and in a concert at the Bonn Beethovenfest. Appears at the Saar Music Festival with the Linz Bruckner Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies. At the Ludwigsburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Ruhr Piano festivals he plays trios with Gautier Capuçon and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Concert at the Tonhalle with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Muhai Tang. Appears in Munich with the Wiener Symphoniker under Philippe Jordan.
2010 “Rock Symphonies” is released. Tours with the Weimar Staatskapelle under George Pehlivanian. Recital tour of Germany and Austria with pianist Julien Quentin. They perform violin sonatas by Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart. “Classic Romance” is named the ECHO-Klassik “Bestseller of the Year”. Concert in Linz with the Bruckner Orchestra under Davies.
2011 With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Ion Marin, he records the Beethoven Violin Concerto for his new album “Legacy”, coupling it with pieces by Fritz Kreisler including Tambourin Chinois and Liebesleid. “Legacy” immediately hits the Media Control Charts at #6, the highest chart entry of a classical instrumental album in German music history. Soon the album goes Gold. Concert tour performing the Beethoven concerto and pieces by Kreisler with the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Vladimir Spivakov. He also appears with the Wiener Symphoniker under Andrey Boreyko in Vienna and Bad Kissingen. Concerts at the Verbier Festival with the festival’s chamber orchestra under Gabor Takács-Nagy. Season opening of the Museum Concerts in Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, accompanied by the Frankfurt Museum Orchestra under Sebastian Weigle. He is appointed to the Order of Merit of the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.
2012 “Music” is released and quickly achieves Gold and Platinum status. Recital tour with Julien Quentin at the piano and Marcus Wolf on classical guitar. Their programme: Brahms’s Violin Sonata in A major, op. 100, and Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata. Concerts in Italy with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi under John Axelrod. “Legacy” wins the ECHO-Klassik award as “Bestseller of the Year”. This year Bernard Rose directs Paganini – The Devil’s Violinist with David Garrett in the title role. The biopic about the legendary Italian violin virtuoso will reach cinema screens in 2013.
2013 Deutsche Grammophon releases “14”, an album of performances recorded in Munich’s Herkules-Saal in April 1995, when the violinist was 14 years old.