Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik

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Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik
Born (1980-09-06) 6 September 1980 (age 36)
Berlin, Germany
Genres Baroque music
Years active 2000 (2000)–present
Associated acts Johann Sebastian Bach, Aleksandra Magdalena Grychtolik
Website (German)

Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik (born 6 September 1980 in Berlin) is a German harpsichordist, improviser, musicologist and academic.

Grychtolik is married to the harpsichordist Aleksandra Magdalena Grychtolik, with whom he has appeared in concert.[1]


Grychtolik graduated from the Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt", Weimar,[2] where he began research and work on his idea that it would be possible to digitally reconstruct selected works from Bach's Weimar period, creating a historical concert in a virtual church.[3] Grychtolik received the school's Franz Liszt Prize in 2005.[4] He studied the harpsichord[5] with Bernhard Klapprott (de) and with Frédérick Haas at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.[6] He also studied architecture[4] at Bauhaus-University Weimar,[6] where he published an article about the concert halls of the GDR.[7]

Grychtolik has concertised at several European early music festivals.[6] He has lectured at various conservatories such as Frankfurt and taught Baroque improvisation at the Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt", Weimar,[8] the first such teaching position in Germany.

He specializes in the field of early music, Baroque improvisation and composition. He has reconstructed various vocal works of Johann Sebastian Bach which have received much attention.[9]

Bach reconstructions[edit]

He edited the St. Mark Passion (performed in 1744) as a stylistically consistent reconstruction, published by Edition Peters.[10] This work was lost, the last known copy having burned in 1945. It was completely reconstructed by Grychtolik.[5][11]

The reconstruction of the St. Mark Passion was first performed on 1 April 2007 as part of the festival Thüringer Bachwochen (Thuringia's Weeks of Bach) in Weimar's town church St. Peter und Paul,[2] where several of Bach's children were baptized.[5] Klaus-Jürgen Teutschbein (de) conducted; Grychtolik played the harpsichord.[5] It was again performed in the St. Jakob's church in Köthen, where Bach once lived and worked, as part of its 23rd Bach Festival (Köthener Bachfesttage).[12][13] The day before the concert, Grychtolik participated in a panel discussion and had to answer questions about his Bach "parody" from Bach experts who are critical of his efforts.[12]

He edited the first full reconstruction of the funeral cantata Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt, BWV 244a, also called Köthener Trauermusik, which Bach used as the base for his St Matthew Passion.

The Köthener Trauermusik was performed in March 2010 by the Lautten Compagney in the Sophienkirche Berlin[14] and the Kammermusiksaal of the Deutschlandfunk in Cologne and later broadcast on radio.[15] A performance on 11 May 2010 was aired by Austrian broadcaster ORF.[16]

Bach's O angenehme Melodei, BWV 210a, only survives as a fragment. However, because Bach used it for his wedding cantata O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit, BWV 210, it was possible to reconstruct the piece. Grychtolik's work makes it possible to perform the cantata in concert.[17]


  1. ^ Kapellenkonzerte im Kloster Chorin 2010 Retrieved 20 January 2011 (German)
  2. ^ a b April 2007 schedule of events (PDF) City of Weimar, Germany, official website. (April 2007) Retrieved 18 January 2011 (German)
  3. ^ "Guide to Bach Tour Weimar – Bach Research in 3D: Computer Reconstruction of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Palace Church a Success" Bach Cantatas (24 August 2005) Retrieved 19 January 2011
  4. ^ a b "Fanfare: Preise, Stellen und andere Erfolge" (PDF) Resonanz, school magazine, Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar (February 2005) Retrieved 18 January 2011 (German)
  5. ^ a b c d "Bachs rekonstruierte Markuspassion wird uraufgeführt" Neue Musik Zeitung (trade newspaper) (30 March 2007) Retrieved 18 January 2011 (German)
  6. ^ a b c Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik Musikerdatenbank Forum Alte Musik Köln. Retrieved 19 January 2011 (German)
  7. ^ "Die Konzertsäle der DDR" Fraunhofer Information Center for Planning and Construction, official website. Description of article in Thesis, Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Vol. 50, No. 2 (2004) Retrieved 19 January 2011 (German)
  8. ^ "Künstler 2010" East-West Musicfestival, St. Pölten, Austria. Retrieved 19 January 2011 (German)
  9. ^ "Besucheransturm zum Osterkonzert auf Burgk", Thuringia. (6 April 2010) Retrieved 18 January 2011 (German)
  10. ^ Bach, Johann Sebastian Markus-Passion BWV 247 (Gesamt-Rekonstruktion), Edition Peters, Retrieved 19 January 2011
  11. ^ Fall 2010 sales catalogue (PDF) JW Pepper. Retrieved 18 January 2011
  12. ^ a b Johannes Killyen, "Barocke Weltmusik in Anhal" Naumburger Tageblatt (6 September 2010) Retrieved 19 January 2011 (German)
  13. ^ "23. Köthener Bachfesttage" Saxony-Anhalt, official website. (27 August 2010) Retrieved 19 January 2011 (German)
  14. ^ Die weltliche Urfassung der Matthäuspassion, Sophienkirche Berlin (German)
  15. ^ Dienstag, 30. März 2010 Deutschlandfunk (German)
  16. ^ 2010 scheduled performances Lautten Compagney, official website. Retrieved 18 January 2011 (German)
  17. ^ Description of music "O angenehme Melodei", Johann Sebastian Bach, edited by Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik. Edition Güntersberg (January 2008) Retrieved 18 January 2011

External links[edit]