David Garrett (musician)
Garrett performing in Ludwigshafen in March 2009
|Birth name||David Christian Bongartz|
4 September 1980|
|Years active||c. 1988–present|
When Garrett was four years old his father bought a violin for his older brother. The young Garrett took an interest and soon learned to play. A year later, he took part in a competition and won first prize. By the age of seven, he studied violin at the Lübeck Conservatoire. When he was nine years old he gave his debut at the Festival Kissinger Sommer, and by the age of 12, Garrett began working with the distinguished Polish violinist Ida Haendel, often traveling to London and other European cities to meet her. After leaving home at 17, he enrolled at the Royal College of Music in London, leaving after the first semester. On being asked in an interview in 2008 if he was expelled, Garrett responded: "Well, expelled wasn't the official term… It was mutually agreed that me and the RCM were going separate ways after the first semester. I did skip some lessons – but I also broke in to do extra practice, so that didn't help!" In 1999 he moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School, in 2003 winning the School’s Composition Competition with a fugue composed in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. Whilst at Juilliard he studied under Itzhak Perlman, one of the first people to do so, and graduated in 2004.
Garrett received his first Stradivarius violin at the age of 11, courtesy of German president Richard von Weizsäcker, after having performed for him. At the age of 13, Garrett recorded two CDs, appeared on German and Dutch television, and gave a concert in the residence of the President of Germany, the Villa Hammerschmidt, at Dr. von Weizsäcker’s personal invitation. He was offered the use of the famous Stradivarius "San Lorenzo",[when?] which is among the best instruments of Antonio Stradivari’s "golden period". At the age of 13, as the youngest soloist ever, Garrett signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. In April 1997, age 16, he played with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Zubin Mehta in Delhi and Mumbai in concerts marking the 50th anniversary of India’s Independence.
Two years later, Garrett played with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and was hailed by critics. This led to an invitation to perform at Expo 2000 in Hanover. At the age of 21, he was invited to perform at the BBC Proms.
While studying at the Juilliard, Garrett supplemented his income by working as a model.
Garrett's 2008 album Encore pursues an aim of arousing young people’s interest in classical music. The release contains his own compositions and arrangements of pieces and melodies that have accompanied him in his life so far. Together with his band, consisting of keyboard, guitar and drums, he gives concerts that include classical sonatas (accompanied by a concert grand piano), arrangements, and compositions, as well as rock songs and movie themes. In Autumn 2007, Garrett was chosen by the Montegrappa firm (whose items are distributed by Montblanc throughout the world) as an ambassador for the launch of the new pens from the Tributo ad Antonio Stradivari collection. The event took place in several venues, including in Rome, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin, and London. For these occasions Garrett was offered a Stradivarius from the Gli Archi di Palazzo Comunale collection. He also appeared at the Royal Variety Performance on 5 December 2011, playing his cover of Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
He joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers. His album, Music, was released in 2012. On 19 May 2012 he appeared at the UEFA Champions League Final performing with German singer Jonas Kaufmann. For 2014 he announced a new Crossover Tour.
He played the lead role in the 2013 film The Devil's Violinist, as the noted 19th-century violinist Niccolò Paganini. Same year he released his album Garrett vs Paganini. His most recent album is called Explosive (2015) and includes a lot of original compositions like Innovation, Furious, Explosive, Unlimited Symphony, Serenity, Baroque fantasy, Melancholia etc.
On 18 August 2017, David Garrett released a new single "Bittersweet Symphony" as a teaser for his forthcoming album "Rock Revolution", released 17 September 2017.
Garrett was born in Aachen, Germany, to an American prima ballerina, Dove Garrett, and a German jurist, Georg Bongartz. Garrett explains that while he was performing as a child prodigy, his parents started using his mother’s maiden name as his stage name. "My parents kind of decided that it was more pronounceable than the German name, so I stuck with that."
- 1995: Mozart: violin concertos (with Claudio Abbado)
- 1995: Violin Sonata
- 1997: Paganini Caprices
- 1997: Tchaikovsky, Conus: Violin Concertos
- 2002: Pure Classics
- 2007: Free
- 2007: Virtuoso
- 2008: David Garrett
- 2008: Encore
- 2009: Classic Romance
- 2010: Rock Symphonies
- 2011: Legacy
- 2012: Music
- 2013: 14
- 2013: Garrett vs. Paganini
- 2014: Caprice
- 2014: Timeless – Brahms & Bruch Violin Concertos (with Zubin Mehta & Israel Philharmonic Orchestra)
- 2015: Explosive
- 2017: Rock Revolution
- 2008: Tenor at the Movies – "Parla Più Piano" (theme from The Godfather) and "Se" (theme from Cinema Paradiso) with Jonathan Ansell
- 2008: A New World – "Cinema Paradiso" with Will Martin
- David Garrett: Live - In Concert & In Private (2009)
- David Garrett: Rock Symphonies – Open Air Live (2011)
- David Garrett: Legacy Live in Baden Baden (2011)
- David Garrett: Music – Live in Concert (2012)
Recognition and awards
- Radio Regenbogen Award, March 2008
- Echo Classics, Classic without borders, October 2008
- GQ Award Man of the Year category music, November 2008
- Goldene Feder, May 2009
- Goldener Geigenbogen, May 2009
- Golden Camera, Best Music International, January 2010
- World's Fastest Violinist, Guinness World Record, May 2008 to December 2011
- Bambi Awards, category Classic (14.11.2013)
- "Fastest Violin Player - Schnellster Geigenspieler - Guinness World Record". 27 August 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- Carter, Kevin L. (9 September 2009). "String Theory: Is David Garrett the Next, Next Thing?". U.S. 1. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "David Garrett Full Biography". Mark Stephan Buhl Artists Management. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- Lee, Sally (13 September 2011). "Classic rock fuels the fingers of fury" (PDF). Fairfield Champion. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Classicalx interview with David Garrett". Classicalx. 4 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "David Garrett: Biography". David Garrett's Official Website. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Keshet Eilon participants: 1990-2010" (PDF). Summer Course Graduates. Keshet Eilon Music Center. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- "Classical Brits: don't hate them because they're beautiful". The Telegraph. 11 May 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "MMMF India Events". Mmmfindia.org. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- Wagner, Thomas (14 February 2008). "Violinist: Fall Fractures $1M Fiddle". RecordOnline.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Royal Variety Performance 2011 – Thank you!". The Royal Variety Performance official website. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "9th Annual Judges". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "New Champions League theme version". UEFA.com. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- David Garrett Tourdates. Vorverkaufstarts.de. Abgerufen am 17. Oktober 2013.
- Sweeting, Adam (1 Dec 2011). "David Garrett: the Beckham of the violin". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
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