“This young man commands the rare art of making percussion instruments sing – and he is creating a revolution on the marimba”
(Kai Luehrs-Kaiser, Rondo Magazin 3/2017)
Named a Rising Star of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) for the 2017/18 season, percussionist Christoph Sietzen has been praised by the media as an outstanding talent – a refreshingly natural musician notable for his technical mastery and powerful stage presence. He was a prizewinner at the prestigious ARD International Music Competition in 2014 and received the ICMA Young Artist Award of 2018. His first solo CD “Attraction”, released by GENUIN classics in 2017, took its name from a work composed for Sietzen by Emmanuel Séjourné and received the Pizzicato Supersonic Award. Pizzicato magazine described it as “a stupendous solo performance in every respect”.
Christoph Sietzen, a citizen of Luxembourg, was born in Salzburg, where he made his performing debut at the age of 12 at the Salzburg Festival. He started learning percussion at the age of six, taking lessons from Martin Grubinger, Sr., and later attended the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, where his teachers were Bogdan Bacanu, Leonhard Schmidinger und Josef Gumpinger. He also studied double bass and harpsichord, taking a special interest in baroque repertoire. Since 2014 he has held a teaching post at Vienna’s University for Music and the Performing Arts.
He has appeared at such major concert halls as Athenaeum Bucharest, the Berlin and Vienna Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. During his ECHO Rising Star tour, Christoph Sietzen will play in the most renowned concert halls this season: Cologne Philharmonie, Müpa Budapest, Konzerthaus Vienna, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Gulbenkian Foundation Lissabon, Palau de la Música Barcelona, Stockholm Konserthuset, Bozar Brussels, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Casa da Música Porto. Christoph Sietzen will be featured as „Great Talent“ in the 2018/2019 season by Vienna’s Konzerthaus.
Orchestras with which he has performed include the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Romanian National Symphony Orchestra and WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, and he has shared the stage with such artists as his marimba teacher Bogdan Bacanu, Martin Grubinger, Momoko Kamiya, Peter Sadlo, Emmanuel Séjourné and the Oscar-winning actor Karl Markovics. Christoph Sietzen is a member of the Marimba-Ensemble “The Wave Quartet”, founded by Bogdan Bacanu.
Composers who have written works for Christoph Sietzen include Ivan Boumanns, Jakob Gruchmann, Alexander Mullenbach and Alexander Wagendristel, while a new work has been commissioned for his forthcoming ECHO Rising Stars tour from Stewart Copeland, formerly of rock band “The Police”. Sietzen also regularly gives masterclasses, which have taken him to China, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Spain.
Christoph Sietzen’s solo CD “Attraction” also features music by Bruce Hamilton, Arvo Pärt, John Psathas, Andrew Thomas and Iannis Xenakis, and he has made a number of recordings as a member of The Wave Quartet. The album “Loco”, released on GENUIN classics in 2016, features music by Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel and the Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, while the 2017 release “Lauda Concertata” takes its name from a marimba concerto by Akira Ifukube. The quartet’s discography includes arrangements of works by Bach and other baroque composers, and a new disc with compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, recorded with L'Orfeo Barockorchester, was released in 2017 by Sony Classical and awarded with the Supersonic Award. Autumn 2018 sees another release by Sony Classical: Christoph Sietzen’s second Solo-CD with two percussion concertos.
Christoph Sietzen plays exclusively on Adams marimbas.