Biography

Biography

" 'Talent of the Century' or 'Exceptional Talent' – there truly is no lack of superlatives for percussionist Christoph Sietzen."

            - rbb Kulturradio

“(…) he took up position at a marimba and coaxed from it sounds of rapturous fragility.”
(Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times)

“…this most questing of younger percussionists.“
(Richard Whitehouse, Grammophone)

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 gave his debut at Salzburg Festival aged 12 and was a prizewinner at the prestigious ARD International Music Competition in 2014. Also, he is a member of the Marimba ensemble “The Wave Quartet“, founded in 2008 by Bogdan Bacanu.

In 2018 he was awarded the ICMA (International Classical Music Awards) Young Artist Award and the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) named him a Rising Star for the 2017/18 season. In 2019 he was awarded the OPUS KLASSIK as newcomer of the year for his “Incantations“ album (Sony Classical).

In the current season Christoph is featured as „Great Talent“ by Vienna’s Konzerthaus, where he will be performing regularly. He will also perform at the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, at Salzburg Festival, Grafenegg Festival with the Tonkünstlerorchester under Yutaka Sado and at the Sound Unbound Festival at the Barbican London with the Academy of Ancient Music. A further highlight is the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ “Klangwerkkonzert“ with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, a commission of the Philharmonie Luxembourg, Wiener Konzerthaus, Gürzenich Orchester Köln and Casa da Musica Porto.

"Awesome technique, unrelenting intensity, tremendous power, breath-taking speed, idiosyncratic presence and a profound musicality would be some of the superlatives needed to describe the talent of the Luxembourgish-Austrian percussionist Christoph Sietzen."

           - Pizzicato Magazine

Christoph Sietzen has appeared at major concert halls such as Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Berlin and Vienna Konzerthaus, Philharmonie Luxemburg, Cologne Philharmonie, Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus, Müpa Budapest, Gulbenkian Foundation Lizbon, Palau de la Música Barcelona, Stockholm Konserthuset, Bozar Brussels, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

He has performed with orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Radiosinfonieorchester Wien, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Romanian National Symphony Orchestra and Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and has shared the stage with conductors such as Howard Griffiths, Alondra de la Parra, Ilan Volkov Frank Strobel, Alexander Liebreich and Cristian Mandeal, musicians such as Tabea Zimmermann, Clemens Hagen and Peter Sadlo as well as with the Oscar-winning actor Karl Markovics and multi-instrumentalist Hubert von Goisern.

Composers who have written works for Christoph Sietzen include Stewart Copeland, formerly of rock band “The Police”, Emmanuel Séjourné, Ivan Boumanns, Jakob Gruchmann, Alexander Mullenbach, Christoph Ehrenfellner, Michael Frankenberger, Ingo Ingensand and Alexander Wagendristel. 

Christoph Sietzen’s first solo album was released in 2017, taking its name from a work composed for Sietzen by Emmanuel Séjourné: “Attraction”. It also features music by Bruce Hamilton, Arvo Pärt, John Psathas, Andrew Thomas and Iannis Xenakis. After his “Incantations“ album featuring the percussion concerti by Avner Dorman and Einojuhani Rautaavara, his recent album “Silence“ was released on Sony Classical in 2019 with Bogdan Bacanu, Clemens Hagen and the Academy of Ancient Music as guests. All three albums were awarded with a Pizzicato “Supersonic“ and further awards.

Additionally, Christoph can be heard on a number of recordings as a member of The Wave Quartet. 

Christoph Sietzen, a citizen of Luxembourg, was born in Salzburg. 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 and Josef Gumpinger. He also studied double bass and harpsichord, taking a special interest in baroque repertoire. From 2014-2019 he has held a teaching position at Vienna’s University for Music and the Performing Arts. 

Christoph Sietzen plays exclusively on Adams marimbas.

2019/2020

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