Artist of the Week: David Garrett

Russell Finelsen, Editor-in-Chief

A German violinist, David Garrett started at a young age and continues to play on.

Garrett was born in Germany in 1980 as David Christian Bongartz, but took on Garrett, which was his mother’s maiden name, as his stage name. He started playing the violin at four years old, when Garrett’s older brother got one from his father for his birthday. Garrett caught on, and won a competition a year later. By the age of 12, he had learned violin at Lübeck Conservatoire, a high level German music school, and was playing with renowned Polish violinist Ida Haendel, going all around Europe to perform. As Garrett grew a year older, he grew more famous, landing a contract with Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, a German classical record label. In addition, he recorded two CD’s (Mozart: Violin Concertos and Violin Sonata), appeared on German TV, and played for the President of Germany, Richard von Weizsäcker.

At age 17, Garrett attended the Royal College of Music in London, but left after a semester for undetermined reasons. He then attended the Juilliard School in New York in 1999, and later won the School Composition Competition in 2003 after playing a fugue, which was composed in the style of Johann Bach.

He also played in famous groups. In 1997, he played with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in Delhi and Mumbai. In 1999, he played with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and played at Expo 2000 in Hanover. In 2002, he performed at the BBC Proms.

Between 1997 and 2014, he released 15 studio albums, and two other albums. In 1997, Paganini Caprices and Tchaikovsky, Conus: Violin Concertos were released, and Pure Classics was released in 2002. Following a five year hiatus, two studio albums were released: Free and Virtuoso. In 2008, Garrett released another two studio albums: David Garrett and Encore. He released one studio album each in 2009 (Classic Romance), 2010 (Rock Symphonies), 2011 (Legacy), 2012 (Music), and 2013 (14). In 2014, Garrett released two studio albums: Caprice and Timeless-Brahms & Bruch Violin. He also released Nokia Night of the Proms in 2004 and The New Classical Generation 2008 in 2008.

He also featured himself in four movies. In 2009, David Garrett: Live-In Concert & In Private was released. Garrett released two movies in 2011: David Garrett: Rock Symphonies-Open Air Live and David Garrett: Legacy Live in Baden Baden. His last DVD, David Garrett: Music-Live in October, was released in 2012.

Garrett has earned many awards for his musical achievements. He got the Radio Regenbogen Award in March 2008; the GQ Man of the Year Award in the music category in November 2008, and the Golden Camera Best International Music Award in January 2010, among other awards. He is also the World’s Fastest Violinist, according to Guinness World Record.

Garrett is about to start an international tour. His tour starts on May 30 in Milano, Italy. His tour will visit nine countries, including Italy, Russia, Germany, Romania, Austria, the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Argentina. The tour will end on April 11, 2015, in Frankfurt, Germany.

Renowned for his great classical music, Garrett has wowed audiences in the past, and should be able to do the same in the future.

To listen to some of Garrett’s music, click here.