David Garrett (musician)


David Christian Bongartz (born 4 September 1980), better known by his
stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym). This al ...
David Garrett, is a German
classical Classical may refer to: European antiquity *Classical antiquity, a period of history from roughly the 7th or 8th century B.C.E. to the 5th century C.E. centered on the Mediterranean Sea *Classical architecture, architecture derived from Greek and ...

crossover CrossOver is a Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and markete ...
violinist The following lists of violinists are available: * List of classical violinists, notable violinists from the baroque era onwards * List of contemporary classical violinists, notable contemporary classical violinists * List of violinist/composers, ...

and recording artist.

Early life

When Garrett was four years old his father purchased 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 The Kissinger Sommer is a classical music festival held every year in the summer in the city of Bad Kissingen in Bavaria, Southern Germany. History The festival was founded in 1986. At the beginning the focus of the festival was on the improvemen ...
, and by the age of 12, Garrett began working with the distinguished Polish violinist
Ida Haendel Ida Haendel, (15 December 19281 July 2020) was a Polish-British-Canadian violinist. Haendel was a child prodigy, her career spanning over seven decades. She also became an influential teacher. Early career Born in 1928 to a Polish Jewish fam ...
, often traveling to London and other European cities to meet her. After leaving home at 17, he enrolled at the
Royal College of Music The Royal College of Music is a music school, conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, UK. It offers training from the undergraduate to the doctoral level in all aspects of Western Music includin ...

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 The Juilliard School () is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly ...
, in 2003 winning the School's Composition Competition with a
fugue a 6'' from ''The Musical Offering'', in the hand of Johann Sebastian Bach In music, a fugue () is a Counterpoint, contrapuntal Musical composition, compositional technique in two or more voice (music), voices, built on a Subject (music), subject ...
composed in the style of
Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the late Baroque music, Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Cello Suites (Bach), Cello Suites and ''Brandenburg Concertos''; keyboard ...

Johann Sebastian Bach
. Whilst at Juilliard he studied under
Itzhak Perlman Itzhak Perlman ( he, יצחק פרלמן; born August 31, 1945) is an Israeli-American violin The violin, sometimes known as a '' fiddle'', is a wooden chordophone ( string instrument) in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wo ...

Itzhak Perlman
, one of the first people to do so, and graduated in 2004. Garrett attended the
Keshet Eilon Honorary guest, violinist Ivry Gitlis at a special concert Keshet Eilon (Hebrew: ''קשת אילון'') is a music center established in the year 1990, located in Kibbutz Eilon, Israel. Its mission is to be a source of strength and support f ...
Masterclasses in Israel in the summers of 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2002.


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", which is among the best instruments of Antonio Stradivari's "Antonio Stradivari#.22Golden.22 period and later years, golden period". However, in 2008, after a performance, he tripped, landing on the San Lorenzo, damaging it severely. 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 Indian Independence Act 1947, India's Independence. Two years later, Garrett played with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (East Berlin), 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 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 (company), 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 (band), 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. The same year he released his album ''Garrett vs Paganini''. His 2015 album ''Explosive'' includes the original compositions Innovation, Furious, Explosive, Unlimited Symphony, Serenity, Baroque fantasy, and Melancholia. On 18 August 2017, David Garrett released the single "Bittersweet Symphony" as a teaser for his album ''Rock Revolution'', released 17 September 2017. On 11 October 2020, Garrett performed the Deutschlandlied, German national anthem at the Formula 1 2020 Eifel Grand Prix as part of the opening ceremonies. On 9 October he released another studio album called ''Alive: My Soundtrack''.

Personal life

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."


Studio albums

* 1995: ''Mozart: violin concertos'' (with Claudio Abbado) * 1995: ''Violin Sonata'' * 1997: ''Paganini Caprices'' * 1997: ''Tchaikovsky, Conus: Violin Concertos'' * 2002: ''Pure Classics'' * 2007: ''Free (David Garrett album), Free'' * 2007: ''Virtuoso (David Garrett album), Virtuoso'' * 2008: ''Encore (David Garrett album), Encore'' * 2009: ''David Garrett (album), David Garrett'' * 2009: ''Classic Romance (David Garrett album), Classic Romance'' * 2010: ''Rock Symphonies (David Garrett album), Rock Symphonies'' * 2011: ''Legacy (David Garrett album), Legacy'' * 2012: ''Music (David Garrett album), Music'' * 2013: ''14 (David Garrett album), 14'' * 2013: ''Garrett vs. Paganini'' * 2014: ''Caprice (album), Caprice'' * 2014: ''Timeless – Brahms & Bruch Violin Concertos'' (with Zubin Mehta & Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) * 2015: ''Explosive'' * 2017: ''Rock Revolution'' * 2018: ''Unlimited – Greatest Hits'' * 2020: ''Alive: My Soundtrack''

Other albums

* ''Nokia Night of the Proms (David Garrett album), Nokia Night of the Proms'' (2004) * ''The New Classical Generation 2008'' (2008)


* 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 * Goldene Kamera, 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) * Frankfurter Musikpreis, 2017


External links

official website

* [http://www.cmusic.tv/watchvideo/281 Television Interview with David Garrett from C Music TV]
Featured on the first episode of The Artist Toolbox
] * {{DEFAULTSORT:Garrett, David 1980 births Living people 21st-century classical violinists 21st-century German male musicians Child classical musicians Decca Records artists Deutsche Grammophon artists Echo (music award) winners German classical violinists German male models German male violinists German people of American descent German people of Russian descent Juilliard School alumni Male classical violinists People from Aachen Rock violinists