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32 Portrait airberlin magazin 6 / 2015 Für David Garrett gibt es zwischen klassischer Musik und Popmusik keine unüberwindbaren Schwellen – er möchte mit seiner Musik verbinden. David Garrett sees no strict distinctions between classical music and pop music – he wants to make his music accessible to all. as his trusty instrument. His signature crossover style features a mix of classical, pop and rock music. “The preparations for a project like this take over a year, with all the arrangements, texts and visual effects. It was incredibly hard work.” David Garrett has never shied away from hard work. Born in 1981, David Christian Bongartz grew up in Aachen as the son of a German lawyer and violin teacher and an American prima ballerina. He started violin lessons at the tender age of three, won his first “Jugend musiziert” award two years later and signed his first record deal when he was twelve. David, who was by now using the maiden name of his mother, was soon playing with big names such as Claudio Abbado, with Yehudi Menuhin calling him the “greatest violinist of his generation”. The life story of this wunderkind could fill an entire volume, but the star has said all he wants to say on the subject. He no longer practises eight hours a day as he did in his childhood – at least not when he is touring. “An hour a day is enough, as I’m on stage for two-and-a-half hours in the evening. I put in all the real work before the tour starts.” The violinist considers strict distinctions between classical, electronic and “easy listening” music pretentious in the extreme. “I have no idea why anybody would want to categorise music like that. For me, a classical piece is no more serious than a song by Metallica. And such distinctions are also questionable because they always serve to exclude people.” Garrett started to mix popular with classical music quite early on. “Many of my student friends came from outside the classical circle, and so I often ended up arranging pop songs for my violin. It was great fun. I was able to experiment and to listen to loads of different types of music – something that I hadn’t been able to do at home.” The parental home is a subject that David Garrett no longer dwells on nowadays. It is already well known that he didn’t own any pop CDs as a teenager, and that his father subjected him to an extremely strict practice regime during the period that David often refers to as the “golden cage”. But that’s all in the past now. The violinist took charge of his own life as a young adult, moving to New York in 2001 to attend the famous Juilliard School after a short period spent studying in London. The music student had pressing concerns: he was at a turning point of his life as regards both his musical development and his independence. He found a new home in the process: New York has remained one of David Garrett’s places of residence to this day. “Nobody there asks where you’ve come from. It’s all about what you can achieve on your own.” The Juilliard School was also where Garrett was taught composition, which has become a rare skill among classical musicians, he says. This made writing the score for the Paganini biopic “The Devil’s Violinist” in 2013 all the more satisfying. The thing he likes best about his profession is that he can choose his own projects – whether this be a series of major open-air crossover shows or a classical music tour featuring the Brahms sonatas, which he last performed in March. The right marketing has also played a role in his popularity: David Garrett is portrayed as a sex symbol and classical rebel who happens to launch a new scent or fashion collection every now and again. He regards the marketing side as “part of the job”. “I have nothing against good PR projects and only do what I believe in.” And he goes on to reveal how he acquired his present image: “I certainly didn’t sit down with a pencil and paper and ask myself what would work. I helped create my own brand by deciding that my stage persona would be exactly the same as my private persona.” This also means that the violinist wears whatever he pleases. “I don’t possess any tails,” he laughs. The 34-year-old certainly couldn’t appear less like a conceited superstar – although he doesn’t like to invite close scrutiny, which is why he’s not overly fond of interviews. “I like living an anonymous life as far as possible and don’t have any pressing need to communicate,” he says. That’s easy to believe. David Garrett wants to express himself via his music. And he appears quite content when he says so. He’s put his wunderkind past behind him. For more information or tickets, please visit or • Photos: Isabell Schiffler, Daniel Biskup, Getty Images/Stefan Hoederath

Berlin extra airberlin magazin 6 / 2015 33 Berliner Original Am Originalschauplatz, im Innenhof des Köpenicker Rathauses, findet am 26. Juni die Uraufführung des Musicals „Der Hauptmann von Köpenick“ statt. Darin versucht der Schuster Wilhelm Voigt auf unkonventionelle Art, den Mühlen der Bürokratie zu entkommen. Das Musical von Heiko Stang, nach dem Klassiker von Carl Zuckmayer, läuft bis 30. August. Mehr Infos: 48 Stunden Kunst Ein Forum für künstlerische Projekte aller Sparten der Berliner Kunstszene ist das Festival „48 Stunden Neukölln“. Vom 26. bis 28. Juni wird neben den etablierten Kunstorten auch der öffentliche Raum Neuköllns für künstlerische Arbeiten erschlossen, die in diesem Jahr unter dem Thema „S.O.S. – Kunst rettet die Welt“ stehen. Mehr Infos unter 48 hours of art The “48 Stunden Neukölln” festival is a forum for artistic projects from all branches of the Berlin art scene. Between 26 and 28 June, Neukölln’s established art venues and public spaces alike will be showcasing a wide variety of works under this year’s festival theme “S.O.S. – Art saves the world”. Please visit Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr. Photos: Sven Meissner, Tobias Lehmann, Dominik Butzmann Berlin original The world première of Heiko Stang’s musical “Der Hauptmann von Köpenick” is scheduled to take place on 26 June in the courtyard of Köpenick town hall, where Carl Zuckmayer’s play was originally set. Shoemaker Wilhelm Voigt attempts to escape the wheels of bureaucracy in unconventional fashion in the show, which runs until 30 August. Please visit Fest der Musik Vielfältig, engagiert und kostenfrei – bei der Fête de la Musique spielen Profi- und Laienmusiker aller Stilrichtungen alljährlich am 21. Juni an verschiedenen Orten in Berlin. Musikalische Hotspots finden sich in der Altstadt Spandaus, an der Revaler Straße in Friedrichshain, an der Karl-Marx-Allee und der Friedrichstraße, Unter den Linden und am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz sowie der großen Bühne im Mauerpark. Mehr Infos unter Festival of music Multifaceted, dedicated and free of charge – the annual Fête de la Musique on 21 June sees professionals and amateurs alike perform all styles of music at various venues throughout Berlin. Performances are held in the old town in Spandau, on Revaler Strasse in Friedrichshain, on Karl-Marx-Allee and at Friedrichstrasse, Unter den Linden and Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, as well as on the big stage in Mauerpark. Please visit

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