Biography - Crisp:

With a focus on innovative interpretations and new ways of expression, always eager to infect others with his enthusiasm for his instrument, Viennese gamba player Christoph Urbanetz is known for bringing out the groove and energy from the music. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Cecilia Bartoli and Giovanni Antonini are some of the great musicians with whom he has collaborated leading to appearances in the most prestigious halls in Europe. As a current leading expert on the largely unknown catalogue of performance instructions by Marin Marais, he has a PhD from Mozarteum Salzburg and holds positions as a viol teacher at the universities of Graz and Krakow.

Short Version:

With a focus on innovative interpretations and new ways of expression, always eager to infect others with his enthusiasm for his instrument, Viennese gamba player Christoph Urbanetz is known for bringing out the groove and energy from the music. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Cecilia Bartoli and Giovanni Antonini are some of the great musicians with whom he has collaborated. As a current leading expert on the largely unknown catalogue of performance instructions by Marin Marais, he has a PhD from Mozarteum Salzburg and holds positions as a viol teacher at the universities of Graz and Krakow.

Christoph Urbanetz appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in the most prestigious halls in Europe like the Musikverein and Konzerthaus vienna, Tonhalle Zürich, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and festivals including the Salzburger Festspiele, Resonanzen Wien, Utrecht Alte Musik Festival, Innsbruck Festival for Early Music, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Ludwigsburger Festspiele, Handel Festspiele Halle, Handel Festival London.

Graduating “summa cum laude” from the universities of Basel, Salzburg and Paris he was prize winner of multiple competitions like the Bach-Abel competition in Köthen (2006 and 2009), the viol competition in seville (2007), the Biber-competition in St. Florian and the Schmelzer-competition in Melk.

“Urbanetz is a fine gambist with a rich, warm tone – a real treasure.”
(Craig Zechner in Goldberg 23)

Longer Version:

With a focus on innovative interpretations and new ways of expression, always eager to infect others with his enthusiasm for his instrument, Viennese gamba player Christoph Urbanetz is known for bringing out the groove and energy from the music.

Despite the corona lockdown he can look back on a successful 2020: Besides finishing his PhD in the Mozarteum Salzburg his concerts included a reinvitation for his Duo Urbanetz-Bergmüller to the Musik Plus/Osterfestspiele in Hall in Tirol, a recital at the concert series Graz-Süd, concerts with the Ensemble Cubicularis in Berlin and Ljubiana and playing the gamba-solo in Bach´s matthewpassion in the Musikverein Vienna. He performed in some of the first concerts after the lockdown as in the online streaming concerts at the Bach Festival Leipzig (with Vaclav Lux and Collegium 1756) and the Ravenna Festival in Ravenna, in an intimate candlelight recital in a 15th century church outside Freistadt, Austria, as well as in various performances at the Styriarte in Graz (with Alfredo Bernardini, Lorenz Duftschmid and Arianna Savall).

Christoph Urbanetz has appeared as a soloist in many recitals all over Europe including playing at the Innsbruck Early Music Festival, at the Konzerthaus (Resonanzen), the Musikverein (with reinvitations to the series “Nun klingen sie wieder”), the Hofburg and the Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna, in Zurich (reinvitations to the Forum Alte Musik), Reutlingen (Musiqua Antiqua), London (Handel House and Handel Festival), Cambridge (Clare Hall), Milan (Teatro dal verme), Budapest (Liszt Academy of Music and Marble Hall), Belgrade (Cello Festival), Sofia (Early Music Festival) as well as broadcasts with the ORF, DRS and WDR. One of the few viol players appearing as soloists with an orchestra he performed the concertos of Johann Gottlieb Graun with Orchester 1756, Original!klang Orchester Wien and Belgrade Baroque.

He also established himself playing with the most prestigious musicians throughout Europe. Highlights have been concerts with groups such as Concentus Musicus (dir. Nikolaus Harnoncourt), Il Giardino Armonico (dir. Giovanni Antonini), Clemencic Consort (dir. René Clemencic), Wiener Akademie (dir. Martin Haselböck), Dresdner Staatskapelle (dir. Reinhard Goebel), Il suonar parlante (dir. Vittorio Ghielmi), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (dir. Antonio Pappano) and La Cetra (dir. Jordi Savall). They took place in Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna, Tonhalle Zürich, Escorial Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Semperoper Dresden, Festspielhaus Salzburg. His Duo with gamba virtuoso Vittorio Ghielmi appeared in a concert at the marble hall in Budapest recorded by the hungarian radio. He collaborated with the italian pop singer Vinicio Capossela and the cellist Mario Brunello performing at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Teatro d’Arcimboldi Milano

Besides he made various CD- and TV-recordings (e.g. “Membra Jesu Nostri” with René Jacobs for Harmonia Mundi). His solo-album “The Forqueray Family” appeared on Brilliant Classics. As a current leading expert on the largely unknown catalogue of performance instructions by Marin Marais, he has a PhD from Mozarteum Salzburg and holds positions as a viol teacher at the universities of Graz and Krakow. He also enjoys teaching at the Austria Barock Akademie in Gmunden (Austria), the Miszla Baroque Academy in Miszla (Hungary) and at the Forum Early Music at the Chopin University Warsaw.

He won the special prize for the best interpretation of J.S.Bach and the 2nd prize at the International Bach-Abel-Competition for Viola da gamba in Köthen (Germany), the first prize at the International Competition for Viola da gamba in Sevilla, the Romanus Weichlein price at the H.I.F. Biber Competition in St.Florian and the third prize at the J.H. Schmelzer competition in Melk. Born in Vienna he graduated “summa cum laude” at the “Schola Cantorum Basiliensis” with Paolo Pandolfo in Basel and at the Mozarteum Salzburg with Vittorio Ghielmi. He also studied with Christophe Coin at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris and participated in several masterclasses with Jordi Savall.

Inspiration

Christoph was relentlessly focused on a long path to a lost treasure on a wild mountain: it is a mystic place created by an instrument with the biggest potential. With his duende energy and groove Christoph brakes the walls of that place so that the treasure pours out and finally covers the entire horizont like an ocean. Pure quality means a rich sound (where in one note all other notes are comprised) and full open harmony. Your guts feel their healing vibrations and they make the body feel warm and cosy. It´s a feeling of endless peacefullness, positive energy and serenity.

This is also the place where Christoph is centered, it is his authentic center. By bursting the walls of the mystic place with groove and modern energy, Christoph shares the healing effect of the pure quality and his enthusiasm for the power and the potential of his instrument. This treasure is a deep experience of pure quality and Christoph works relentlessly on refining it. By relentlessly looking for new and modern ways of expression on his instrument he can fill also younger public with enthusiasm and make them fall in love with the instrument.

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