About Christoph Sietzen
Percussionist Christoph Sietzen counts as one of the world's outstanding percussionists, despite his relative youth. Sietzen has played both traditional and contemporary music, the latter sometimes as part of the quartet The Wave.
Sietzen was born September 11, 1992, in Salzburg, Austria, but is a citizen of Luxembourg. He was already playing percussion at age six, and he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival at 12. Sietzen notched an unusually strong record of competition prizes beginning in his early teens, amassing ten first prizes as the Prima la Musica Competition alone. In 2006, at 14, he won the Yamaha Audience Award and took third prize at the International Marimba Competition in Linz. He attended the Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria, studying percussion but also taking courses in double bass and harpsichord. Sietzen soon began to find soloist bookings with major orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, and the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne. He has appeared in some of Europe's top halls, including the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, and the Vienna Konzerthaus; at the latter, still in his 20s, he was featured in the hall's "Great Talent" series. His festival appearances are varied enough to include one at the Sound Unbound Festival at the Barbican London with the Academy of Ancient Music Baroque orchestra.
Sietzen and Bogdan Bacanu, formerly one of his teachers, formed the Wave Quartet, a four-marimba group, in 2008. Both with that group and as a soloist, Sietzen has been an enthusiastic supporter of contemporary music. Several composers, including Alexander Müllenbach and Stewart Copeland (of the rock band The Police), have written works for him. Sietzen released the album Attraction on the Genuin label in 2017 and then was signed to Sony Classical, releasing Incantations in 2018 and Silence a year later. He has taught at the University of Music and the Performing Arts since 2014 and has given master classes as far afield as Portugal, China, and Japan. ~ James Manheim