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Martin Mumelter

which, at the time, together with the neighboring city Hall was evolving into a metropolis for baroque and new music. Regular guests to the region were pioneers of historically informed performance, such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Jordi Savall, and one could personally encounter giants of New Music from György Ligeti and Steve Reich to John Cage. At the annual festival “Österreichische Jugendkulturwochen” [Austrian Youth Culture Weeks] award-winning writers presented their latest works, among them Friederike Mayröcker, Thomas Bernhard, and (later Nobel laureate) Elfriede Jelinek, and an aspiring Mumelter met Austrian composers such as Friedrich Cerha and Erich Urbanner. From an early age, he participated in the festival’s premieres and recordings and worked his way from playing as a member of the tutti via chamber music projects to performances as (a) soloist.
under Roman Wisata, a pupil and former assistant of Otakar Ševčík and student of Adolf Busch. Mumelter completed degrees in concert studies and instrumental teaching with distinction and was awarded the special prize of the AGMÖ (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Musikerzieher Österreichs [The Consortium of Music Educators in Austria]). In parallel, he completed several years of composition studies and published his first literary works for ORF (the Austrian national public service broadcaster).
Originating from Austria-Hungary, as a young violinist Szanto played a duett with Wilhelm Furtwängler on the piano and was his concertmaster. Until his emigration, he was first violinist of the First Munich String Quartet and professor in Munich.
Juri Jankelewitsch, Henryk Szeryng, and Max Rostal, among others through courses, individual lessons, and intensive discussions.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the uncompromising composer Heinzpeter Helberger was among the first piano partners for concerts and radio recordings of the twelve-year-old (“Fast ein Wunderkind [Almost-child-prodigy]” according to the press). Later, Mumelter enjoyed performing with renowned composers such as Peter Eötvös, Erich Urbanner, and Hans Zender (see “Musik und Sprache sind nicht zu trennen“) conducting by his side. His choice of instrumental partners also reflects his interest in distinctive personalities: the pianists Alfons Kontarsky and Herbert Henck, the composer and pianist Werner Bärtschi, the harpsichordists and organists Kurt Estermann (who is also a distinguished composer), and Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini.

He played violin concertos by Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg, B. A. Zimmermann, Erich Urbanner*, Alfred Schnittke, Richard Dünser*, Tadeusz Baird, Kaaja Saariaho, Adriana Hölszky*, and others, performing with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Bamberg Symphony, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (OPL), the Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik (œnm), the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and many others. He has played in New York Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall, Bregenzer Festspiele, Sagra Musicale Umbra, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Festwochen der Alten Musik Innsbruck (including Bach’s solo works). Mumelter has placed special emphasis on the participation in festivals and concert series of modern music, among them “musica viva” in Munich and the Biennale Berlin (today MaerzMusik) where he received the Critics’ Choice Award.

*Dedicated to Mumelter

Mumelter has recorded over 200 works for European radio stations. His CD recordings include violin concertos by Arnold Schönberg, Alban Berg, B.A. Zimmermann, all violin sonatas by Charles Ives, chamber music works by Messiaen, Cage, Ives, Bartók, and others from the music labels Koch-Schwann, harmonia mundi, London-Hall, and NEOS, as well as solo works by Bach for the label UniMozarteumRecords.

CLICK HERE to view the CDs.

  • Special prize of the AGMÖ (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Musikerzieher Österreichs) for the completion of studies
  • 1971 as best participating string laureate of the Gaudeamus-Interpretenwettbewerb für Neue Musik in Rotterdam
  • 1979 Critics’ Choice Award at the Musik-Biennale Berlin (today MaerzMusik)
  • 1985 Emil Berlanda Prize of the Province of Tyrol for Services to New Music

Concertodrom was an ensemble of specialists in early and new music as well as jazz musicians, and the composers/instrumentalists Harry Pepl and Werner Pirchner. The repertoire constantly rotated, mixing improvisations of the most diverse styles with compositions from various periods and thus belonged to the avant-garde that dedicated itself with particular success to breaking down barriers between “U” and “E-“, early and new music, improvisation and composition. (Group picture in the header above middle: from the left Max Engel, Martin Mumelter, Doris Linser-Rainer, Werner Pirchner, Kurt Neuhauser)

More about this under “Improvisation”.

In the concert conversations and chamber music series both new music and standard works of classical music were first engaged with in conversation and then performed. In the series “Chamber Music Among Friends”, Mumelter repeatedly invited other colleagues to collaborate on projects in order to counter the – highly esteemed – perfect interplay of fixed troupes with the appeal and risk of almost spontaneous music-making.

While studying he gained experience as a teacher in music schools in Innsbruck and its surroundings. At the age of 22 he was offered the opportunity to take over the entire class of the US violin virtuoso Guila Bustabo at the Innsbruck Conservatory. One year later he also became director of the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. He continued to teach children and amateurs. After five years Mumelter switched to freelance work and ran his own publicly renowned private violin school until 1985. In 1981 Mumelter was first invited as a guest professor to the Innsbruck branch of the Mozarteum Academy of Music and Performing Art (known as the Mozarteum University Salzburg since 1998).

In 1986, he was appointed full professor for violin at the Mozarteum, where he chaired a violin class until his retirement in 2016. He was the founding Director of the Institute for New Music for ten years. At the same time he taught new music performance techniques for all instrumental and vocal genres as well as many years of didactics and violin teaching practice at the Mozarteum Salzburg and the Anton Bruckner University Linz. The quintessence of this can be found in his book Standardfragen im Violinunterricht (Verlag Breitkopf & Härtel, Edition Nepomuk).

Mumelter was also active as a coach and orchestra teacher. He was responsible for the violins of the Austrian Bundesjugendorchester (later “Österreichische Jugendphilharmonie”) for many years. Among the young musicians whom he trained in intensive and at the same time friendly rehearsals for challenging projects, a little older than his protégés, are today’s conductors Franz Welser-Möst and Oswald Sallaberger, the concertmasters, professors and conductors Rainer and Manfred Honeck, and Markus and Reinhold Wolf, the violinists of the later Artis Quartet and the Hagen Quartet.

For current teaching activities see “Teaching”.

Mumelter was initially supported and counseled by Otto Grünmandl and the doyen of audio drama and film music composers Peter Zwetkoff. Later his short stories were published in the Tyrolean cultural magazine “Das Fenster” and the “Presse” Vienna. His first novel “Spiegelfuge” (Edition Laurin) was published in 2015, and the detective novel “Die Arien des Commissario Scalzi” (Edition Laurin), written jointly with Magdalena Pattis, was published in 2017. For further information see “Writing”.

He published:

  • “Ums Leben spielen. Vom Umgang mit Musik” in 1994,
  • “Proust for President/Rettet uns künstlerisches Denken” in 2004, and
  • A didactics book “Standardfragen im Violinunterricht” in 2009

He lives in Bavaria, holds master classes, and occasionally teaches privately. For details see “Teaching”.

The current REPERTOIRE

focuses on works that are particularly close to Mumelter’s heart after all these years. This ranges from Bach’s solo works and sonatas with harpsichord, to Adriana Hölszky’s Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra “Apeiron” (2017/18, dedicated to Mumelter). Details and programme proposals upon request via “Contact”.

Improvisations & Readings

also on request.


Born and raised in Innsbruck. Studied there and in Philadelphia. From childhood on undertook international concert activities with a focus on classical music of the modern age. He has released live CD recordings of the violin concertos of Arnold Schönberg, Alban Berg, Bernd-Alois Zimmermann and works dedicated to him; concerts with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; and several hundred radio productions. Counterbalancing this, he’s given baroque music performances, for example with Bach solo appearances at the Festival of Early Music in Innsbruck. Mumelter was Laureate of the Gaudeamus Competition for the Interpretation of New Music in Rotterdam, received the Critics Award at the Musik-Biennale Berlin (now MaerzMusic) for the performance of Erich Urbanner’s Violin Concerto dedicated to him. He is author of audio dramas and novels. Mumelter had a long career as professor for violin at the Mozarteum University Salzburg and as Head of its Institute for New Music.

Details: Website https://www.mumelter.de/en


As “recordings one could only dream of” and “pure joy”, renowned media such as “fono forum” welcomed the complete recording of the violin sonatas by Charles Ives played by Martin Mumelter and the pianist Herbert Henck: pieces in which the most important trends of new music are bundled and carried out. Already as a teenager, Mumelter was interested in new music and modern classical music; his early recordings include world premiere recordings as well as the violin concertos of Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg, Bernd-Alois Zimmermann (all live) with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestral, often with distinguished composers such as Peter Eötvös, Erich Urbanner, or Hans Zender conductng the performances.

Born and raised in Innsbruck, Mumelter was able to benefit from the initiatives that made the region a Mecca for both early and new music: at the annual, often very controversial festival “Jugendkulturwochen”—whose list of participants today looks like a Who is Who of 20th century art and offered Mumelter the opportunity to take part in numerous world premieres even as a teenager—there were personal appearances on the one hand of Gyorgy Ligeti, Steve Reich, or Pierre Boulez and the last public appearance of John Cage, on the other hand there were regular concerts and workshops by pioneers of early music such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt or Jordi Savall. Amidst this all, the appearances of legendary literary figures such as Elfriede Jelinek, Thomas Bernhard, or Gerhard Rühm. Immersed in such an experience was Mumelter’s study of the violin in Innsbruck, which he later rounded off in Philadelphia. Already in 1971 he was the best participating violinist and string laureate of the Gaudeamus Competition for the Interpretation of New Music in Rotterdam. Soon afterwards he was awarded the Critics’ Prize of the Musik-Biennale Berlin (today MaerzMusic) for his performance of Erich Urbanner’s Violin Concerto dedicated to him. It was no coincidence that the first literary texts arose from this environment, above all audio dramas, which were produced in Austria and Switzerland and later led to major works such as the autobiographically coloured novel “Spiegelfuge”. Just as rooted in his youth, is Mumelter’s intensive interest in baroque music and his representative recordings of it, such as solo works by Bach.

Mumelter enjoyed a long career as professor for violin at the Mozarteum University Salzburg, where he conceptualized, founded, and headed the Institute for New Music. Today he lives in Bavaria.

For details see website: https://www.mumelter.de/en

For more information on which recordings and books are available right now please see these respective pages, where you will discover many details and have the opportunity to order products directly.

Click Contact if you want to send a message to Martin Mumelter or ask a question.