Chamber Music and Song Interpretation

The pianist Matthias Gräff-Schestag devotes himself primarily to chamber music and song. He is a renowned pianist, who accompanies singers of international reputation, but who also works with well-known instrumental soloists from all over the world. He has given numerous concerts abroad including at Carnegie-Hall in New York. Furthermore, his performances are documented on numerous radio, TV and CD recordings.

Since 1987 Matthias Gräff-Schestag has been head of the chamber music and song performance section at the Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt. For a couple of years he was a chamber music instructor at the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt am Main. Since 2002 he has been leading a renowned master class as well as seminars on chamber music, and song interpretation in Japan.

After his studies at the University of Mainz he continued studying Piano at the Musikhochschule of Frankfurt am Main, where he specialized in chamber music and song interpretation with Professors Hartmut Höll, Rainer Hoffmann, and Joachim Volkmann.

His studies, and participation in numerous master classes for chamber music and song interpretation led by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Dr. Erik Werba, Brigitte Fassbaender, Gérard Souzay, and Dalton Baldwin have enabled Matthias Gräff-Schestag to develop a broad repertoire encompassing all styles and periods, even while concentrating especially on song literature from the romantic and modern classical periods.

Special Focus: Music and Language

The relation between music and language lies at the heart of Matthias Gräff-Schestag’s artistic work. Together with his professional colleagues and students, in concerts and master classes, the renowned pianist and specialist of chamber music and song interpretation strives to attain the most successful and satisfying communication among the members of the group. His special interest is for the intimate link between language and music in song. The focus of his work is placed on communicating not only the semantic and emotional meaning of lyrics, but also their transformation into sound motifs. As a certified teacher of German as a Foreign language (DaF: Deutsch als Fremdsprache) he not only provides students with different cultural backgrounds insights into European culture, art, and music, but also works closely with students on pronunciation and the application of phonetics to music. For several years Matthias Gräff-Schestag has been teaching phonetics as a visiting professor at Gakushuin University, Tokyo.