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Kurt Guntner

Prof. Kurt Guntner was born in Munich on Mozart’s 183rd birthday. He studied the violin with Ludwig Ackermann, Max Rostal and Henryk Szeryng. At the age of 18, he made his solo debut in the Kongreßsaal at the German Museum in Munich, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of 22 he was appointed first concertmaster with the Bavarian State Orchestra. After 10 eventful years at the Bavarian State Opera with conductors such as Ferenc Fricsay, Joseph Keilberth and Hans Knappertsbusch, Rudolf Kempe invited him to become the first concertmaster with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, giving him the opportunity to perform the violin solo in many of the great violin concertos.

Of particular appeal were the BR’s invitations to perform and record great violin concertos that were seldom played, including those by Casella, Schillings, Szymanowsky. Kurt Eichhorn initiated this series– Jan Koetsier, Marek Janowski and others conducted other concertos. Kurt Guntner was also first concertmaster with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra for many years, and played with the Munich Bach Orchestra under Karl Richter, in the Association of Soloists in The Bach Week in Ansbach and with the Münchner Bachsolisten. In 1972 he founded the internationally acclaimed ODEON-TRIO, together with the cellist Angelica May and the pianist Leonard Hokanson, touring all over the world with them for 25 years. In 1976 Guntner was called to the tenured chair of violin at Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater, teaching students from around the world for 28 years.

He has made numerous recordings for radio, television, record and CD. Karl Schumann described Guntner’s broad musical personality thus: “Kurt Guntner is a practical orchestral musician, soloist, chamber musician and educator in one person”.

In 1997 Kurt Guntner was awarded the order of merit (first class) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

He has been closely associated with G. Henle Publishers for several decades. Since the end of the 1980s he has produced numerous Urtext editions of works for violin for the publishing house, sharing pedagogically polished bowings and fingerings for different works including violin concertos by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Bruch and Tchaikovsky, as well as numerous other editions.