An intensive quest and constant search for new and unconventional ways to express music determines the artistic vita of German pianist Andreas Woyke.
His education has been shaped by various international influences - the Argentine pianist Aldo Antognazzi taught him in Siegen. In Cologne and Vienna he studies with the russian pianists Pavel Gililov and Rudolf Kehrer. That time he won a number of international prizes: 1st prize at Brahms-Competition Hamburg, 1st prize at Austro Mechana in Vienna and 2nd prize and recital prize at UNISA Transnet competition in Pretoria.
Andreas Woyke has been performing already at important concert places of the world, i.e.: Musikverein und Konzerthaus Wien, Townhall New York, Sala Sao Paulo, Philharmonie im Gasteig München, Philharmonie Köln, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Beethovenhaus Bonn, Radiohuset Stockholm, Tschaikowsky-Konservatorium Moskau, Kennedy Center Washington D.C., South Africa State Theatre Pretoria, Teatro Municipal Viña del Mar, Oriental Arts Centre Shanghai (Location in Simon Rattle's "Trip To Asia"). His collaboration with famous artists as mezzo soprano Christa Ludwig, the actors Julia Stemberger and Wolfram Berger or author Michael Krüger had a significant impact on his artistic personality as well as his work with conductors like Joao Carlos Martins (Bachiana Filarmonica Sao Paulo), Kazushi Ono (Staatskapelle Karlsruhe and Zagreb Philharmonic), Heribert Beissel (Klassische Philharmonie Bonn), Gerard Korsten (Transvaal Symphony), Pál Molnár (Baden-Baden Philharmonic), Rolf Agop, Volker Wangenheim and many others.
Andreas Woyke crosses borders. Composing and mprovisation is a very meaningful part of his life. On his Solo-CD „Braiding Bach (Ars, 2008) he combined piano works by Johann Sebastian Bach with his own compositions. In these strongly jazz-inspired sound images the improvising element shows as important effect as in the baroque ornamentation of Bach's sarabandes. Both free and conceptual improvisation such as “Acconci-Island”, inspired by the Mur Island in Graz, and his fusion jazz band “D’yamba”, founded in 2003, underline the profound significance improvisation has in his life. Woyke is open minded for any styles like rock, jazz-rock, funk, soul, ethno or house as well as the classical epoques and ancient music.
In his live concert programs he strives for improvisatory momentum as well. In solo concerts he is building improvising bridges between classical works and his own compositions and jazz. He also improvises or composes the cadenzas in classical piano concertos himself. Mozart’s in part sketchily composed Coronation Concerto, for instance, he refreshingly created a unique rearrangement of the work, which differs strongly from the well-known and widely played version of Mozart’s contemporary André.
Chamber music and accompaniment of singers is a fixed part in Woyke's activities as well. Since the spring of 2003 he has been collaborating very successfully with the vibrant cellist Friedrich Kleinhapl. The duo is performing all over the world and a number of CD-recordings have been published with Ars-Produktion. For their recording of the sonatas by Dimitri Schostakowitsch they have been rewarded with the Pasticcio-Preis of the ORF, Vienna, the CD with the sonatas by Rachmaninov and Franck recieved the Supersonic Award and their two recordings of all Beethoven-sonatas including their own transcription of the tenth violin sonata has been honored with the renowned Excellentia Award 2009 and 2010. Their CD "Pasión Tango" with tango compositions by Astor Piazzolla, José Bragato, Jacob Gade and Carlos Gardel received the supersonic award shortly after release in 2014.
Andreas Woyke currently works as a freelance concert pianist living in Graz and teaches piano and chamber music at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst (university for music and the performing arts) there. He gives master classes in the whole world like Europe, the US, Brazil, China and Japan.
Andreas Woyke is a constantly searching artist. Grown up as classical pianist he opened his mind with growing curiousity and frankness to diverse musical styles – jazz at the first place but also rock, soul, funk or ethno. These influences are the source for his own compositions which become more and more part of his classical concert recitals. However, he always kept loyality to classical music with all it's epoques. He likes to combine works of one or more classical composers with own compositions and jazz and to let the audiences experience a completely new adventure of listening music by the particular effect of both components to each other.
„I strongly believe that we listen to 200 or more year old music different today than the people of that time. This is because our ears are already used to newer music like modern classical or other modern styles. At the same time our „tools“ have developed. Of course, there are still historical instruments that give us the opportunity to interprete music from Bach or Mozart like it probably sounded in their time. But today we have modern instruments as well – like the modern concert grand piano and of course the endless variety of electronic instruments like sythesizers – that open completely new perspectives for us in our attitude to music which is timeless in it's basic essence.
In the Mozart-year 2006 Woyke performed the project „Mozart and Jazz“, in 2007 a recital program from Bach to Brahms – also combined with his own music. In his project „The Four Elements“ each piece of Brahms' op. 119 is anticipated by an own improvised introduction by Woyke. On his Solo-CD „Braiding Bach (Ars, 2008) he combined piano works by Johann Sebastian Bach with his own compositions. 2009 he designed a recital program due to the Haydn-anniversary with Sonatas and Variations by Joseph Haydn and his own compositions.So did he with Liszt in 2011 and with classical and romantic composers 2012.