After taking a break from touring due to suffering from a herniated disc, the German violin star David Garrett returned with his new album Unlimited (Greatest Hits) at the end of 2018. Unlimited marked his ten-year crossover-stage anniversary, a celebration which he will continue in May with the accompanying Unlimited Greatest Hits Live tour. Discover Germany spoke to the violinist about his latest album, what fans can look forward to at the tour and more.
The cliché that classical music is solely for musical snobs or the older generation has luckily been buried in the past – not least due to the efforts of the German pop and crossover violin prodigy and recording artist David Garrett. Born in Aachen to an American mother and a German father, the musician soon knew what he wanted and exhibited his passion for music from very early on. Learning to play the violin at the young age of four, Garrett had his first public performance with the Hamburg Philharmonic at the age of ten. At 13, he became the youngest artist signed by the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft music label, which was followed by the recording of his first CDs and his first TV appearances. Working together with the legendary Polish violinist Ida Haendel in 1992 shaped and influenced the development of his personal music style. He says: “As I started at a very early age, I’ve never seen music as a profession, but rather as a personal passion which luckily ended up being my job.”
At the age of 17, Garrett joined the famous Juilliard School of Music in New York to study composition and musicology. “I was able to gain my general music knowledge at the Juilliard School and, at the same time, it was a great honour to study with Itzhak Perlman there. The school has extremely broadened my musical horizon through the many diverse interactions with excellent young artists and talents. The time at Juilliard was so formative that my career developed out of it,” he recalls.
“I didn’t expect the huge success”
Today, Garrett has evolved into one of the world’s best violinists of his generation and has become one of the most popular classical crossover and pop violin artists in the world. He manages to attract many different demographics and new audiences to his music thanks to his special style which fuses pop, rock and classical music. Over the years, Garrett has recorded core classical pieces, as well as rock fusions and his very own brand of crossover. “I simply followed my musical instincts and did what I love. I didn’t expect the huge success of my crossover music and still can’t really believe it. But as an artist and composer, I’m incredibly happy about the fact that people love my music as much as I do, of course,” explains Garrett.
Between 2007 and 2017, Garrett released ten albums, each selling millionfold all over the globe and achieving either multi-platinum or gold status. 2018, therefore, marked Garrett’s ten-year crossover anniversary. He says: “The biggest highlight of the past ten years is definitely that I was able to bring classical music closer to an entirely new audience through my crossover projects.” That’s why the anniversary is celebrated with the release of his latest album, called Unlimited (Greatest Hits). “Unlimited combines some of my favourite songs from the past ten years of crossover concerts and is a big ‘thank you’ to all my fans who have supported me so much. Unlimited also means, however, that you can achieve everything in life if you’re willing to work hard enough and believe in yourself,” says Garrett, and adds: “Due to the fact that no musical borders ever existed for me and music is simply unlimited, Unlimited is also the perfect title for my anniversary album.”
The album consists of new and rearranged songs and comes in a standard version with 21 songs and a deluxe version with 37 songs. With Unlimited, the former Guinness World Record honoree (fastest violin player between 2008 and 2011), five-time ECHO-Klassik and three-time ECHO-Pop winner, looks back on some of his biggest hits of the past ten years, while sporting six brand-new songs and four new acoustic versions of some of Garrett’s most successful pieces.
“I can’t wait to reveal it”
If you want to see Garrett live, you’ve got the chance to do so in May, as the violinist will tour Germany, Austria and Switzerland with his new programme, Unlimited (Greatest Hits). Those who have been able to see him live before will know that he conveys an unbelievable energy and atmosphere on stage, with which he virtually electrifies entire arenas. In these very moments, the songs also unfold their very own, entirely new characters. “It’s especially important to me to convey the love for music to my fans during my concerts. I want to take them on a wonderful musical journey and share the joy of celebrating this anniversary together with them,” smiles Garrett.
And what can fans look forward to with the new tour? Garrett reveals: “For us, Unlimited is the tour with the most elaborate concept so far. For months, we have worked with a team of specialists to implement our ideas and are really amazed about what we were able to actually realise. I don’t really want to reveal too much, but it will be a really exciting concept and I can’t wait to reveal it to my fans.”
“I really hope that I can further perfect this balance”
At such a young age, Garrett has already achieved a lot and looks back on an unrivalled career. “My career has allowed me to travel the world, meeting different people and encountering various cultures. Of course, these experiences make you grow – in a musical sense and as a person,” the violinist smiles. Even though Garrett has already achieved so much, he doesn’t think about slowing down just yet. After the Unlimited tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Garrett also plans an international tour and has already started work “on many new and very exciting projects on the side”. Garrett smiles and concludes: “But it has remained one of my main objectives to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends next to my profession. This has always been my main priority. I really hope that I can further perfect this balance between professional engagement and my personal life.”
Unlimited (Greatest Hits) – live 2019:
– 4 May: Chemnitz, Arena
– 5 May: Erfurt, Messehalle
– 7 May: Berlin, Mercedes-Benz Arena
– 10 May: Dortmund, Westfalenhalle
– 11 May: Oberhausen, König-Pilsener-Arena
– 12 May: Cologne, LANXESS arena
– 14 May: CH – Zürich, Hallenstadion
– 15 May: Stuttgart, Schleyer-Halle
– 17 May: Hannover, TUI-Arena
– 18 May: Braunschweig, Volkswagen Halle
– 19 May: Leipzig, Arena
– 21 May: Bremen, ÖVB Arena
– 22 May: Schwerin, Sport- and Congress Hall
– 24 May: Kiel, Sparkassen Arena
– 25 May: Hamburg, Barclaycard-Arena
– 27 May: Mannheim, SAP-Arena
– 28 May: Frankfurt, Festhalle
– 29 May: Munich, Olympiahalle
– 31 May: A – Vienna, Stadthalle
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: CHRISTOPH KÖSTLIN