"In the case of my Bechstein, I agree with Debussy, Scriabin and Schnabel: I love it!"
Gerrit Zitterbart was born in Göttingen in 1952. He received his training in Hanover, Salzburg, Freiburg and Bonn with Erika Haase, Karl Engel, Lajos Rovatkay, Hans Leygraf, Carl Seemann and Stefan Askenase. His concert career began with competition successes in Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy and Germany.
Gerrit Zitterbart has distinguished himself in his career both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. His repertoire includes compositions from Scarlatti and Bach to Stockhausen and Rihm and is extensively documented on more than 70 CDs. A recording of early piano concertos by Mozart was awarded the "Choc" (Le Monde De La Musique) in France. Zitterbart has performed in more than 3,500 concerts in 50 countries. In 1976 Gerrit Zitterbart founded the Abegg Trio with Ulrich Beetz and Birgit Erichson. The trio received important awards (Colmar, Geneva, Bonn, Bordeaux, Hanover, Zwickau), toured worldwide with more than 1,250 concerts in 50 countries between 1976 and 2017, and recorded 30 CDs, including the complete works for this instrumentation by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Gade, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorák, and Shostakovich. Five recordings received the coveted "Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik".
Gerrit Zitterbart has a special love for historical keyboard instruments: since 2003 he has also been giving concerts on fortepianos from around 1750 to around 1900. He uses these instruments not only in solo concerts, but also for chamber music (e.g. in the Abegg Trio, with the Mandelring Quartet, the Klenke Quartet, the Quartet Berlin-Tokyo, the Kandinsky Trio, and in duo evenings with Heidrun Blase, Susanna Pütters, Simon Bode, Henryk Böhm, vocals, Gunhild Hoelscher, Elisabeth Kufferath, Matthias Metzger, Friederike Starkloff, violin, Leonid Gorokhov, Christoph Henkel, Oliver Mascarenhas, Christian Poltéra, cello, Andrea Lieberknecht, Heike Malz, flute, Margje Imandt, Felix Klieser, Ivan Yefimov, horn and Denise Wambsganß, mandolin) there were new impulses. Furthermore he is a member of the Board of Trustees that advises the Carl Bechstein Foundation on their collection of historical instruments.
The enthusiasm for historical pianos led to the founding of the "Clavier e.V." association at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, which aims to bring these sounds back into the consciousness of musicians and the public. An important facet of Gerrit Zitterbart's repertoire are children's concerts. The concerts are moderated and the children are integrated into the action on stage. Here the audience of tomorrow is won for classical music. CD and video productions document programs suitable for children.
Joachim Kaiser, praised as the "pope of critics," wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung: "A musical personality of distinction: the pianist Gerrit Zitterbart, who plays intelligently, concisely and consciously, presents captivating recordings of Beethovens solo sonatas. He also paid special tribute to Zitterbart's Schubert interpretations in lectures.
Gerrit Zitterbart has been professor of piano at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media since 1983. Here, young talents from Germany, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Georgia, Israel, Japan, Korea, China, Canada and the USA have studied with him. Numerous awards of the students at international competitions (among others in Berlin, Bonn, Dortmund, Paris, Geneva, Rome) underline the high level of education.