Oliver Drechsel


Oliver Drechsel, born in 1973, is one of the most versatile pianists of his generation. In addition to his concert performances and teaching position at the University of Music and Dance Cologne, he has achieved success in solo and chamber music CD recordings, as an author of musical writings, editor of scholarly sheet music editions, artistic director of two concert series, and as a composer.

Recognized as the "Best of NRW" pianist, Oliver Drechsel has dedicated many years to chamber music, performing with ensembles such as the "Klaviertrio Köln-Weimar" with Dagmar Spengler and Gernot Süßmuth (principal cellist and concertmaster of the Weimar State Orchestra), as the "Liaison extraordinaire" with Christoph Lahme (harmonium), and in a duo with Berthold Große (solo bassoonist of the Royal Opera Stockholm).

Oliver Drechsel has released a remarkable number of CD recordings for a pianist of his generation. His recordings, many of which are world premieres, span a wide range from classical and romantic piano music to the works of composer Jürg Baur, born in 1918. He made his CD debut in 1998 with a complete recording of Baur's piano works, receiving the Rheinischer Kulturpreis Förderpreis. A focus of his recordings is the performance of piano music from the 18th and 19th centuries on historical original instruments from the Dohr Collection (www.pianomuseum.de). For example, he recorded Friedrich Kiel's piano works on a grand piano by Theodor Stöcker, which was owned by Kiel himself. His recording of Vol. 1 of Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck's piano works received the "Stern des Monats" (Star of the Month) in 6/2003 by the magazine FonoForum, and both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 were part of the Special Prize at the German Music Edition Awards 2004. The Rheinland region, his home, is also a focus of his recordings, featuring composers such as Johann Wilhelm Wilms, Christian Gottlob Neefe, and Ferdinand Hiller.

As an author of musical writings, Oliver Drechsel has explored the life and works of Jürg Baur in publications such as "Das Klavierwerk" and "Werkverzeichnis." He has also edited several volumes of piano works by Johann Wilhelm Wilms, Christian Gottlob Neefe, and Ferdinand Hiller as scholarly sheet music editions for the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für rheinische Musikgeschichte's renowned series "Denkmäler rheinischer Musik." These editions were complemented by a CD recording of selected works on period instruments.

As a composer, Oliver Drechsel has received the first prize at the International Composition Competition Siegburg in 1997 and 2007, as well as the special prize from the Verein der Humperdinck-Freunde in 2013 for his "Hänsel und Gretel" Fantasy for Two Cellos. His composition "Der Urton" for string and wind quintet, based on the poem of the same name by Chr. Morgenstern was successfully premiered by members of the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln at the Kölner Philharmonie. In 2018, he composed "Dreaming of E." as part of the international composition project "250 piano pieces for Beethoven," upon invitation by pianist Susanne Kessel. Numerous compositions by Oliver Drechsel have been published by Editions Dohr (Köln), Schottstädt (Mainz), and Hofmeister (Leipzig).

Oliver Drechsel received his musical education and early competition successes from his mother, concert pianist Ruth Drechsel-Püster. He continued his piano studies at the University of Music Cologne under Roswitha Gediga-Glombitza and in the master class of Pavel Gililov, culminating in a concert diploma (about which the dean Klaus Oldemeyer wrote: "The concert diploma of pianist Oliver Drechsel has made an indelible impression on me, as it was, in my assessment, one of the artistically most independent, sophisticated, and convincing events of this kind at our university"). Masterclasses with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Peter Feuchtwanger, and the Alban Berg Quartet completed his artistic education.

Experience Oliver Drechsel at the following concerts