Reto Kuppel

Violinist and Violin Pedagogue

Biography

Violinist Reto Kuppel is one of the most celebrated German performers of his generation, equally sought after as a soloist, orchestra concertmaster, chamber musician, and educator. He has performed throughout Europe, Asia and the United States including at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, and the Herkulessaal and Gasteig in Munich. He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Baroque-Ensemble, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

After winning the International Chateau de Courcillon Violin Competition he appeared at the gala concerts of the Franz-Wirth-Foundation and the Masefield-Foundation in Hamburg. He takes part in festivals such as the Tonkünstlerfest Baden-Württemberg, the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, the Richard-Strauss-Festival, the Kissinger Sommer, the Musicalta Music Festival, the Summit Music Festival and the Rheingau Musikfestival. For almost two decades Reto Kuppel served as Concertmaster of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, appearing at major concert halls all over the world. Currently, Reto Kuppel is Professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik in Nuremberg, Germany.

Reto Kuppel studied with Andreas Röhn at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, and with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York City. His chamber music playing was guided and inspired by Ralph Gothoni, Herman Krebbers, and Felix Galimir.

His appearances via broadcast media have been unusually extensive, including recorded concerts for the NDR, tele5, ARD, Radio Duinrand, BR, Radio de la Suisse Romande and ZDF. Reto Kuppel is an avid chamber performer, with a particular affinity for the string quartet. He has released many CDs, mostly specializing in 19th century virtuoso violin repertoire. His world premier recordings of works by Paul and Pauline Viardot (with Wolfgang Manz, piano), Franz Schubert, Friedrich Hermann and Ferdinand David and his albums of works by Henri Vieuxtemps were highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. “Straightaway it must be acknowledged that the playing of Reto Kuppel is absolutely sensational... Everything is played with taste and refinement. Tuning and tone are immaculate." (musicweb-international.com)

Teaching

Reto Kuppel’s interest in teaching dates back to his own student days at the University of Music and Theater in Hamburg where he was trained in violin methodology by Marianne Petersen (children's methodology) and Petru Munteanu (adult methodology), and earned the academic degree of a music teacher.

He later studied Music Education and Musicology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and at the University of Augsburg, where he completed his doctorate in 2020. Reto Kuppel's thesis, “Violin Technique in Germany”, deals with the sensorimotor and biomechanical aspects of violin technique. One of its goals is to present the historical development of violin technique through a scientific lens by comparing violin schools since the introduction of the chinrest by Louis Spohr.

In 2012 Reto Kuppel was appointed professor of violin at the University of Music in Nuremberg. Since then he has been teaching students in the bachelor's, master's, orchestral master's and Meisterklasse's degree courses and is active in the university senate and as head of the strings department.

His students received prizes at national and international violin competitions (e.g. youth musicians competition, Lions string competition, Euterpe International Music Competition, Karl-Adler youth music competition, D-bü competition, chamber music competition of the Mozart Society in Nuremberg, live music now competition) and more well-known grants Foundations (e.g. DAAD scholarship, scholarship to promote young string players in Nuremberg, Sparda Bank scholarship, Erna Köhler and Anny Kast scholarship, Richard Wagner scholarship, Pirazzi scholarship).

Graduates of Reto Kuppel's violin class have won both tutti and concertmaster positions with renowned orchestras (Philharmonic State Orchestra in Mainz, European Community Youth Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra in Bonn, Munich Radio Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra Bremerhaven, Orchestra of the Dresden State Opera, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Landestheater Coburg, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Philharmonic Orchestra Gera-Altenburg, Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Gangneung Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Klaipeda State Music Theatre, Nationaltheater Mannheim, as well as Düsseldorfer and Hofer Symphonies), while others work as interns and in the academies of well-known German orchestras (State Theater in Augsburg, Philharmonic Orchestra in Heidelberg, Orchestra Academy of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, Paul Hindemith Orchestra Academy of the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, Orchestra Academy the Essen Philharmonic, in the orchestra academy of the State Philharmonic Orchestra in Nuremberg, Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bavarian Orchestra Academy).

At the core of Reto Kuppel’s teaching is providing his students with confidence in different musical styles, and emotional expressiveness in both solo and chamber music repertoire based on proven violin techniques, and through his experience as an orchestral player to introducing new generations of young musicians to professional orchestral playing.

Nuremberg University of Music
Veilhofstraße 34
90489 Nuremberg
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)911/21522-102
Fax:  +49 (0)911/21522-104

Email: info@hfm-nuernberg.de

Homepage of the Nuremberg University of Music: click here

Concerts

2020

Violinsonate. Ein Wiedersehen

Sonatas for violin and piano by Mozart, Beethoven and Franck

with Natalia Sikharulidze, piano

TONALI-Saal, Kleiner Kielort 3 -5, 20144 Hamburg

Friday, October 23, 2020

Concerts at 18:30 and 20:30 

Sinfonisches Herbstkonzert

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia concertante E-flat KV 364 for Violin and Viola

Junge Philharmonie Erlangen, with Florian Richter (Viola) and Gordian Teupke, Conductor

Heinrich-Lades-Halle Erlangen, Rathausplatz 1, 91052 Erlangen

Sunday, October 25, 2020, Concerts at 15:00 and 18:00

audio

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"Die Solisten überzeugen mit hochvirtuosem Spiel, das Orchester mit perfekt romantischem Klang."

"Eine faszinierende Entdeckung!"

Jan Krobot

Online Merker, June 14, 2020

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"Throughout this disc both Reto Kuppel and Wolfgang Manz are on top form with both accentuating the differing aspects of the musical style very well indeed, smooth in the romantic pieces, fiery in the more energetic Gypsy-inspired excursions."

Stuart Sillitoe

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"This is some of the best music of its kind that I have heard, ... Reto Kuppel is an ideal interpreter with technique to burn, and the performances are very well recorded."

Joseph Magil

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Duos for violin and piano with Thomas Grubmüller and Stefan Burkhardt

"VIRTUOS UND HOCHEMOTIONAL"

Rolf Wenzel

Cannstatter Zeitung, January 19, 2011

"SCHWELGERISCH UND MIT SPRÜHENDEM TEMPERAMENT"

Rudolf Wesner

Bietigheimer Zeitung, January 15, 2013

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"ELECTRIFYING STUDIES AND CAPRICES - SPARKS FLY FROM RETO KUPPEL'S BOW

Reto Kuppel (violin) is a force of nature with a flawless technique, hearty tone, and technical refinement, power, and musicianship. This guy is the real deal, offering a hearty and expressive tone on top of his technically flawless performances."

Hexameron

amazon.de, November 25, 2016

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"Kuppel and Manz make heavenly music together. This is absolutely essential for anyone who loves late, French-leaning, Romantic works for violin and piano."

Jerry Dubins

Fanfare, January 2018

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"That Schubert entertained ideas of extending the scope of Lieder comes inZur Namensfeier des Herrn Andreas SillerandAuf den Sieg der Deutschen, the accompaniment coming in a mix of harp and violins. Such a disc has to be intended for those with a very deep interest in the composer, though in the more substantial songs, such asDas grosse Halleluja, there is much to enjoy."

David Denton

David's Review Corner, March 2010

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"Throughout they show remarkable virtuosity... First class recording and a disc no lover of violin pyrotechnics should miss."

David Denton

David's Review Corner, November 2010

"should appeal to those who delight in surfing the violin’s repertoire,.. and to those who simply wish to be astonished. Strongly recommended..."

Robert Maxham

Fanfare, May 2011

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"Urgently recommended."

Robert Maxham

Fanfare, November 2014

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press

(about Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante, with Florian Richter, Viola:) "…sie entzündeten einen freundschaftlichen Wettstreit der Bravour, der Gesanglichkeit und führten in der glanzvollen Kadenz des Allegro maestoso zu kaum erträglicher Spannung. Bis aufs letzte Phon war alles perfekt abgestimmt, auch im hinreißenden Andante. … Kuppel mit süßestem Geigen-Ton und Richter mit sonorer, vollmundig singender Bratsche erinnerten immer wieder an Rockmusiker, de sich bei ihren Soli gegenseitig bewundern, feiern und anstacheln."

Cora Uitting, October 28, 2020, Erlanger Nachrichten

"Reto Kuppel a déjà brillé dans des partitions solistes de Vieuxtemps mais aussi de Ferdinand David (chez Naxos). Il aborde ces œuvres avec l’assurance technique nécessaire et se distingue par sa finesse, sa subtilité, ses couleurs exquises ... Globalement, l’interprétation, conforme à une certaine élégance de la tradition franco-belge, séduit."

Christophe Steyne, September 19, 2020, Crescendo Magazine

"Kuppel is technically brilliant and musically excellent, thus avoiding pure showmanship in these virtuoso pieces. Under the baton of Marcus Bosch the accompanying Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra delivers an accurate performance."

Uwe Krusch, July 16, 2020, pizzicato

"As violinist Reto Kuppel remarked, “Embedded in the pulsing of the orchestra, the violin rises to a frenzy of the highest virtuosity and to the limits of what is possible on the instrument.” … And how. … Every one of these works features several types of advanced techniques. But they also feature some beautifully crafted melodies. Vieuxtemps creates concise, interesting works that deliver on excitement. Especially interesting is the Duo Brillant for violin, cello, and orchestra... This piece depends on the performers not losing the thread of the melody. And neither Reto Kuppel nor cellist Kirill Bogatyrev does... This release helps me further appreciate this Belgian artist. And also the artistry of Reto Kuppel."

Ralph Graves, May 14, 2020, WTJU

"The performances are flawless and expressive, idiomatic in a kind of sophisticated and melodically rich salon style then current in French cosmopolitan circles from a bit before the turn of the century through to the 1920s." (Viardot: Pièces / Morceaux)

Grego Applegate Edwards, August 2018, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

"...violinist Reto Kuppel and his totally engaged, artistically compatible, and interpretively sympathetic piano partner Wolfgang Manz together do exactly what performers of this music were expected to do: they sell it." (Viardot: Pièces / Morceaux)

David Vernier, July 2018, ClassicsToday.com

"une parfait connivence des deux musiciens, bien synchronisés se jetant des regards complices pour bien rester dans le rhythme. Un jeu splendide aussi bien de la pianiste, ènergique et beethovénienne, que du violoniste, d'une sonorité très fine, très pure."

Jean-Marie Schreiber, August 9, 2016, L'Alsace

"Reto Kuppel spielt all das nicht nur mit einer exzeptionellen Liebe und Sorgfalt, sondern überdies mit überall überlegenster geigerischen Meisterschaft. Herrlich, wie er auch die unteren Noten der gebrochenen Akkorde stets klar resonieren lässt, wie sein Spiel bei allem Feinsinn und aller nie verkünstelten Raffinesse stets eine Klarheit und Entschiedenheit ausstrahlt, den Mut des Spontanen, der sich in seiner natürlichen Emphase niemals gehen lässt. Das ist vorbildlich und wegweisend. Auch die Klangtechnik ist ausgezeichnet, und der Booklettext von Bruce Schueneman fasst kompetent das Wesentliche zusammen. Eine ideale Vorzeigeproduktion, die in schönster Weise den Weg in unbekannte Musik weist, die längst in den Konzertsälen in aller Welt heimisch sein sollte." (Vieuxtemps: Works for Solo Violin)

Lucien-Efflam Queyras de Flonzaley, February 17, 2016, The-New-Listener.de

"The German Reto Kuppel, a Dorothy DeLay / Juilliard alumnus, is superbly attuned to the genre, as attested by his earlier Naxos disc of solo studies and caprices by Ferdinand David. All the necessary brilliance and incisive attack is there as you would expect, but also the same breadth and power of tone which was, from all accounts, part of what made Vieuxtemps’s own playing so remarkable." (Vieuxtemps: Works for Solo Violin)

Jeremy Nicholas, December 6, 2015, GRAMOPHONE.co.uk

"Kein Huster ist zu hören, als Reto Kuppel zur Kadenz in Beethovens Violinkonzert ansetzt. Gebannt halten die Zuhörer den Atem an und lauschen dem Klangzauberer, der in Nürnberg Professor für Violine ist. Mit klarer Intonation, großer Präzision und Umsicht, aber auch mit der erforderlichen Energie meistert er die technischen Anforderungen..."

Udo Güldner, April 13, 2015, "Von Sitzen gerissen", Nordbayerische Nachrichten

"Straightaway it must be acknowledged that the playing of Reto Kuppel is absolutely sensational and his violin is recorded in very analytical, close sound. That’s ten out of ten so far....and how on earth Reto Kuppel got his standard of execution to this level leaves one amazed and awestruck. He must have lived with the music for a very long time ... If Ferdinand David rocks your boat then I can’t imagine better performances than the ones on this Naxos disc.....Having said that the level of virtuosity required is also staggering. There are no Paganini-like harmonics and left hand pizzicato effects but the rapid passages that shoot across the strings and the double stopping in 4ths, 5ths and octaves are spectacular. Everything is played with taste and refinement. Tuning and tone are immaculate.... The playing demands to be heard." (David: Virtuoso Studies and Caprices)

John Whitmore, July 2014, musicweb-international.com

"Reto Kuppel ist ein sehr erfahrener und äußerst souveräner Konzertmeister und zeichnet sich durch konzentriertes Arbeiten, großen Überblick und hohe musikalische Intelligenz aus. Er spielt Soli als Konzertmeister mit großer Emotionalität und Brillanz und ... ist ein ausgezeichneter Violinist."

Mariss Jansons, March 30, 2012

"Der Solist Reto Kuppel brillierte. Die Beseeltheit seines Geigentons und seiner Gestaltung dieses hochromantischen Violinkonzerts wurde bereits angedeutet. Seine Technik aber ist nur zu bewundern."

Adolf Karl Gottwald, July 22, 2009, "Griff in die Vollen", Süddeutsche Zeitung

"Reto Kuppel...bestach mit nach innen gewandtem Duktus und glänzte mit runder voluminöser Tonbildung durch alle Register. Ein Violinist, der neben Spannkraft auch ein großes Maß an Gesanglichkeit mitbringt..."

Ulrich Möller-Arnsberg, July 13, 2007, "Grandiose Balance", Süddeutsche Zeitung

Writing

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Traumbilder - Poems 1998 - 2009

Reto Kuppel's poetry collection has been published in February 2011 by Schardt-Verlag Oldenburg. It was presented at the Leipzig book fair.


du bist die Schönste
pralle Frucht lass mein Herz
sich kurz an deiner Süße laben

meine Augen sehen nur dich
wie du bereit bist zu verwelken
komm und tanz mit mir

Reto Kuppel's „Traumbilder“ (dream pictures) document the sensitive ambivalence of a dream, the ostensible beauty in all its sensuality and devotion, the lurking dreadfulness and terrifying darkness. Beneath the surface the horror longs feverishly, piercing yearning and relief, subtle, only gradually revealing itself. Far away of sentimental elation the reader will be left enchanted, surreal, awoken, transformed, out of the dream's clutches, confused - trying to get hold of the meaning.

Press:

"Mit dem 20-Zeiler 'zerbrochen' beteiligte sich der Musiker mit dem besonderen Verhältnis zur Sprache 2010 an der Anthologie 'Bibliothek deutschsprachiger Gedichte'."

"...in einem Sprachfeld, das nach Ingeborg Bachmann und Bert Brecht als abgeschlossen schien. Doch Reto Kuppel hat dem tatsächlich noch etwas hinzuzufügen."

Günter Schäftlein, March 22, 2011,Kreisbote Fürstenfeldbruck

Violin Technique in Germany

The development of modern violin playing in the violin schools since Spohr

This study, published in 2021, explores the fundamentals of violin technique with the aim of teaching future generations of violinists full and scientifically proven knowledge about playing movements. Areas of investigation are the historical development of violin schools and the development of today's technical standards.

Violin technique is not examined here as a compositorical requirement, but as a feeling of movement. The individual sensorimotor and biomechanical aspects of playing the violin are viewed separately on the basis of the source material and linked to form movement patterns. In addition to the historical research, this the result of the investigation. The basic knowledge evidenced by the linearity in the historical development can be used practically in today's didactics or in modern violin teaching.

Because of its central European location, Germany was and is a melting pot of influences from neighboring countries, also in music education. Therefore, the results from the study of German violin schools can be seen as representative for other countries as well. The invention of the chin rest by Louis Spohr in 1833 marked the beginning of the modern violin position and therefore formed the starting point of the investigation. The end of the East-West conflict in 1990 is chosen as the end of the investigation. From here on, due to the musicians' migration, a division into training directions is no longer possible and the basic knowledge generated up to then from the literature comparison has not fundamentally changed to this day.

The knowledge in these books is intended to help improve violin lessons in the 21st century as a contribution to the common violin knowledge.

Part 1

The development of the didactics of sensorimotor and biomechanical processes in violin playing as reflected in violin schools in Germany from 1833 to 1990

The first part shows an encyclopedic listing, the historical comparison and the analysis of violin schools in Germany from the time of Louis Spohr to 1990. The works of many almost forgotten luminaries in violin didactics are presented in chronological order. Whether historical events such as the Cold War had an influence on violin didactics or whether it makes sense nowadays to speak of different schools of violin playing is examined as well as the tricks of the great masters of violin pedagogy.

Part 2

The influences of the development results on the fundamental violin technique of the beginning of the 21st century

In the second part, the authors' knowledge of all sensorimotor and biomechanical subtleties of violin technique is brought together. By evaluating the similarities and overlaps in the examined literature, basic playing movement patterns are shown, which represent the basis or the standard of modern violin playing. The analysis of technical special situations opens the field for the fulfillment of highly virtuoso demands on violin playing.

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Galery

CONTACT ME!!

Georges Yammine took all my artist photos and the violin still life photographies on my website. He is a member of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, for which he published „The Spark of Hope“ (CORSO-Publishing, ISBN 978-3-7374-0704-5). He has shown his photographs in exhibitions in Qatar, USA, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. read more