"In 75 gorgeous minutes, Markus Wagner and his Romeo Antoniazzi cello (Cremona, 1924) remap the focus of where solo cello recitals and recordings could be," wrote Strings Magazine 12/2014 about Markus Wagner's new CD with recordings of the suites for solo violoncello by Julius Klengel, Hugo Becker and Paul Tortelier. And the American Record Guide titled in its issue 1,2/2015: " This is a must for cellists. It is recorded with clarity and gives us a new look at a world we thought we knew."
Markus Wagner's wide-ranging repertoire ranges from baroque, classical and romantic music to contemporary compositions. In addition to the standard repertoire, he is particularly interested in discovering unknown composers and their works. He premiered some of them, such as Heinrich Kaspar Schmid's Cello Concerto. The above-mentioned CD with world premiere recordings of the Suites for solo violoncello by Julius Klengel, Hugo Becker and Paul Tortelier, highly praised by audiences and the trade press, was released in 2014.
He was influenced by his musical parents and after a short detour via the violin he discovered the violoncello as his instrument at the age of seven. After first lessons with Walter Reiser, Kurt Engert and Fritz Moscher he studied with Walter Nothas at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich (artistic diploma with distinction) and continued his studies with Zara Nelsova at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Master classes with Paul Tortelier (Diploma di Merito of the Accademia Chigiana, Siena), Heinrich Schiff, Natalia Gutman, William Pleeth and Yo Yo Ma (Violoncello Society New York) complemented his education.
Markus Wagner has won prizes in several national and international competitions, including 1st prize at the Felix Mottl Competition (Munich 1989), the Art Prize of the City of Augsburg (1991), medal at the Concurso International de Musique Maria Canals (Barcelona 1991) and diploma at the Concours International d'Exécution Musicale (Vina del Mar, Chile 1991).
In 1991 Markus Wagner was appointed as one of the youngest lecturers in Germany to head a major cello class at the Leopold Mozart Conservatory in Augsburg. After his appointment as professor in 2001, he moved to the Hochschule für Musik in Nuremberg in 2007. Many of his former students now hold orchestral positions in Europe, Asia and North America. Markus Wagner regularly gives master classes in Germany and other European countries.
Concert tours have taken Markus Wagner to most European countries, Israel, China and the USA. He was a guest at the music festivals in Athens, Bucharest and New York, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Bach Week in Ansbach.
Markus Wagner plays an instrument by Romeo Antoniazzi, Cremona 1924.