"Silent movies never were silent ...
The man at the piano, the violinist, the sound maker
at the percussion, the salon orchestra and the symphony orchestra:
then as today, it was their job to give to the silent pictures
an audible expression - preferably LIVE!" Günter A. Buchwald
Since more than 40 years, Günter
A. Buchwald is committing himself to this creative interplay as improvising
Thus, he became one of the pioneers of this genre and especially of
the renaissance of silent movie concerts.
Since the late 70s, Buchwald has performed - based on his wide ranged repertoire
- more than 2900
film concerts, conducting
orchestras (Freiburger Philharmoniker, Bristol Ensemble, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony
Orchestra, Basler und Zuger Sinfonietta e.a.) or chamber music groups (Giora Feidman
& Arditti String Quartet, Jazzguitarrist Philippe Cathérine, New
York based violist Martha Moog, Prima Vista Social Club e.a.) or improvising at the
piano, with violin, viola and orgue.
The ”Freiburger Filmharmoniker”
he founded in 1992
and conducts since then, and his quartett ”Silent Movie Music Company”
belong to the internationally most renowed ensembles for silent
He is the director of the Bristol Music Silents and permanent guest conductor
of the Freiburg Philh. Orchestra
for film concerts. He's a is a regular guest of numerous international Film Festivals,
such as the Berlinale,
Bonn, Bristol, Bologna, Pordenone, Zürich, Nottingham, New York,
Seattle, Tokyo, Kyoto, Belgrad, Rom.
Buchwald's repertoire of
more than 2800
silent movies includes the canon of great silent movie classics:
aside films by Murnau, Lang, Lubitsch
and Pabst, also Sergej Eisenstein, René Clair, Buster
Keaton and Chalie Chaplin, as well as silent movies from Hollywood, Italy, France
considered a subtle interpreter of original film music by Chaplin such
as "City Lights" and "The Circus".
Since he can count on his
knowledge of most of the silent movies still screened,
his varied musical repertoire from Baroque through Avantgarde to Jazz and Pop and his stilistically
for improvisation, his film concerts are not only
based on the original soundtracks or his
own compositions, but often upon his spontaneous improvised solo accompaniment
at the piano, with violin, viola or orgue.
or incomplete original
sound tracks, such as
the score for "Battleship
composed by Nicolai Krijukov, Buchwald has composed several new original musics.
With the premier of his first original soundtrack
the Goethe Institute Tokyo for the Japanese silent Movie ”Sumiko” Buchwald opened the International Filmfestival
in Kyoto and Tokyo in 1997. This first succes was followed by 3 classical
short movies (René Clair, Jean Vido, Moholy-Nagy) premiered at the Roma Aeterna festival
in 2002, Murnau's ”FAUST”,
premiered with great acclaim at the Tokyo Film festival,
and in 1995a new symphonic music for "Nosferatu" with the Freiburg Philharmonics.
his new soundtrack for "The Wind", a Hollywood
production featuring Lilian Gish in the leading role, was premiered at the Festival
of Cividale del Friuli and at the Silent Movie Festival
Buchwald's next projects,
a new music for a restored and completed version of the spectacular,
long tome lost franco-russian production "Casanova" from
1927, is programmed to be premiered in 2019 and shall set to music a DVD the Cinemathèque Francaise will produce.
Likewise, he has been
commissioned by the Seattle Film Festical to write a new music for the
Austrian silent Movie "Die Stadt ohne
Juden" (The town without Jews) which is going to be
premiered in April 2019.
Buchwald is a laureate
of the Prix Européen and the Freiburg Cultural award.
He's teaching at the Freiburg Conservatory and guest
lecturer for film musicat the Universities of Zurich and Freiburg.