Dirk Rothbrust

Dirk Rothbrust © Janet Sinica

Dirk Rothbrust

Dirk Rothbrust was born in Illingen in Saarland in 1968 and now lives in Cologne. When he was only eleven years old, he radically placed percussion at the centre of his life. Rothbrust studied with Franz Lang and Isao Nakamura from 1986 to 1994 in Saarbrücken and Karlsruhe. He has been a member of Schlagquartett Köln since 1995, played in the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin from 2001 to 2008 and became a member of Ensemble Musikfabrik in 2005.

He performs concerts at renowned European festivals for contemporary music and works with some of the most notable composers and interpreters of our time, including Maurizio Pollini, Martha Agerich, Peter Brötzmann, Mouse on Mars und Pierre Laurent Aimard, for example, as well as a soloist with Ensemble Resonanz, for example, and with the radio symphony orchestras of BR, WDR, SWR and NDR.

Dirk Rothbrust sees the scarcely comprehensible diversity of percussion as a permanent challenge that motivates him to continuously reexamine and research the sonic potential of percussion instruments; such as with, for example, “void” by Rebecca Saunders at the 2014 edition of the Wittener Tagen für Neue Kammermusik, the drumset solo “Fell” written for him in 2016 by Enno Poppe as well as the solo piece “dust” by Rebecca Saunders (2018). 

The solo piece “Jadarit” by Milica Djordjevic and “Aus dem Geröll” for percussion solo and orchestra by Carola Bauckholt were written for him in 2023. Rothbrust has worked since 2019 as a coach for the Lucerne Festival Academie and has also taught contemporary percussion (solo literature, ensemble and new music) at the Cologne Academy of Music and Dance since 2019 as well.
As a member of the Schlagquartett Köln, he founded the Cologne Percussion Orchestra in 2022 with the goal of performing works for up to 13 percussionists.

As of: March 2024

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