Martin Kohlstedt: rewiring piano


As a little girl I always tried to sneak into my father’s band rehearsals and loved spending all my spare time there. To make it clear, my father played drums, but that didn’t matter to me. What I liked was how all those single musical instruments huddled up in our basement could merge into one beautiful melody that lived its own life and didn’t respect any set rules: just like a giant wild river flowing through a forest, carving out its own passage and not caring if there is something in the way or not.

My love for music formed almost all aspects of my childhood and it resulted in me begging my parents for a piano day and night. My prayers were heard and for Christmas I got one. I started piano lessons hoping that one day I could compose something as extraordinary and purposeful as my father. However, as soon as I learned how to play those simple pieces with one hand, I knew that it wouldn’t be that easy.

My teacher forced me to play all the great classical works that had to follow so many rules and I just couldn’t learn it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I don’t like listening to all those legendary composers, but it was the complete opposite of what I’d been listening to and believing in all my life. Suddenly the wild river disappeared and what was left was just rules that were hard to follow.

That’s when I ditched piano lessons.

I started to go my own way and learn pieces that I considered interesting. When I went to university my love for music didn’t disappear, it just shifted into a different form. I started listening to young composers, trying to find that purpose again.

It was during my Erasmus studies in Leipzig that my friend introduced me to the work of a young German composer called Martin Kohlstedt. Just by listening to the first piece of his new album, I knew that this was what I was looking for. Suddenly the wild river started to spring from its sleeping source and continued to live its unpredictable life again.

When Martin plays, he keeps proving that music is a universal language. His work has no borders, no limits, and to understand its story, one does not have to learn a foreign language. When he puts his fingers on those black and white keys, the steel strings start to tremble and the result is simply unbelievable. All you have to do is sit down, close your eyes and listen and your imagination takes you places never seen before; suddenly you find yourself in a forest looking at the night sky, roaming in space and exploring its unseen corners; or in my case, sailing down the river, not paying attention to where it takes you.

If you don’t like the feeling of classical music with its precisely defined rules, you will find satisfaction in his music.

Martin Kohlstedt creates his own rules, while still staying true to the sound of piano.

What is more, he is able to move swiftly between the classical and electronic worlds, managing not to cross borders of either of them, which makes his music that much more extraordinary.

This is the impact of the music of Martin Kohlstedt – a privacy not only between him and his piano, but also a personal conversation and contact with his audience. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely call him a piano rebel.

The awesome news is that Martin is ready to leave the studio and show you his rebellious musical skills live. If you are like me, you will be happy to hear that you can enjoy his music in intimate concerts not only in Germany but also all over Europe. He is going to perform one hell of a gig in Leipzig this upcoming October, so if you want to set your imagination free and let it explore unknown places, come and join me. I promise that your feelings won’t go untouched and your little music-loving hearts will melt with pleasure.

Martin Kohlstedt
07 Oct 16

The Leipzig Glocal is giving away 2 free tickets!

Just write one sentence about what you like to do when you listen to Martin Kohlstedt’s music and send it to with the the subject line: Leipglo loves Martin. The most creative entry will win the tickets.

Winners will be announced 1 Oct.
Good luck!

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