Photo © Marco Borggreve
“His enchantingly beautiful intonation and technical prowess is unparalleled” praises Holger Arnold in the Fono Forum, “one of the most talented clarinetists in the country” comments the ZDF morning show, “he doesn’t just make the clarinet sing he casts a spell with it” raves the MDR Culture radio broadcast.
These are just a few excerpts from the enthusiastic press response to the album “Carl Maria von Weber: Complete Works for Clarinet,” which was released by the renowned label BERLIN CLASSICS (Edel) in February 2017. The recording was included in the list of the German Record Critics’ “Quarterly Critics Choice” in the category “Concerts”: This complete recording of the Works for Clarinet by Carl Maria von Weber is captivating from beginning to end. Sebastian Manz […] subtly explores his part, distinguishing himself as a virtuoso of his instrument. Technical brilliance, richly nuanced tone, flowing cantability and melodic beauty are delightfully entwined with a playful and creative approach. […] A seamless recording, fresh and flawless. (For the jury: Norbert Hornig). In the category “Concert recording of the year (Music 19. cent.)” the ECHO Classic was awarded to „Weber: Complete Works for Clarinet“: For me, this is the absolute highlight of my Weber project. It makes me happy and proud – this recognition of my album, which I put so many years of work and patience in, commented Clarinetist Sebastian Manz, for whom this is now the third ECHO Classic award.
Being the grandson of the Russian violinist Boris Goldstein and the son of two pianists, born in Hanover in 1986, Manz’s musical roots are in his German-Russian family background. He begins singing in a boys’ choir at the age of six. He first learns the piano, which he plays very well, but soon concentrates on the clarinet after listening to Benny Goodman’s recording of Carl Maria von Weber’s E flat major Concerto, which fascinates him and awakes a longing for the instrument. Among his most important teachers and supporters are the acclaimed clarinetists Sabine Meyer and Rainer Wehle.
His big breakthrough comes with his sensational success at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in September 2008, where he wins not only first prize in the Clarinet category, which had not been awarded for forty years, but also the coveted Audience Prize and other special prizes. With his partner Martin Klett at the piano, he had also won the German Music Competition just a few months previously. He has been solo clarinetist with the SWR Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart since 2010.
In season 2016/2017 Sebastian Manz is invited by the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Symphony Orchestra Voarlberg, Symphony Orchestra Hof and the Philharmonic Orchestra Württemberg. Furthermore he plays several concerts with different chamber music partners. In addition to the numerous appearances at international festivals, the 2017 summer is especially marked by the concert tour of his new wind quintet “variation5.” Parallel to the release of the CD, which is also from BERLIN CLASSICS (Edel), the Quintet performs at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Musikalischer Sommer Ostfriesland, the Rheingau Music Festival and the Mosel Music Festival. His debuts with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Real Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevilla as well as the renewed collaboration with the Bern Symphony Orchestra are among the highlights of the 2017/2018 season. As chamber player, Sebastian Manz works with a number of different ensembles including the casalQuartett, the Danish String Quartet and the Boulanger Trio as well as the pianists Herbert Schuch and Martin Klett. Moreover, he intensifies the collaboration with fellow international wind players Magali Mosnier, Ramon Ortega Quero, David Alonso and Marc Trenel within the scope of the ensemble „variation5.“
His discography includes numerous awards underscoring Manz’s intuition for details and overarching concepts. Time and again, he demonstrates a unique talent for arranging and composing on his albums and at his concerts.
From summer 2018 onwards, Sebastian Manz will be a member of the „CMS Two“ programme at the famous Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Alongside his concert work, Sebastian Manz is active in the “Rhapsody in School” organization founded by Lars Vogt, which is committed to bringing classical music into schools.
Sebastian Manz & Martin Klett
Claude Debussy: Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and piano
Trailer for In Rythm – American Swing for Clarinet & Piano
with Martin Klett