Michael Wessel

Michael Wessel is professor of piano, song interpretation and methodology at the University of Church Music in Bayreuth. He studied piano, composition, music theory and school music at the music universities of Detmold and Stuttgart. His teachers included Hanns-Ulrich Kunze, Jürgen Uhde, Elisabeth Leonskaja and the composer Helmut Lachenmann. In the years leading up to his death, Wessel often sought artistic advice from the Paul Badura-Skoda, who wrote: “Michael Wessel is not only an excellent, sensitive pianist, but also one of the most intelligent musicians I have ever met.”

Wessel has performed throughout Europe and the Middle East as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. He plays as a soloist with various orchestras including the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also gives moderated concerts with guidance on compo-sitional and interpretative topics or recitation with actors such as Christoph Bantzer and Heikko Deutschmann. He performs with renowned chamber music partners and singers including Kai Wessel and Juliane Banse. Wessel’s activities have been documented by radio recordings and on CD albums (SWR, Animato, ARS).

Michael Wessel is the author of “The Art of Practicing—A Guide to Inspired Practicing and Interpretation” (Wilhelmshaven 2007), which received excellent reviews in the specialist press and on the radio. The first edition of his book “Practice, Rehearsal, Career: Conversations with 12 Performers” (including interviews with Paul Badura-Skoda, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Christian Tetzlaff, Tabea Zimmermann and Jörg Widmann), published by Bären-reiter in 2012, was sold out within a few months The release of a recording for the Wagner Year 2013 with works by Wagner, Liszt-Wagner and the sonata of Julius Reubke was followed in 2015 by his next album, “Mozart in Moll”, which was recommended i.a. by Stern magazine and selected as “CD of the Week” by Deutschlandfunk public radio.

Wessel is a sought-after juror at national and international competitions. He also regularly offers master classes in Germany and abroad, for example at the Conservatorio G. Puccini in La Spezia, at the Kraków Summer Academy, the Music Universities of Munich, Vienna and Nuremberg, at the Academy in Trossingen, and ABA in Muscat, Oman.