My parents tell the story a bit differently, but this is how I remember it: when I was 8, I found a violin (with 3 strings) in a cupboard. From that moment, I wanted to play the violin. At 14, because of my big hands, I was transferred from our school orchestra’s second violins to the violas. I’d now found ‘my’ instrument, and I began to practice seriously. At 17 I had the chance to play Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony in the newly formed European Community Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado’s baton. From then on, one thing was certain: I wanted to become an orchestral musician.
Martin Timphus studied with Prof. Ulrich Koch in Freiburg and was coached in chamber music by members of the Amadeus and LaSalle Quartets. He was awarded the German Federation of Industries Cultural Association Prize for young artists. As a member of the European Youth Orchestra, he played under the batons of Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado and Herbert von Karajan.
He has since become a sought-after teacher himself and is particularly involved in musical outreach to children and young people. In addition to his orchestral work, he performs regularly in various ensembles as a chamber musician and soloist. He has been a member of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra since 1985.