My music school teacher in Düsseldorf, Jaspar Sturtzkopf, was a constant presence in my childhood and adolescence, and introduced me to the cello: he rehearsed with my father at our house, while I was allowed to sit in his cello case, listening in wonderment. After that, my cello teachers were Alexander Hülshoff, Reinhard Latzko and Clemens Hagen, all of whom play an incredibly important role in my life to this day.
Nevertheless, I feel the most crucial part of my training was my work on the string quartet. From Walter Levin, Sebastian Hamann and the Hagen Quartet, as well as from my colleagues and friends in the Gémeaux Quartet, I’ve learned everything there is to be learned about music. With orchestral playing, what fascinates me are its moments of magic, especially when lots of musicians play together almost inaudibly – something I was first able to experience in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.
Ulrich Witteler was a founding member of the Gémeaux Quartet, and can now look back on a busy international concert career with it, thanks not least to winning third prize and the audience prize at the ARD Competition in Munich. It also recorded for all major German radio stations, and was invited to renowned festivals, including Lucerne, Davos and the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade. In addition, from 2011 to 2013 Ulrich Witteler was solo cello of the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and associate professor at Essen’s Folkwang University of the Arts. He has been the Bamberg Symphony’s solo cello since 2013.