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Franz Bauer - Biography

Franz Bauer is a musician who likes to embark on extended journeys in very different musical areas. From drummer to classical orchestra musician and soloist, in and in addition to his classical training, he continues to improvise more and more. This is especially the case on his main instruments, the vibraphone and the marimba, which have become his strongest means of expression.

Franz Bauer was educated at two schools (Munich College of Music, classical, and the Berlin University of the Arts, jazz). Like the projects he did while at school, he continues to cross over to new areas by regularly taking part in the most diverse projects and also inaugurating them.

He plays in a variety of groups, from percussion and contemporary music ensembles in Munich, Berlin and Rostock that aim to premiere new works in contemporary music [Quadram Ensemble – concerts in Berlin; Percussion Project Rostock – concerts in Germany and abroad; United Berlin – international concerts] to the improvising marimba-vibraphone duo which, coming from jazz, is strongly influenced by African rhythms. From the jazz quintet [Franz Bauer Quintet: “Plüschtier,” JazzHausMusik, 1997, with Jim Black], a group whose tours were in part supported by the Goethe Institute, to bands like Batoru [3 CDs on the Nabel label] which take him to international festivals.

In addition to concerts such as an improvised solo performance at the Berlin Academy of the Arts, the musical co-direction of a Neuköllner Opera production, diverse concerts at clubs in and near Berlin and performing in concerts of the marimba quartet Xylon which were held for WDR radio in Cologne and Duisburg, he worked on his current project, his solo CD “Bouché,” which was released in March 2006 by JazzHausMusik in Cologne. He played all the instruments himself. Apart from “Money” (Pink Floyd) and “O sole mio” (Neapolitan folk music), he composed all the pieces himself.

He is currently presenting his CD bouché as a solo performance and as a duo/trio with the exquisite accompaniment of Uli Moritz (drums, percussion) and Johannes Gunkel.

Biography: 1991 | 1992 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006


Born in Bad Aibling (Bavaria), he spent his school days playing the drums in various bands, trying out diverse styles.

[top]1987 until 1992

He studies classical music at the Munich College of Music as a soloist and orchestra musician with the drums as his main field of study. He plays in the orchestra (Bavarian State Opera, Munich Philharmonic), performs modern chamber music (percussion trio of the Munich College of Music) and also performs as a soloist (solo concerts on drums).


CD production with Munich’s Panama Ensemble: “Der Maulwurf Grabowski” (Deutsche Grammophon 435887-2GJ). Followed by a concert tour of the former Czechoslovakia upon invitation of the Goethe Institute.

[top]1992 until 1998

During his jazz studies at the Berlin University of the Arts where his main field of study was the vibraphone/marimba (with Professor David Friedman), he focuses on composition, arrangement and various forms of improvisation.

He founds the marimba/vibraphone duo Marimbao with Rupert Stamm; they exclusively perform their own compositions. (Concerts at Berlin’s A-Trane and a tour of Southern Germany)


Member of the Vielharmonie Orchestra, Berlin

One-year job doing theater music for “Der Kyklop” at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin.

CD production “Bluelero” (VH40307) in the Bauer Studios, Ludwigsburg.


Trip to Gambia (West Africa), lessons with Famoudou Konate (djembe, doundoun balaphone) and Mawdo Soussou (balaphone); studied West African music, syncopated rhythms and playing the balaphone.


The Berlin University of the Arts CD “Journey Street” is released. The CD contains two duo compositions by Marimbao: “Same thing” by Franz Bauer and “Zabrinsky Point” by R. Stamm.

Concerts at various Berlin clubs (the Schlot in Berlin; near Berlin also as a trio – vibraphone, bass, drums – or quartet).

Founds the Franz Bauer Quintet, which wins the Senate’s competition in 1997. Then produces the “Plüschtier” CD with guest drummer Jim Black. It is recorded by Max Bollemann in Holland and released in 1999 on the label JazzHausMusik (Cologne).

Festival performances follow, including at the Offzone Festival in Cologne, the Jazz Festival in Worms, the Jazz Festival in Eberswalde and tours through Germany and Romania.

He becomes a member of Dirk Strakhof’s band Batoru. This year, a live recording by Radio Brandenburg leads to the first Batoru CD “Elegy for Africa,” which features Nils Petter Molvaer on trumpet.

The continuing interest in off rhythms can also be heard on the second Batoru CD “Tree of Sounds” released by Nabel in 2000, but which has more Eastern European influences. (Stoyan Yankoulov percussion/Bulgaria; Peter Ralchev accordion/Bulgaria; M. Schiefel voice/Germany).

Festival performances: Jazz across the Border, Berlin; Jazz East-West Berlin with a tour of Germany in 2000 (recordings by Radio Bremen).


Studies in the USA at the Berklee College of Music and in New York: lessons with Dave Samuels, Ed Saindon, Joe Locke, Richie Beirach, Dave Liebman...


Member of United Berlin, an ensemble for contemporary music

Various activities, including the Chamber Ensemble for New Music/KNM, Berlin; and the ensemble work in progress.

Concerts in Germany and abroad as well as CD productions, live recordings


Teaches jazz ensemble, vibraphone/marimba and drums at the Kreuzberg/Friedrichshain Music School. (Subjects: drums (drum set), percussion, marimba, vibraphone, course: Ensemble Jazz/Rock Pop)


Becomes a member of the Frank Paul Schubert Quartet

Concerts in Berlin and Germany


Together with vibraphonist Roland Neffe, founds the vibraphone/marimba duo vibraphonic; concerts at the “Eberswalder Jazzfest”; the concert series “Jazz in Hallein,” “Stadtgarten Köln.”

Becomes a member of the Percussion Project Rostock and performs concerts in Germany. In August 2001, the ensemble already releases a second CD, “Drums” (castigo 04213); Franz can be heard on some of the tracks.


The second Berlin University of the Arts CD is released, which contains two pieces by the Franz Bauer Quintet: “East seventh” by F. Bauer; “neothis” by M. Anderson.

The Frank Paul Schubert Quartet CD that was recorded in Hanover with sound engineer Hrolfur Wagnsson is released in August 2001 by JazzHausMusik (Cologne); it also contains compositions written by Franz Bauer.

He is involved in the multimedia piece “Der Maschinenmensch” by Georg Katzer at the Music Academy in Rheinsberg and in Dresden.


He starts the Franz Bauer solo project in which he experiments with electronics. Some of the vibraphone/marimba and percussion sounds are refined and alienated through effects. Loop pedals are used, allowing the architecture of a composition to emerge during live performances. (Concerts)

The duo Matthias Bauer and Franz Bauer (not related) is formed. The focus is on setting texts by Russian surrealist Daniil Charms to music. The first program “Vermeintliche Sicherheiten” is performed in Berlin’s “Salon FrauFabelhaft” and in May 2003 in Berlin’s Brecht House.

At the percussion festival “Klangzeit Percussion” at the Detmold/Münster Music College, he performs in Georg Katzer’s -adhoc- trio which also features M. Bauer.

After concerts with the band Batoru in Austria and Germany, he plays on what is already their third CD. “Arabesque” is released by Nabel in the fall 2003.


He temporarily works for the North German Philharmonic in Rostock, the SAP Orchestra and also the Potsdam Chamber Orchestra, etc.


He performs with the Percussion Project Rostock at the IGA in Rostock, and as a soloist at the Open Air Festival in Giffhorn, where he plays the piece “Marimba Spiritual” (M. Miki).

He plays contemporary music for drums with the Quadram Ensemble at some Berlin concerts, which includes premiering new works.

He becomes a member of the Rostocker fusion formation Coloured Line and performs at concerts in Rostock.


He works as the musical director of the Neuköllner Opera’s production of “Licht” by Wolfgang Böhmer (for four women’s voices and solo vibraphone).

He becomes a member of Christof Griese’s Berlin formation, the Tuba-Vibes-Project.

He plays diverse, spontaneous duo and trio concerts, including with Henrik Walsdorff, Dirk Engelhardt, Nathalie Claude, Andrea Marcelli, Jörg Schippa.

Free improvised duo concert with Georg Katzer at the Schlosstheater at the Music Academy in Rheinsberg and a free improvised trio concert with Georg Katzer and Matthias Bauer at Schloss Liebenberg in Liebenwalde.

He plays the marimba for the premiere of Jörg Schippa’s composition project “Rattle the Cage.”

He performs in Georg Katzer’s “Der Maschinenmensch” at the Deutscher Musikrat in Bonn.


He plays solo and duo concerts with Jörg Schippa and duo concerts in Munich with the composer and trumpeter Franz-David Baumann.

He assists the North German Philharmonic in Rostock and performs with the Percussion Project Rostock at the College of Music Rostock.

He performs in concerts with Potsdam’s New Chamber Orchestra and with Potsdam’s Chamber Academy.

He performs with the Percussion Project Rostock at the Schwerin State Theater as a soloist with the piece “Marimba Spiritual” (M. Miki).

He is involved in the production of “Die Perlenfischer” at the Neuköllner Opera (arrangement: Andrew Hannan).

He performs at the Academy of the Arts which includes a solo performance upon occasion of a sound installation with dance by Georg Katzer and Rose Schultze. He also performs in Georg Katzer’s “Der Maschinenmensch” in Southern Germany.

He performs with Christof Griese’s Tuba-Vibes-Project, participates in concerts of the Ensemble Experimente and guests with the Berlin funk group Sahnefunk at the A-Trane.

He performs with the marimba quartet Xylon (composer: Rupert Stamm) for their premiere on WDR radio in Cologne.

He performs his solo program in churches and at exhibits, does concerts with the United Berlin ensemble and with the Rostock fusion formation Coloured Line.

He is involved in the CD production “Rattle the Cage” (composer: Jörg Schippa).

He takes part in the DVD production “Percussion Project Rostock – live”.


Franz Bauer’s solo CD bouché is released by JazzHausMusik (jhm148).

He plays his bouché program in solo, duo and trio formations.

He performs with the marimba quartet Xylon (composer: Rupert Stamm) for WDR radio in Duisburg.

He participates in concerts of the Potsdam New Chamber Orchestra.

With “Rattle the Cage” (composer: Jörg Schippa), he plays a concert in Magdeburg (Jazz in der Kammer).


Contact: Franz Bauer, Kaiserin-Augusta-Str. 3, 12099 Berlin
Web:  E-Mail:  Fon: ++49(0)30/695 996 01

© all content: Franz Bauer 2006