Jürgen Schwalk

Jürgen Schwalk, guitarist and composer

Jürgen Schwalk is an uncompromising musician, always looking for his own way. “At some point I was tired of buying sheet music. If you are a musician, it is actually part of creating music yourself. That’s how I started composing music. “

The inimitable Schwalk sound is a mixture of energetic intelligent chord structures that are becoming increasingly complex. They always remain open to other musical worlds, whose influences can come from a range of jazz and gamelan music. Jürgen Schwalk always surprises with a refreshing musical concept that arises from improvisation, enthusiasm and virtuosity.

When composing, a guitar, piano or computer only serves as a means of checking the sound ideas. Collage-like – “as a learning process”, as he says – initially develops little sound material, few harmonies, dynamic and structure.

Own pieces are increasingly being created. “It is better to let go, just to draw on” – says Schwalk. And here the musician’s empathy at the concerts leads to a balance of individuality, boldness, ambition and exciting dialogues, the playful touch and lightness of which amazes the audience. “I create my own world!”, – which he then releases for other or own interpretations.

The start of a musical career

Jürgen Schwalk was born in 1964. His mother brought him to play the guitar, who herself played the violin and guitar and came from a musical family. His father encourages and manages him while he is still a student and organizes concerts for him in Europe. a. in Italy, Belgium, France and Hungary. He completes his guitar studies with Prof. Gräf at the Folkwang University of the Arts with the artistic maturity exam.

Schwalk has been playing with Thomas Döller (flute) for over 30 years. They perform as a Duo Alexandre Tansman at international festivals, mainly with transcriptions by the Polish-French composer Alexandre Tansman and other musicians who had to flee into exile during the Nazi era because their music was considered “degenerate”.

For many years he played successfully as a guitarist and composer in the Latin jazz band TRIO HUT UP. The single “Solanie” has been broadcast on WDR5 for several years.

Schwalk is also an enthusiastic music teacher. For his school musical “Chico – the life of a street child” he received the AKKU- ( Art and Culture )  first price.

In 2020 he composed the piece “EIGIGU” for the director Nils Voges for the play “PostParadise”. Premiere 2021 in Bremen.

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Success & goals

Jürgen Schwalk calls milestones in his musical life the “nerve-wracking” world premiere of his work “La Déesse” for guitar and orchestra by Rémi Boucher (Canada) in Mexico – “I want to have this feeling more often!” – and the first concert with Julian Bream. “Julian Bream is my absolute hero, my role model to this day! How he makes the guitar sing! ”Schwalk enthuses.

Schwalk’s musical journey will never end, there will always be further development. “You can write music until the end of your life, and you can only get better. I have found my musical freedom. “


Jürgen Schwalk on CD​

Jürgen Schwalk has now released 16 CDs either as a soloist, in a duo, in a trio or with a complete band. Here is the complete discography.