Since early childhood music has been, and continues to be, the determining factor of Norbert Groh's life. The pianist and conductor was born in Ebern near Bamberg (Germany) and descends from a family of German-Bohemian origin. His exceptional versatile musical talent soon earned him numerous awards at competitions. Piano and piano chamber music studies led him to the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, to the University of Music in Karlsruhe and to master classes (e.g. University of Music in Vienna). In addition he studied conducting at the Richard Strauss Conservatorium in Munich.
He currently performs as pianist and conductor at national and international venues such as the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Munich Opera Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and the festival "amici della musica, Milano". Numerous CD and radio productions document his artistic work. Furthermore, he regularly composes and arranges music for radio plays for the "Bayerische Rundfunk" (Bavarian Radio) and the "Hörverlag" (audio book publishers).
Besides being a lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, he is also active as a choir and orchestra conductor. His special affection is for piano chamber music - in particular with the "Schwabinger Klaviertrio".
He took an early interest in the piano with all its diverse means of expression and range of possibilities.
While still at school Norbert was pianist in a "Play Bach Trio", played Hammond organ and composed for a rock band and also wrote jazz arrangements.
After his graduation from high school in Bamberg, his further musical education led him to the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich to study with Gerhard Oppitz. He then went on to the University of Music in Karlsruhe where he studied chamber music with Werner Genuit. During this time he attended numerous master classes for piano and chamber music, among others, with Oleg Maisenberg and Vitaly Margulis. He received a scholarship from the Fanny Carlita Foundation and the Richard Strauss Scholarship of the City of Munich.
In the course of his career Norbert Groh has given numerous piano recitals, both as soloist and together with orchestras in Germany, various european countries and in the USA. He has appeared as guest performer during the Opera Festival of Munich, the Spetsai Festival in Greece, the Sommer Concerts in Montepulciano and during the „Munich Piano Nights“.
Performances as soloist in the following concerts for piano and orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven, 4th Piano Concert in G major op. 58
Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerts in B major, op. 83 & in D minor, op. 15
Frederic Chopin, Piano Concert in E minor, op. 11
George Gershwin, Concerto in F
Edvard Grieg, Piano Concert in A minor, op. 16
W. A. Mozart, Concert in E-flat major, KV 271
His interests as a pianist also includes modern music; for example, works for piano by W. Rhim which he performed during the „Munich Piano Night“ in 1993 (recorded live on radio), piano Sonatas by L. Janacek performed in 2000 during the Munich Opera Festival in the Cuvilliés-Theater, and the performance of works by the Munich composer Tom Sora during the "Tage Neuer Musik" 2007 in Munich.
Norbert Groh has been active in chamber music since early youth. For several years he performed classical romantic works for cello and piano together with his younger brother Hans-Josef Groh (now cellist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra). As a duo and as a trio (together with their school friend and oboist Albrecht Mayer; now an internationally acclaimed soloist and member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) they received numerous awards in the German national competition for young musicians "Jugend Musiziert".
His exceptional talent for sight-reading and his perfect pitch soon made Norbert a much coveted partner for chamber music. Due to his regular work with singers, he has also gained much experience in the areas of "Lied", opera and oratorio.
Since 1994 he has been performing together with Esther Schoepf, violin and Klaus Kämper, cello in the "Schwabinger Klaviertrio". The trio has received numerous invitations to international festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the festival of the society "amici della musica", Milano and the "Hugo Wolf Tage" in Innsbruck.
Beyond the piano
Norbert also enjoys playing the organ, cembalo, accordion and other keyboard instruments - performing either as soloist or as accompanist. In particular, he can draw upon these instruments when composing and recording music for numerous radio play productions with the „Bayerische Rundfunk“ (Bavarian Radio).
Following his desire to reach an even deeper understanding of the great operas, oratorios and orchestral works, Norbert decided to additionally study conducting with Ulrich Weder at the Richard Strauss Conservatorium in Munich. In parallel, he attended various conducting master classes, e.g. with Leonard Bernstein, Hellmuth Rilling and Michael Gielen. Thus, a new and ever growing dimension was added to his musical activities.
Work at Operas and Theaters
1991/92 Municipal Opera, Augsburg (as solo repetitor)
1994/95/96 Gärtnerplatz Theater, Munich (as solo repetitor and studio conductor)
1996/97 Bavarian State Opera, Munich (as solo repetitor)
Since 1997 Various free-theater productions of operas, operettas & musicals (as conductor)
Modern / Contemporary Music
1994 Conductor of "The Four Seasons" by Tobias Kästle at the Munich Biennale (prize for Best Ensemble)
1998 Conducting works of Helmut Oehring with the ensemble for modern music “x-semble" at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival
1995-2008 Numerous productions with students of the Richard Strauss Conservatorium, Munich: Schoenberg's "Pierrot lunaire", orchestral works by Webern, Weil's "Three Penny Opera“, compositions by Isang Yun, Harald Genzmer, Werner Egk, Darius Milhaud and many others.
Choir and Orchestra Conductor
Working with enthusiastic amateurs also provides Norbert great joy and repeatedly gives him the energy to rehearse and perform even more complex works with them. Often this leads to particularly remarkable concerts, to deep musical experiences and to unique encounters.
Since 1993 "Daimler Orchester", Munich now „Airbus Orchester“, Munich (see www.airbus-orchester-muenchen.de)
1994-2000 “World Festival Choir“, Oslo
Since 1994 "Chorgemeinschaft Pöcking" (see: www.chor-Pöcking.de)
Since 2000 "ars musica chor", Ottobrunn (see: www.ars-musica-chor.de)
Since 2005 Project work with the youth orchestra "Stringendo Kammerorchester" (together with Esther Schöpf)
Short selection of recently conducted works
J.S. Bach: St. John Passion & Christmas Oratorio
B. Britten: St. Nicholas Cantata
A. Dvorak: Stabat Mater
J. Haydn: The Creation & The Seasons
F. Mendelssohn: Saint Paul Oratorio & Elijah
W.A. Mozart: Requiem & Grand Mass in C minor
C. Orff: Carmina Burana
G. Rossini: Petite Messe Solenelle
J. Rutter: Gloria, Magnificat & Requiem
M. Tippett: A Child of our Time
G. Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Lecturer at the Richard Strauss Conservatorium, at the Ludwig-Maximilians University and at the University of Music and Performing Arts (all in Munich, Germany)
Richard Strauss Conservatorium, Munich
From 1990 to 2008 Norbert was lecturer at the RSC for piano and repetitor for string and wind classes. In addition, he taught conducting to students of conducting, to students of church music and to students of composition. From 1999 to 2002 he was given temporary responsibility for the Department of Orchestra, Choir and Correpetition at the RSC including rehearsing and conducting productions of the opera class and the symphony orchestra.
Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich
From 2003 to 2008 Norbert was conductor of the orchestra of the Institute for Music Pedagogy of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in collaboration with the Daimler Orchestra Munich. In numerous concerts he conducted major symphonic works and oratorios.
University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich
Since 2008 Norbert lectures at the University of Music and Performing Arts in the areas of oratorios, correpetition, piano, score reading/playing, and music history/theory for postgraduate students of ballet pedagogy.
Introductions to works
Norbert has always had a particular interest in the extra-musical background aspects of the works with which he is currently occupied. Besides his major piano studies, he also studied philosophy as well as theater and music theory at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich. He regularly presents and moderates introductions to the works in his concerts - e.g. for „The Creation“ by J. Haydn (2008), for „Elijah“ by F. Mendelsohn (2009), for W.A. Mozart´s „Requiem“ (2010) and for „A Child of our Time“ by M. Tippett (2011)