Violinist and Composer
Gregor Huebner is an award-winning, Grammy-nominated composer and violinist whose work bridges genres and revives the art of improvisation in contemporary classical music. In 2017 the New York Philharmonic awarded him the Grand Prize in its New World Composers Competition.
Communicative power and connection of seemingly disparate traditions are the hallmarks of Huebner’s art in all facets of his career – not only as a composer, jazz violinist, and member of the groundbreaking Sirius String Quartet, but also as a sought-after educator, founder of an innovative festival, and as part of an award-winning troupe of musical comedians.
The New York City Jazz Record praised Huebner’s integration of jazz, classical and world traditions as “ingenious,” while All About Jazz celebrated him as a “virtuoso” performer. Reviewing the first instalment of El Violin Latino, a multi-volume recording project exploring the role of the violin in Latin American music, The Wall Street Journal wrote: “By turns sexy and sly, impassioned and dreamy, his collection of well-known tunes, unexpected arrangements and original compositions brings together far-flung members of the fiddle diaspora.”
As a composer Huebner has forged a unique voice that embraces a wide range of techniques and languages. He is equally adept with pop song structures and post-tonal gestures, improvisation and traditional counterpoint, and seeks out innovative ways to produce and notate sounds. For his political musical statement in New World Nov.9th 2016, which he started to write the day after the election in 2016, he received the New York Philharmonic’s Grand Prize in its New World Composers Competition in 2017.
He has been commissioned by institutions including the Bach Academy Stuttgart, Beethoven Fest 2020 Bonn, the West German Radio Orchestra and Tribeca New Music. His compositions have been performed by ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the Nova Philharmonic Orchestra.
Creation and performance come together in Huebner’s work with the Sirius Quartet, an ensemble of stylistically polyglot string players praised by the New York Times for their “versatility and flair with lively improvisations.” The ensemble’s catalogue of recordings features numerous works by Huebner. He also features the quartet in usual orchestrations, as in “Cuban Impressions” for string quartet and string orchestra and “Colors of the East” for string quintet and accordion. The Sirius Quartet is a sought after guest at venues including the Beijing Music Festival, Stuttgart Jazz Fest, Bern University of the Arts, the Andy Warhol Museum, Merkin Concert Hall, Chelsea Music Festival, and the Taichung Jazz Fest, Taiwan’s largest jazz event.
Together with Sirius Huebner founded the annual Progressive Chamber Music Festival in New York and Munich, which is in its 5th season in 2020 and brings together major figures in improvised and contemporary classical music.
As a violinist Huebner has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, Berlin Philharmonie, the Hollywood Bowl, Montreux Jazz Fest, Gewandhaus Leipzig, and many other venues. He has performed and recorded with some of the most respected names in jazz, pop and classical music, including Smokey Robinson, Diane Reeves, and Billy Hart.
His longstanding collaboration with Richie Beirach and George Mraz yielded three critically acclaimed albums, including the Latin Grammy-nominated Round About Federico Mompou.
Music and comedy come together in innovative ways in the work of Berta Epple, a German theatrical ensemble which features Huebner and with which he won the prestigious State Award of Baden Württemberg in 2019.
As a seasoned educator Huebner is passionate about reintegrating improvisation into the skill set of a new generation of musicians. He is Professor of Composition at the University of Music and Theater in Munich and has given workshops at numerous institutions in Germany and America. He is the author of a book on improvisation for string players.
Huebner was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and received his formal education from the Vienna College of Music, the Stuttgart College of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned his master’s degree and won a President’s Award. He lives in Harlem.