To probe the mysteries of sound with open-mindedness, versatility and with a sense of joy for discovery is the musical credo of Tobias Koch. Right from the beginnings of his musical career, Koch has been fascinated by the expressive potential of period keyboard instruments; he plays the harpsichord, clavichord, tangent piano, fortepiano, orphica, piano-pédalier, organ, and romantic grand piano in unorthodox and spirited performances — “with disarming spontaneity,” as a large German weekly put it. Koch chooses the most suitable instrument after extensive musicological research and performance practice studies, always leading to new results.
For years, he has been considered one of the leading interpreters in the field of romantic performance practice, and particularly of the work of Robert Schumann. The German Radio MDR Figaro wrote: “Inspired and inspiring right from the beginning. Tobias Koch plays Robert Schumann’s music the way it should be played: revolutionary, romantic, with technical brilliance, emotional but without any hint of sappiness or pretence. Koch’s playing conjures up images that appear just as quickly as they fade away. Koch’s playing is infectious, every moment is an adventure.“
Koch’s comprehensive musical career as a soloist, chamber musician and Lied accompanist has taken him to music festivals throughout Europe including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Verbier Festival, the Warsaw Chopin Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, the Schumann Festivals in Düsseldorf, Bonn, Leipzig, and Zwickau, and the Mendelssohn Days at the Gewandhaus Leipzig.
Koch gained valuable artistic impulses in master classes with David Levine, Roberto Szidon, Walter Kamper, Jos van Immerseel and Claire Chevallier. He is a recipient of the music sponsorship award of the city of Düsseldorf and teaches at the Robert Schumann Hochschule as well as at the Academies in Verbier and Montepulciano. Koch has worked with musicians such as Andreas Staier, Gottfried von der Goltz, Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, Markus Schäfer, the Pleyel and Hoffmeister Quartets, Concerto Köln and the Stuttgarter Hofkapelle under Frieder Bernius. He also collaborates closely with instrument makers, restoration specialists, and major instrument museums.
Koch has published on the topics of performance practice, rhetoric and musical aesthetics. He has featured in numerous productions for radio and television and recorded over 25 CDs with works by Mozart, Beethoven, Burgmüller, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, and Brahms. Drawn to the irresistible sound of period keyboard instruments, Koch has performed exclusively on historic instruments for many years.