Those who experience Sebastian Manz in concert encounter a musician “who wants to convey as much joy and atmosphere as music permits” (Ensemble). Whether he sings, laments or whispers on the clarinet, his youthful light-heartedness, mischievous humour, natural musicality and not least masterly technical abilities elicit enthusiasm – and conquer music lovers' hearts.
His big breakthrough came with his sensational success at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in September 2008, where he won not only first prize in the Clarinet category, which had not been awarded for forty years, but also the coveted Audience Prize and other special prizes. In the “Duo Riul” with his partner Martin Klett at the piano, he had also won the German Music Competition just a few months previously. Sebastian Manz has since then been one of the most popular soloists and chamber musicians of the younger generation.
Being the grandson of the Russian violinist Boris Goldstein and the son of two pianists, Manz's musical roots are in his German-Russian family background. He was born in Hanover in 1986 and began singing in a boys' choir at the age of six. He first learned the piano, which he plays very well, but soon concentrated on the clarinet after listening to Benny Goodman's recording of Carl Maria von Weber's E flat major Concerto, which fascinated him and awoke a longing for the instrument. Among his most important teachers and supporters were the acclaimed clarinettists Sabine Meyer and Rainer Wehle.
Sebastian Manz's many interests and talents include moderating his own concerts and making transcriptions. For recreation, he regularly plays football and pursues his love of cinema.
In 2012 Sebastian Manz received his second ECHO Klassik, this time in the “Chamber Music Recording of the Year” category for his recording of the quintets of Mozart and Beethoven together with Ramón Ortega Quero, Marc Trénel, David Alonso and Herbert Schuch. In 2011 he had won the coveted award in the “Newcomer of the Year“ category for his outstanding performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. His debut recital CD with Martin Klett as the Duo Riul was released on the Genuin label at the beginning of 2011, and in May 2012 his recording of the Westphalian composer Christian Westerhoff's Clarinet Concerto and Double Concerto for clarinet and bassoon were released on the cpo label.
In the 2012/13 season Sebastian Manz is scheduled to give solo performances with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, the Sapporo and the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, and is to appear at the music festivals in Salzburg, Lisbon, Heidelberg and Bad Kissingen. He will also perform in various chamber groupings in Berlin, Hamburg, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Essen, Tilburg, Nijmegen, Tokyo and Osaka. At the beginning of the 2012/13 season, Sebastian Manz will for a period of three years become one of the artists making up the “Junge Wilde” (wild young ones) concert series at the Dortmund Konzerthaus.
Alongside his concert work, Sebastian Manz has been active for some time in the “Rhapsody in School” organization founded by Lars Vogt, which is committed to bringing classical music into schools.