Steven Walter is a cultural entrepreneur and cellist currently based in Berlin and Esslingen, Germany. Born in 1986, Steven was early to discover his passion for classical music. He started playing the cello at age 8 and soon began performing with various ensembles. After graduating, Steven studied the cello at Barrat Due Institute of Music in Oslo and Musikhochschule Detmold. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician at many venues in Europe, throughout Scandinavia and the US. Additional to his performance career, Steven is an engaged cultural entrepreneur and artistic manager. He has founded and currently is artistic & managing director of PODIUM Esslingen (Germany), an innovative European platform for festivals and projects. Furthermore, he is regular writer and lecturer on topics related to concert design and management. In recognition of his work as an innovative music promoter he has received a prestigious ECHO Klassik Award in 2010 and nomination to Cultural Manager of the Year 2011, as well as several other prizes and distinctions. Steven was also fellow at “Akademie Musiktheater heute”, a program for innovation in music theatre by the Deutsche Bank Stiftung. Steven is also founder and artistic director of HENRY – a digital music curator launched in 2016 – and curator of #bebeethoven, large-scale fellowship program for new ways of music making and curation.
1: Inspiration is for amateurs. Good art is hard work.
2: The louder the music the bigger the silence.
3: Future always starts slow.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Creativity and The New itself.
Creating something out of nothing.
Turning ideas into projects.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
As musician: when I was around 8 years old starting in music school
As promoter and curator: when I was 15 years old, organising a charity concert for the victims of the tsunami in Thailand in 2004. It was all about bringing friends together and make music. That was the basis for PODIUM Esslingen, that we started in 2009.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
5 all time favourite ALBUMS of a classical nerd:
– Beethoven Sinfony 5 & 7 with Carlos Kleiber and Wiener Philharmoniker
– “Tessellatum” by Donnacha Dennehy
– “Acoustica” (Aphex Twin arrangements) by Alarm Will Sound
– Franz Schubert, The Winter Journey (with Fritz Wunderlich)
– “Home” by Marius Ziska
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
In general: its always a challenge to find a places where I have time and peace to think. This place can be a graveyard, my flat, the tube.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I would invent music.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I have a Spotify account, does that count?
I think its not about possessing music but about having access to it.
I am buying samples to make my own music pieces.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
With the Beethoven, who is born in our time. I would ask him for a composition.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
One of our concerts in the dark at silent green in Febrauary 2019.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology as tools that make it possible for us to synthesize our ideas and bring people together. That’s the core thing I am doing as curator: bringing the right people together at the right time. Technology helps me with that.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes I have two siblings. They are doing completely different things from me. One is lawyer, the other geologist. I believe they think I do crazy (in a positive way)and exiting stuff.
Steven Walter is the artistic director of #bebeethoven fellowship program for young artists. The next #bebeethoven showcase will take place at Radialsystem on October 5th & 6th!
Photo © Daniel Barth