Markus was born in Bremen and his musical talents were recognised at an early age with his first public performance being at only the age of seven. He also won the German National Young Musician’s Competition as well as the Hamburg Steinway Competition. Markus learnt mainly through the German tradition whilst studying with Karl-Heinz Kaemmerling at the Musikhochschule in Hannover, he also studied at the Russian school with Naum Grubert in Amsterdam.
In 1982 Markus represented Germany at the first ever Eurovision Young Musicians and won the contest’s grand prize bringing him not only critical acclaim for his performing skills but also helped him launch his international career which has seen him perform throughout Europe, North America and Asia. In 2003 he premiered a special written concerto by Japanese composer Ichiro Nodaira at Berkley under the direction of Kent Nagano, followed by a Japanese premier of the work in 2006 at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Recently Markus has performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and at the Karuizawa Arts Festival in Japan. Markus performs an extensive repetoire ranging from classical and romantic works to the more contemporary opus. This broad spectrum of works has been captured within various radio and television broadcasts including the farewell gala for former German President Carl Carstens. His performances have also been captured on recordings such as his recording of Moritz Moszkowski’s Piano Concerto with the Polish National Radio Orchestra and two CDs of solo pieces on the Naxos label, with works by Max Reger and Ernst von Dohnanyi. His latest recording, entitles Snapshots, is a collection of works such as the piano works of Peter Knell and Prokofiev’s Vision Fugitives.
Alongside his performances Markus has given several international master classes, been a judge for a variety of piano competitions and been a guest lecturer at UCLA and the University of Arkansas.
As a the first winner of the contest Markus has a great understanding of what it takes to win Eurovision Young Musicians and understands what our performers are going through this week as he judges their performances.