Born in Judenburg, Austria, in 1962; at the age of 6 piano lessons, of 11 additional trombone lessons. Studies at the Musikhochschule Graz (Trombone classical and jazz), all studies broken off “in time”; 1987/88 scholarship at the School of Fine Arts in Banff/Canada.
As trombonist, pianist, composer, and conductor, Christian Muthspiel is internationally active in the areas both of jazz/improvised music and of new and classical music. Numerous invitations to perform, produce, and conduct in many important musical centers of the world and compositions commissioned by renowned orchestras, ensembles and soloists prove the innovative cross-over quality of his work. The field of activity and possible cooperations with interpreters of his musical inventions reaches therefore from small jazzbands to symphony orchestras and electronic multi-media operas.
Besides many guest appearances as a conductor he regularly worked in long-term cycles with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra “recreation” Graz, Camerata Salzburg, Festival Orchestra Ludwigsburg and ensemble “die reihe”,
In addition to numerous compositions for his jazz ensembles and bands Muthspiel´s long list of commissioned works includes several concerts for solo instruments and orchestra as well as ensemble pieces, works for voices, choir, music theatre and ballet. Amongst many others, he received commissions from ARD, Musikverein Vienna, Staatsoper Hannover, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, the Siemens Arts Program, Philharmonie Essen, Ruhrtriennale Festival, Kurt-Weill-Foundation, Klangforum Vienna, Brucknerhaus Linz and NDR Big Band.
Muthspiel´s compositions where performed by soloists such as Angelika Kirchschlager, Gautier Capuçon, Håkan Hardenberger, Benjamin Schmid, Clemens Hagen, Julia Hagen.
Since 2017 all signations and jingles of Radio Ö1 are composed and produced by Christian Muthspiel.
In 2019 he founded ORJAZZTRA VIENNA, a 18 piece jazz orchestra, which is his current and major jazz project he conducts and composes for.
Amongst the jazz bands he led are: Duo with Steve Swallow, quartet with Swallow, Matthieu Michel and Franck Tortiller, „Yodel Group“, amongst others with Bobby Previte and Jerome Harris, and large jazz ensembles like „Motley Mothertongue“ and „Octet Ost“, with Tomasz Stanko and Wladimir Tarasov.
Muthspiel was a regular member of the “Vienna Art Orchestra” from 1994 to 2004.
So far, he has recorded 20 Jazz CDs under his own name and in collaboration with his brother and guitar player Wolfgang for the labels Universal Music, ACT and material records.
In 2007 Christian Muthspiel was awarded the Hans Koller Preis as „Musician of the Year”, in 2006 the Austrian Award for Outstanding Achievements in Music as well as the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Music in Lower Austria and, together with Wolfgang Muthspiel, the prestigious German Jazz award “Jazzpott”.
Having started in 2006, a series of up to now 20 exhibitions presenting Muthspiel’s work as a painter, which he kept concealed for a long time, has been taking place at several galleries and museums.
as a leader:
SIMPLE SONGS – Christian Muthspiel & Steve Swallow, 2014, IN+OUT records
SEAVEN TEARES – Christian Muthspiel 4 feat. Steve Swallow, 2013, ACT music
HULJO – Christian Muthspiel´s Yodel Group, 2011, Material Records
MAY – Christian Muthspiel´s Yodel Group, 2010, Material Records
DANCING DOWLAND – Christian Muthspiel Trio, 2009, Emarcy/Universal
FÜR UND MIT ERNST – Christian Muthspiel Solo, 2008, edge/DG/Universal
AGAINST THE WIND – Christian Muthspiel Trio, 2007, Emarcy/Universal
HARMONICES MUNDI – Linzer Klangwolke 2001/02, blue danube/edel
CHRISTIAN MUTHSPIEL & MOTLEY MOTHERTONGUE, 1999, Lotus Records
OCTET OST II, 1994, amadeo/Universal
OCTET OST, 1992, amadeo/Universal
TROMBONE PERFORMANCE (mit Roland Dahinden), 1990, amadeo/Universal
with Muthspiel & Muthspiel (in the duo with Wolfgang Muthspiel):
EARly MUSIC, 2003, material records
ECHOES OF TECHNO, 2001, material records
CY, 1998, Lotus Records
MUTHSPIEL-PEACOCK-MUTHSPIEL-MOTIAN, 1993, amadeo/Universal
TRE, 1989, amadeo/Universal
FOCUS IT, 1987, amadeo/Universal
SCHNEETANZ, 1986, Extraplatte
with the Vienna Art Orchestra:
BIG BAND POESIE, 2004, Universal
DUKE ELLINGTON´S SOUND OF LOVE, VOL.2, 2003, Universal
ART & FUN, 2002, Universal
A CENTENARY JOURNEY 1900-2000, 2001, Quinton
ARTISTRY IN RHYTHM, 2000, TCB
DUKE ELLINGTON´S SOUND OF LOVE, 1999, TCB
AMERICAN RHAPSODY, 1998, BMG
NINE IMMORTAL NON EVERGREENS FOR ERIC DOLPHY, 1997, Verve/Universal
2007 – Hans Koller Preis, „Musician of the Year”
2007 – NÖN-Leopold Preis, Kategorie Kultur
2006 – Austrian Award for Outstanding Achievements in Music
2006 – Würdigungspreis für Musik des Landes Niederösterreich
2006 – Jazzpott / Essen (together with Wolfgang Muthspiel)
2003 – Josef Krainer Kulturpreis des Landes Steiermark (together with Wolfgang Muthspiel)
1996 – Anerkennungspreis für Musik des Landes Niederösterreich