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. Christian Muthspiel’s main concern is the combination of improvised and composed music, i.e. the junction of the energies of single moments with the formal possibilities of predetermined material. Muthspiel’s 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.
Christian Muthspiel’s main activity in the past few years has been as a composer and as a conductor for his own cycles of very special programmed concerts, for instance with the “Camerata Salzburg” and the “Münchener Kammerorchester”. These include the four “Mozart Loops” for orchestra at the Philharmonie Essen and in Salzburg 2006/07 as an example for many programs Muthspiel invented in the creative field between classic music and Jazz.
As a conductor he regularly worked with the Staatsorchestra Hannover, the Ludwigsburg Festival Orchestra, Orchestra Recreation Graz, Tonkünstler Orchestra Niederösterreich, and, since 2011, the MIAGI Youth Orchestra from South Africa.
His 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 Musikverein Vienna, Staatsoper Hannover, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, the Siemens Arts Program, Philharmonie Essen and the Ruhrtriennale Festival.
Muthspiel´s compositions where performed by soloists such as Angelika Kirchschlager, Gautier Capucon, Hakan Hardenberger, Benjamin Schmid or Clemens Hagen.
Among his current touring Jazz projects is the “Christian Muthspiel 4 featuring Steve Swallow” with “Seaven Teares”, an homage to John Dowland, as well as “Christian Muthspiel´s Yodel Group” and the “Christian Muthspiel Trio”. Muthspiel was a regular member of the “Vienna Art Orchestra” from 1994 to 2004. So far, he has recorded 18 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