“His enchantingly beautiful intonation and technical prowess is unparalleled” praisesHolger Arnold in the Fono Forum, “one of the most talented clarinetists in the country” comments the ZDF morning show, “he doesn’t just make the clarinet sing he casts a spell with it” raves the MDR Cultureradio broadcast.
These are just a few excerpts from the enthusiastic press response to the album “Carl Maria von Weber: Complete Works for Clarinet,” which was released by the renowned label BERLIN CLASSICS (Edel) in February 2017. The recording was included in the list of the German Record Critics’ “Quarterly Critics Choice” in the category “Concerts”: This complete recording of the Works for Clarinet by Carl Maria von Weber is captivating from beginning to end. Sebastian Manz […] subtly explores his part, distinguishing himself as a virtuoso of his instrument. Technical brilliance, richly nuanced tone, flowing cantability and melodic beauty are delightfully entwined with a playful and creative approach. […] A seamless recording, fresh and flawless. (For the jury: Norbert Hornig). In the category “Concert recording of the year (Music 19. cent.)” the ECHO Classic was awarded to „Weber: Complete Works for Clarinet“: For me, this is the absolute highlight of my Weber project. It makes me happy and proud – this recognition of my album, which I put so many years of work and patience in, commented Clarinetist Sebastian Manz, for whom this is now the third ECHO Classic award.
Being the grandson of the Russian violinist Boris Goldstein and the son of two pianists, born in Hanover in 1986, Manz’s musical roots are in his German-‐Russian family background. He begins singing in a boys’ choir at the age of six. He first learns the piano, which he plays very well, but soon concentrates on the clarinet after listening to Benny Goodman’s recording of Carl Maria von Weber’s E flat major Concerto, which fascinates him and awakes a longing for the instrument. Among his most important teachers and supporters are the acclaimed clarinetists Sabine Meyer and Rainer Wehle.
His big breakthrough comes with his sensational success at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in September 2008, where he wins 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. With his partner Martin Klett at the piano, he had also won the German Music Competition just a few months previously. He has been solo clarinetist with the SWR Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart since 2010.
He will begin the 2018/2019 season with concerts by the wind ensemble Variation5, which will be guest in Cologne, Lindau, Nienburg, Viersen and Switzerland, among others, before playing the clarinet concertos of Carl Maria von Weber and Aaron Copland as soloist with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. In Australia he will give his first concert at the Huntington Estate Music Festival and in spring 2019 four concerts as part of the “The Bowers Program” of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York. As a soloist, he will give a guest performance with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Halle, the German Chamber Orchestra Berlin and the Baden Baden Philharmonic Orchestra and will perform in various formations on the stages of the Konzerthaus Dortmund, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Philharmonie am Gasteig and the Kieler Schloss.
His discography includes numerous awards underscoring Manz’s intuition for details and overarching concepts. Time and again, he demonstrates a unique talent for arranging and composing on his albums and at his concerts.
Alongside his concert work, Sebastian Manz is active in the “Rhapsody in School” organization founded by Lars Vogt, which is committed to bringing classical music into schools.Furthermore, he was appointed artistic director of the festival :alpenarte in 2018.