Alexej Gerassimez, Percussionist & Composer
As a musician, percussionist Alexej Gerassimez, born in 1987 in Essen, Germany, is as multi-faceted as the instruments he works with. His repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary and jazz to minimal music and in addition he expands his scope of talents with his own compositions.
In January 2017 Alexej Gerassimez took part in a Sasha Waltz choreographic and musical production commemorating the opening ceremonies of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. During the season 2017-2018 Alexej Gerassimez will return to the Elbphilharmonie twice: The first concert is part of a tour with the NDR Radiophilharmonie under the direction of Tan Dun with Tan Duns percussion concerto “Tears of Nature” and the second is a chamber music program around Bartóks Sonata for two pianos and two percussionists. Next season he will also appear in Munich (Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater), in Düsseldorf (Tonhalle) as well as in the Cologne and Essen Philharmonies.
Alexej Gerassimez performs as a guest soloist with internationally renowned orchestras including those of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin under the direction of conductors such as Gerd Albrecht, Elim Chan, Kristjan Järvi, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Daniel Meier and Michel Tabachnik. Concerts have taken him to China, South Korea, USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
In addition, Alexej Gerassimez creates solo programmes, participates as an enthusiastic chamber musician in a vast variety of ensembles and gives performances with his own Percussion Group at music festivals such as the Heidelberger Frühling, the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival and the Beethovenfest Bonn. As artist-in-residence at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in summer 2017 he was able to demonstrate the wide scope of his instruments in over 20 different concerts.
His artistic curiosity and the pleasure he takes in crossing boundaries are reflected in his desire to reach an audience that is as heterogeneous as possible and introduce it to the entire spectrum of percussion instruments. In keeping with this objective, Alexej Gerassimez integrates objects from contexts not generally associated with music, such as brake discs, barrels or marine propellers with the usual percussion and melody instruments.
The percussionist derives his inspiration from the sounds and rhythms of everyday life. He combines a variety of music styles with traditional and newly discovered timbres and thus provides very direct listening experiences for his audience. His own compositions are characterised by the exploration of rhythmic and acoustic possibilities as well as the creation of highly original sounds. His first CD, which was released in 2012 by GENUIN includes some of his own compositions and was received with enthusiasm by the press.
Alexej Gerassimez, now residing in Berlin, has been the recipient of awards including the second prize in the ARD Music Competition in September 2014, the first prize in the German music competition of the Deutscher Musikrat [German Music Council] and the first prize as well as the Audience Award, the Press Award and Special Prize in the TROMP Percussion Competition in 2010.
Alexej Gerassimez completed his education as a student with Christian Roderburg and Stefan Hüge at such universities or conservatories of music and art as the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” and with Peter Sadlo at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. Since November 2017 he is professor for percussion at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich where he assumed the position of his former teacher Peter Sadlo. Furthermore, he is actively engaged as a guest lecturer at the Mozarteum Salzburg and the Birmingham Conservatoire.
He holds scholarships from various foundations such as the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the PE Foundation for Talented Musicians. He was also supported by the Degussa-Stiftung, the Jürgen Ponto Stiftung, the Jütting Stiftung, the GenRe Stiftung, the Orlandus Lassus Stiftung and the Dr. Carl Dörken Stiftung. In September 2016 he was awarded the Musik Prize of the Association of German Concert Promoters.