Christian Ludwig Mayer:
Piano and Compositions
Christian Ludwig Mayer (1974) was an autodidact until his acceptance to the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich in 1997. There his studies included jazz piano with Prof. Leonid Chizhik, classical piano with Robert Regös, harpsichord with Michael Eberth and jazz composition with Thomas Zoller, all the while expanding his range of instruments via self-instruction (e.g., accordion, trumpet, guitar, double bass). In 2002 Mayer won the "Gasteig Förderpreis for Outstanding Students” playing a program featuring his own ensemble and compositions. Mayer completed his studies at the Conservatory with multiple degrees. To further his training in contemporary music, Mayer studied composition with Laurence Traiger, Wilfried Hiller and Anton Prestele. Mayer’s musical work spans a wide range of musical styles – from traditional (“folk”) to classical and experimental – and has taken him to numerous countries around the globe: Italy, France, Scotland, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Iran, Singapore, Canada, Peru and the U.S.A. A further focus of Mayer’s work is his engagement with “alte Musik” (early music) and free improvisation.
In addition to commissioned works for diverse musical styles, Mayer writes theater music, jazz and, above all, chamber music. He also composes for his own ensembles, namely his Auwald Trio (crossover jazz/classical), his Ensemble International (“Ethnojazz”), and his Auwald Consort (chamber music). From 2010 to 2012 under the pseudonym “Ludwig Auwald”, Mayer was the composer and musical director of the “Nibelungen Festspiele Worms” and the “Dresdner Zwinger Festspiele” (Dieter Wedel, director). In 2017, Mayer’s Auwald Trio released its debut album “Token Gestures”, which was nominated by the German “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik” for best jazz album January 2017. In the same year, Mayer’s clarinet quintet “Waldgeist” was performed at the 19th “Sommermusiken” in Landsberg by members of the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2018, Mayer and a handful of other composers received the “Placidus from Camerloher” composition prize; his piece “Camerloher Quintett” for piano and string quartet premiered at the “grenzenlos - in real time” music festival in Murnau, Germany in the fall of 2018.
In the music magazine “Rondo”, jazz journalist and critic Marcus Woelfle describes Mayer as follows:
“Mayer […] has the animated between-musical-genres expressive fantasy of a Jaki Byard, the melodic touch of a Roland Hanna, the romantic soul of a Robert Schumann and an enormous helping of originality.”
The motive of the romantic “Wanderschaft” (journey) is frequently reflected in Mayer’s compositions, thus he is often described as a “wanderer between musical worlds”.