“Abbado planted a seed that keeps growing within the orchestra.”Manuel Kastl - Violin
Manuel remembers that during his first rehearsal in the Orchestra Mozart he was a bit tense and one of his fellow players told him just to: “lean back, relax and enjoy”. And: “it felt like going home, like playing something I knew but in a different way”. Manuel is grateful for the experience he enjoyed in OM. Abbado taught him how to play within an orchestra; because of this, Manuel thinks the musicians have huge responsibilities towards him, his memory, and towards the audience. It is a matter of heritage.
Working both as a physicist and a violinist Manuel Kastl surely appears as an exception on stage. Born in Erlangen (Germany), he received his first violin lessons at the age of six. In 1996 he was accepted as junior student in the class of Prof. Ulf Klausenitzer at the Meistersinger Conservatory in Nuremberg. From October 2001 he studied with the former concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Prof. Daniel Gaede at the Hochschule für Musik Nuremberg. In addition he was taught by Prof. Charles André Linale and Prof. Zazofski in Boston/USA. After that he continued to study with Prof. Igor Ozim at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Manuel Kastl has won several prizes and competitions, such as the German Youth Competition and the String Competition of the Lions Club. He was a scholarship holder of the prestigious German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) and the Albert-Eckstein-Stiftung.
As a soloist, Manuel Kastl has performed with orchestras in concerts throughout Germany and other European countries. He has participated in master classes with professors such as Thomas Brandis, Daniel Gaede, Vadim Repin, Christian Tetzlaff, Igor Ozim, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Kolja Blacher, Donald Weilerstein etc. and has made many television- and radio broadcastings as well. Already at younger age he gained early orchestral experience as concertmaster of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) and concertmaster of the National Youth Orchetra of Germany (Bundesjugendorchester). After entering the orchestra academy in 2006 he has been playing in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks) in Munich for some years. Since 2006 he is a member of Orchestra Mozart founded and conducted by Claudio Abbado. In summer 2011 Claudio Abbado invited him to play in his world famous Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Manuel Kastl collaborates with numerous of very fine chamber orchestras like the Chamber Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra etc. In 2011 he was appointed first concertmaster of the Staatsphilharmonie Nuremberg and the Nuremberg States Opera.
Besides his musical studies Manuel Kastl also graduated in physics. He studied Medical Physics in Erlangen and Munich. With the support of the German National Academic Foundation he spent some time studying abroad at Harvard University and South Korea.