Open to inspiration

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on September 29, 2018

IMPROVISATION violinist Rupert Guenther will star in the annual Albany Festival of Strings next month and he promises to deliver a program of music reflective of the Great Southern.

Guenther will host a public lecture at UWA Albany Centre on October 18, star in a concert for the Albany Fine Music Series at Albany Uniting Church on October 19, be part of the Albany String Festival at Albany Senior High School on October 20 and host two workshops at ASHS on October 21.

The works presented will showcase the evolution of Guenther’s music from classical to original, and prove to audiences how he went from being the “sideman to the stars” to the main act.

“I started getting into music when I was eight years old,” he said.

“I had a keen interest in violin during school and had a few interesting experiences with musicians along the way.”

Guenther said his parents were patrons of the arts in his hometown of Melbourne and often had visiting artists come by for dinner.

He said this set him on a “wonderful pathway” and encouraged him to pursue a musical university degree and work alongside orchestras and operas in Austria and Vienna.

Guenther has even rubbed shoulders with the likes of Olivia Newton-John, John Farnham and The Beatles record producer Sir George Martin during his career.

But it all changed 15 years ago.

“I was always the side-man to the stars and terribly dissatisfied with my performances,” Guenther said.

“My stage fright had been endemic since I first started performing…

“But in 2003, I realised I’d had a year without stage fright.

“Twenty years of unnecessary fear had come to an end.

“And I had a breakthrough; I could improvise my own classical music with my own inspirations.”

Guenther’s solo career took off from there and saw him gain international recognition for his creativity.

He held masterclasses at international music conferences and European conservatoriums, including the European String Teachers Association in Austria and Sweden, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and the WA Academy of Performing Arts in Perth.

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” Guenther reflected on his solo career.

“And it’s so much more than just the music; it’s about how people inspire me and how we as artists can affect people’s lives.”

The Albany Festival of Strings concert will mark Guenther’s first visit to Albany, and he is excited to explore the town and gain inspiration for the music he will perform during the festival.

“The concert will be a representation of my experiences while I’m here,” Guenther said.

“All my concerts are inspired by the landscape, history and energy of the land, like an exhibition of paintings, so these concerts will be all about the Great Southern.”

To find out more information about the Albany Festival of Strings or to purchase tickets, visit