Garreth Brooke

Composer and pianist




Garreth Brooke is a British/German musician. He’s released music with 1631 Recordings, THESIS, Moderna and Bigo & Twigetti, with whom his music has been streamed millions of times. He often uses the pen name Garreth Broke and frequently collaborates with his artist partner, Anna Salzmann.

"Lovely... genuinely uplifting..." - Stationary Travels

“A sensitive and profound artist” - PianoDao

“A peculiar kind of nostalgic charm” — Elizabeth Alker, BBC Radio 3

“cuts through the noise of overwrought emotions and cheap platitudes, and speaks directly the heart, reminding people through the beauty of music and art that others have been there too.” — No Dead Guys

He has performed live all over Europe with musicians including Hania Rani, Clemens Christian Poetzsch, Tom Blankenberg, Nathan Shubert, Simeon Walker, Frances Shelley, CEEYS, Jakob Lindhagen and Vargkvint.

“Thanks so much for your amazing set - some really beautiful music - I have heard nothing but praise about your performance” - Steve Luck (Great Northern Piano Sessions @ Gosforth Civic Theatre)

His sheet music has been published by Editions Musica Ferrum and Breitkopf & Härtel. In addition he has consulted on and created sheet music for many composers including Akira Kosemura, Simeon Walker, and Clemens Christian Poetzsch. He is also the curator of the contemporary sheet music project Upright, which has featured award-winning composers like Michael Price, Liam Byrne and Danny Mulhern, popular pianist-composers including Oskar Schuster, Julian Marchal and Peter Broderick as well as acclaimed educational composers like Barbara Arens, Nikolas Sideris and Alison Mathews.

"It's projects like this that show how wonderful the contemporary music community is." - Contemplative Classical

His has written guest posts on PianoDao, music reviews for A Closer Listen, and his article about suicide prevention and mental health was published on Huffington Post UK.

He teaches piano lessons in English in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

“Garreth is a fantastic piano teacher" - Brenda Christensen, professional soprano and vocal technique teacher

He studied Music at St Edmund Hall in the University of Oxford where he acquired an MA, received the AMTB performance diploma from the Music Teacher’s Board, and holds teaching qualifications from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

You can find more info on his qualifications and a more detailed biography here.



What does music mean to you personally?

Music is a tool to understand life. It has helped me through some very difficult times, particularly dealing with the loss of my mother to suicide, and also given me a great deal of joy. It’s therapy and entertainment all at once!

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

The wonderful thing about music is that it can be about whatever you want it to be. One composer might write a piece exploring the depths of the human soul, the other might arrange a pop song into a fugue. Fantasy is crucial for its creation and fantasy really the listener to enjoy and understand music, but music can also just be about having a good time, dancing in a club, celebrating with friends. Its diversity is its strength.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I actually spent most of my twenties trying out other careers! That’s because after I finished my music degree, I was really burnt out, tired of the competitive nature of the music industry, and bored of the academic arguments of my degree. In my twenties I worked as an organic farmer, travelled a lot, and worked in youth hostels in some beautiful corners of the world. When I came back to music in my late twenties, I fell back in love with it, but I needed that long break to help me understand what I was missing.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

I don’t really view myself as writing classical music, so not really. However by „classical music“ I mean specifically the music of historical composers. I’m not worried about my own music because I’m sure that will always be an audience for interesting music, regardless of its genre. I do think much of the classical music that we hear in the concert halls nowadays will no longer be performed in 50 years.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Music is one of the most varied things that humans have created. It’s constantly evolving and it will continue to evolve. I’m excited to see what happens next!

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I was lucky growing up to have a teacher who taught me the basics of improvisation and composition. It saddens me how few pianists are confident with creative work, and in my work as a teacher I try to help all my students uncover their creativity.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

We need to worry less about the age of our audience, and more about making a genuine connection with our audience. If we are genuine, open and creative, younger audiences will find a way to us on their own.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

I usually start off by improvising. I play around with a musical idea for a while until I can tell whether it is worth turning into a composition, and then I’ll keep improvising on it until I have a better idea of the structure and how it evolves. I improvise on my C Bechstein upright until I’ve got some good ideas, then I play them on the digital piano connected to my computer so that I have a record of the best ideas. Once I’ve got a clear sense of how the piece fits together, I record it. Writing the score is usually the last thing I do. My favourite piece is the Healing suite. This is a collection of 11 pieces inspired by the artwork of my partner Anna Salzmann. In it, we explore what it means to live through ill-health and mental health issues, and to come out on the otherside. You can find out more and listen to it here:

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

I’d recommend that they find out more about the music of their favourite TV shows and movies. So much soundtrack music is inspired by classical music, that finding out more about your favourite movie or TV show’s can be a great introduction to classical music. I could name so many examples! Star Wars is a really famous one, but there are many more.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Sometimes! Sometimes I really think about what I want my audience to experience, but sometimes I just do whatever I want. It’s always good for composers to think about the audience they serve, but sometimes you’ve just got to suit yourself.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I definitely experiment! My next release is a perfect example of that: I have a collection of 4 pieces coming out called Conversations, in which I play duets with a plant, an AI and a beginner pianist. It sounds terrible, but it’s really beautiful! You can listen here. Looking further foward into the future, I’ve recently put together an album of new tracks exploring grief—it’s not as sad as it sounds, it’s actually filled with love—and I’m currently thinking about how best to release it.