Chris Jarrett
pianist and composer


​​Chris Jarrett was born in 1956 in Allentown, Pa. and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania. He never doubted that he would become a composer, but economical and family problems hindered his musical education until Virginia Waring (wife of Fred Waring) introduced him to the Austrian pianist Vincenz Ruzicka (of Dougherty and Ruzicka, piano duo) at the age of 13. Ruzicka, a student of Rosina Lhévinne living in the Pocono mountains becomes his most important teacher.

Jarrett continues his musical studies at Indiana University and Oberlin Conservatory, where he receives a partial scholarship. Disappointed with the environment and musical standards of these institutions, he leaves for "the road." He says that it was really then that his career as a creative musician began ("15 Questions with Chris Jarrett"). Jarrett unwillingly gets to know the hardships of work on a shrimp boat, in various factories in Texas, in offices in New York. He travels, first the U.S. and then Europe, by thumb in a wild quest for survival and first-hand knowledge.

It was in North Germany that friends give him what he needs – a new musical start and a job. Within a short time, he studies, and then teaches at the University of Oldenburg. He composes small political piano compositions and then the full-fledged ballet "For Anne Frank", which is premiered in the Oldenburg Palace in 1985. After this important year, Jarrett's career is on its way. First LPs are "Tanz auf dem Vulkan," and "Aufruf/Outcry". He becomes an unusual, critically thinking and engaged musical figure in Oldenburg – and more and more in all of Northwestern Germany.