Valentin Erben - my life
Valentin Erben was born in 1945 in Pernitz, lower Austria. Since 1947 his family lived in Augsburg, Germany. His mother, a pianist, and his father, an amateur violinist and cellist, often invitides friends and musicians to make housemusic together.
This way Valentin Erben got in contact with music very early. He received his first „cello“ – it was a converted viola – at the age of four years. After his first steps with the cello, shown by his father, he started taking lessons in the age of eight years with Paul Freidel, who was the principal cellist ot the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and a student of Julius Klengel.
Influenced by many beautiful musical experiences and meetings – for example numerous concerts at the Hercules Hall in Munich, including unforgetable impressions like listening to Rudolf Serkin, the Veghquartett as well as the representatives of the great french cello tradition like Pierre Fournier, Maurice Gendron and Paul Tortelier. He also made a trip to Pablo Casals in the french Pyrenees. Because of all these impressions, Valentin knew that he want to become a cellist.
1960 Valentin Erben began his cello studies with Walter Reichardt at the Munich Academy of Music. In July 1963 he attended a masterclass at Siena. This experience was very important for his future: he met the famous cellist and pedagogue André Navarra.
1964 he finished his degree at the Academy in Munich and then contiued his studies in Vienna with Tobias Kühne, a former student of Navarra. In February 1965 he performed Schumann cello concerto in the Great Hall of the Wiener Konzerthaus.
From 1965 to 1968 Valentin Erben studied with André Navarra at the Conservatoire in Paris, which was a very important time for him. He also studied chamber music with Jean Hubeau and Joseph Calvet. He received the „Premier Prix“ for cello and chamber music.
In September 1968 he won the international cello competition ARD in Munich.
Back to Vienna, in spring of 1969 he was co-founder of the Alban Berg Quartet. A union of four musicians that should mark the international string quartet scene for almost 40 years.
From 2004 to 2007 Valentin Erben was a also a member of the Lucern Festival Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado.
In June 2013 Valentin Erben retired from the University of Music in Vienna., where he has tought for over 40 years.
Valentin Erben plays the famous cello by Matteo Goffriller 1722 - "Ex - Pierre Fournier" and "Ex - Yoyo Ma" – kindly on loan from Merito String Instruments Trust GmbH.
To a busy schedule of concerts as a soloist and chamber musician, additionally he gives musica lectures, masterclasses in chamber music, collaboration with composers, singers and dancers.