Christian Reichel

Christian Reichel I was born on May 9, 1965 in Vienna, Austria but grew up in Vösendorf which is a suburb near Vienna. I went to school in Vösendorf and Mödling, the town where I'm living today. Currently, I'm studying biotechnology in Vienna and will complete my studies till the end of 1998.

I cannot remember the exact year when I first heared real ragtime music, but as a kid I always especially liked those western movies featuring soloon piano players and player pianos performing tunes in a pseudo rag-like style (today usually associated with honky-tonk piano music). But at that time I didn't know what this music was called and nobody could help me. In those days I also enjoyed listening to electronic music (e.g. Wendy Carlos, Isao Tomita and a group named "Space" come to my mind).

When I was fourteen I was heavily into classical music - a great love which is still lasting today. Some of my favourites were and still are composers like Tomaso Albinoni, Alessandro Marcello, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven (he used to live in Mödling for a few summers about 180 years ago), Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Enrique Granados, Isaac Albéniz, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Ernesto Nazareth, Percy Aldridge Grainger, Peter I. Tchaikovsky, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninov, Erik Satie and Claude Debussy.

A few years later I bought Joshua Rifkin's legendary Scott Joplin interpretations on LP - more or less by incident - and instantly loved Joplin's music. Around 1982/83 I bought my first ragtime scores (mostly rags by Joplin and the Dover editions compiled by Trebor Tichenor and Rudi Blesh). Since then I have also been trying to rediscover rags by European composers and also fell in love with European novelty music (e.g. Billy Mayerl, Billy Golwyn, Ernst Fischer, Eric Plessow, etc.). My love to contemporary ragtime piano music came a few years later and since then I have been attempting to collect as many scores by their composers as possible.

My other musical interests include stride piano (e.g. James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Ralph Sutton, etc.), early jazz (e.g. Jelly Roll Morton, Original Dixieland Jazzband, etc.), blues piano (e.g. Jimmy Yancey, James Blythe, etc.), and today's artists like Kostia, David Lanz, Liz Story, Keith Jarrett, Leon Redbone, David Foster, Tori Amos and Elton John. Of the visual arts I prefer works by French impressionists, for instance Henri Rousseau, Edouard Manet, Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas. My favourite authors are Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ("The Little Prince" - probably the most important book ever written) and Woody Allen. I have been arranging MIDI files since 1988 and completed over 600 of them during the past ten years.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).

Christian Reichel

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