Niels Pfeffer – Guitar, theorbo and harpsichord
At the age of five Niels Pfeffer began to play the classical guitar. Parallel to his lessons at the music school in Tübingen, he was taught by Prof. Johannes Monno, whose fine and profound artistry influenced him most significantly. Prof. Carsten Lorenz, with whom he took additional harpsichord lessons, also taught him continuo playing and introduced him to the art of historical performances. In 2017 he finished his harpsichord studies at the Stuttgart University of Music under Prof. Jörg Halubek and his guitar studies with Prof. Johannes Monno. Currently he is studying in master with Prof. Robert Hill in Freiburg (harpsichord) as well as with Prof. Zoran Dukić in The Hague (guitar).
With the guitar Niels Pfeffer won numerous prizes at renowned international competitions. Of particular note is his first prize at Anna-Amalia competition in Weimar in 2013 and the second prize at the international guitar competition in Nürtingen 2014. Besides that Niels Pfeffer won no less than five prizes at the Andres-Segovia competition in Velbert (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015). Recently he received a third prize in Kutná Hora (Czech republic), a fourth prize in Bratislava (Slovakia) and was finalist at Forum Gitarre Wien (Austria), where he also received a special prize for the best baroque interpretation.
Besides his guitaristic activities Niels Pfeffer is passionate about playing the continuo on the theorbo and especially on the harpsichord. With both instruments he was taking part in various orchestra performances – including Bach’s St. John Passion, various cantatas, Händel’s Rodrigo and Antonio de Literes’ opera Los Elementos. This opera also led him to the Kassel state theatre, where he was engaged as a musical assistant for the stage rehearsals. In August 2017 he played continuo in Reinhold Keisers’ baroque opera Octavia at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. As member of the ensembles La Serenité and Le Tic-Toc-Choc he has been regularly successful in early music competitions – recently in 2017 at the Competition for Early Music of the Saarländischer Rundfunk. This prize is connected with intensive coaching by one of the leading conductors of early music, Konrad Junghänel.
In the winter term 2017/18 he was teaching as harpsichord accompanist at the University of Music Stuttgart. Since summer term 2018 he is teaching continuo and theorbo for guitarists at the same University. Furthermore, Niels Pfeffer is currently working as a co-editor on the continuo realisation of Monteverdi’s Poppea, which will be published by Bärenreiter.
Recordings for the Estonian public television and radio station led Niels Pfeffer multiple times to Tallinn in the last year. During his studies in Stuttgart he received a scholarship of Live Music Now. Furthermore he was granted in 2014 the well-known Deutschlandstipendium scholarship and in 2017 as well as 2018 the Excellence Scholarship of the Royal Conservatory Den Haag.