Nils Wülker has grown in the last twelve years to be one of the most successful jazz trumpeters and jazz composers in Europe. Born in Bonn in 1977, he was taking piano lessons at seven, switched to the classical trumpet when he was nine, finally discovered jazz at the age of sixteen on an exchange year in the USA and progressed via Us3’s smash hit “Cantaloop” and its original composer Herbie Hancock to Miles Davis. Back in Germany, he was picked in 1996 for North Rhine-Westphalia’s JugendJazzOrchester NRW, in which he played until he began studying jazz at the Hanns Eisler conservatoire in Berlin. He kept playing throughout his studies, whether in Peter Herbolzheimer’s BuJazzO, the RIAS Bigband or Thärichen’s Tentett, and by the time he graduated in 2002, Nils Wülker had already released his enthusiastically received and highly acclaimed debut album “High Spirits” – with the likes of Gene Calderazzo and Orlando Le Fleming – as the first German jazz musician in the SONY Music artist roster.
This double album, recorded in Vienna and in Riga in June 2015, includes all four of the chamber symphonies written in the last decade of Polish-born Soviet composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s life, plus a beautiful new arrangement – by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata percussionist Andrey Pushkarev – of the early Piano Quintet of 1944, heard here in a premiere recording. It is a recording which underlines the importance and originality of Weinberg’s music. For Gidon Kremer, “Weinberg has become a source of unlimited inspiration. No other composer has entered my own and Kremerata Baltica’s repertoire and program concepts with such intensity.” Weinberg’s chamber symphonies are Kremer says, “the most personal reflections of a great composer on his own life and his generation, like a diary of the most dramatic period of the 20th century.”