Wieland Welzel | Picture: Stefan Höderath



Born in Lübeck, Germany
Member since 01.09.1997


It all began with a radio antenna broken in two and a sofa cushion, on which Wieland Welzel drummed out pop music. Before long the sofa cushion was replaced by washing powder tubs until, for his ninth birthday, he was given a drum set. Having played piano since the age of five, Wieland Welzel began percussion lessons at the age of nine. In 1986 he received a first prize in the German national competition Jugend musiziert. After five years of membership in the Bundesjugendorchester, the German national youth orchestra, he studied from 1993 to 1997 with Peter Sewe (timpani) and Peter Wulfert (percussion) at the Musikhochschule in his native Lübeck. During that period he was a member of the European Community Youth Orchestra and took up his first appointment in 1995 as principal timpanist of Mecklenburg Staatskapelle in Schwerin.

In 1997, Wieland Welzel became a timpanist with the Berliner Philharmoniker, with whom he was a soloist in three performances of Toru Takemitsuʼs Concerto for five percussionists From me flows what you call time at the end of May 2011. He has also appeared as a soloist on timpani and marimba with, among others, the Ensemble Oriol, the Schweriner Kammerorchester and the Magdeburgische Philharmonie with which he performed Darius Milhaud’s Concerto for marimba and vibraphone. His great interest in jazz (he is also an accomplished jazz vibraphonist and drummer) led him, together with four of his colleagues, to found the Berlin Philharmonic Jazz Group in 1999 with which he toured Japan and Hong Kong.

His interest in jazz continues, and he regularly performs with his colleagues from the Philharmoniker on both drums and on vibraphone, for example, in a concert in the Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic series, founded at the end of 2012, under the direction of trombonist Nils Landgren. He is also a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Percussion Ensemble. Wieland Welzel, whose passion also extends to the development of musical instruments, taught as a guest lecturer at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory in Copenhagen for 10 years and regularly gives master classes in Europe, Asia and South America. He likes to cook and most enjoys spending his free time with his daughters.


First Prize, Bundeswettbewerb Jugend musiziert (1986)

Behind the music: The taiko master
Video portrait

Video: Magdalena Zieba-Schwind, Adam Janisch

Gymnastics, cardiovascular exercises and marathon training - to control the Japanese taiko, the drummers have to be extremely fit. Timpanists Wieland Welzel and Vincent Vogel visited taiko master Eitetsu Hayashi during our tour of Asia, and learnt a few tricks from him.

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