Conductor, Composr, Arranger
Born in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Gast Waltzing’s defining passion has always been music. At the age of 7 he began his studies at the Conservatoire de Luxembourg, continued his classical training at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles and completed his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris. “I am always a musician” he states, “it’s not like I wake up and decide where to schedule music in. It is always present.”
He was named Professor of Trumpet at the Conservatoire de Luxembourg in 1982, and in 1986 founded the Jazz Department which he has grown into a full university bachelor degree course with a wing for themselves and a teaching staff of 8.
He began composing at 15, with his first group, The Luxembourg Jazz Five, and has always composed original music for his many formations, expanding into the composition and production of music for Film and Television in 1989, with the original score for “A WOP BOP A LOP BOP” for which he was nominated for Best European Film Composer. Since that time he has composed and produced over 200 original scores for Film and TV. Many of his Film music scores he wrote for Symphony Orchestra and he has conducted and recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
He has arranged Symphonically for a number of artists and conducted the resulting concerts. This includes artists such as Angelique Kidjo (Album to be released), The Scorpions, and Amy McDonald. (With the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. A live CD of this event has been released on Melodramatic Records titled “A Curious Thing-Special Orchestral Edition”).
He has also conducted several very special public productions with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, such as a coronation celebration concert for Luxembourg’s Grand Duke in 2000 with Patricia Kaas, and the opening of the Tour de
France in 2002 with the Scorpions. And he has composed works for many special events such as the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games of the Small States of Europe,
the first concert of his newly founded “Orchestre National de Jazz, Luxembourg” (ONJL for short) with guest star George Duke, for the opening of the newly built Salle Grand Duchesse Charlotte (also known and the Philharmonie). He also composed, conducted and produced the fireworks music for Luxembourg’s National Day celebration
It was quite natural for the Salle Grand Duchesse Charlotte to choose Waltzing to program and conduct the first “Pops At The Phil” in May 2006, a then newly founded series at the Philharmonie in which the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg performs a more popular program with popular soloists. This first concert was more than sold out and enjoyed a huge success with local soloists and the famous Belgian jazz singer Maurane. He is now head POP’s conductor for the Salle Grand Duchesse Charlotte, in Luxembourg and has each year organized a concept program for the POPs concert with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and such artists as the New York Voices, James Morrison, Patti Austin, Kurt Elling, Dionne Warwick and Angelique Kidjo, and next year Gregory Porter. Waltzing also conducted the Deutsche Radio Orchester, both in Saarbrucken and at the Salle Grand Duchesse Charlotte in Luxembourg for this POP’s concert event with the award winning Contra-tenor Adreas Scholl and Orlando.
In addition Waltzing conducts the concert with the Orchestra Philharmonic of Luxembourg each year, for the National Day, produced by the Luxembourg Tourist Office, and held in the huge outdoor venue of the Place Guillaume in the city center. It is a concert offered by the City of Luxembourg to it’s people with big screens and huge stage and sound amplification. There is always a standing room only crowd of 10,000 people (or more). In 2014 the program theme was “Magic” and included such wonderful symphonic works as Paul Ducas’s “The Sorcerers Apprentice”, Film Scores from “Harry Potter”, and song of Queen. Other programs he has conducted for this event include French jazz Violinist Didier Lockwood, extensive film music programs, and The Queen Symphony.
Gast composed symphonic arrangements for a number of songs by the Great African Singer Angélique Kidjo. This was a challenging project blending traditional African music and melodies with symphony orchestra. But it turned out to be a musical marriage made in heaven. It was performed to a sold out hall at the Philharmonic in Luxembourg with the
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OPL, Kidjo and her band with Waltzing conducting. This project has since been recorded and will be released soon.
Gast Waltzing conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra of Qatar with Angélique Kidjo at the Wise Summit of Education, and the Bayone Symphonic Orchestra for her at the Black & Basque Festival.
In 2014 Gast conducted the POP’s concert for the Orchestra Philharmonic du Luxembourg with Ute Lemper as soloist in April at the wonderful Philharmonic Hall in Luxembourg City, and in June, for the Fete da la Musique, conducted the OPL at the large outdoor venue of the Place Guillame with a film music program based around the theme of “Magic!”
Waltzing regularly performs with his jazz group Largo, in Europe, China and Japan.
Gast Waltzing is also the musical director of the Jazz Festival in Echternach, (which takes places every year end September / beginning October) he organized the program and invited guests such as Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Gregory Porter.