Composer, conductor and chansonnier, HK Gruber was born in Vienna in 1943 and sang with the Vienna Boys’ Choir as a child, going on to study at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. In 1961 he began playing double bass with ensemble die reihe and from 1969 to 1998 he played in the Radio Symphonieorchester Wien.

Gruber first began performing as a singer/actor with the ‘MOB art and tone ART’ ensemble, a group he co-founded in 1968 with fellow Viennese composers Kurt Schwertsik and Otto Zykan. Composing in his own highly individual style, he is one of the most well-loved figures in contemporary music and his music is performed by the world’s leading artists and orchestras.

Gruber was awarded Austria’s most prestigious cultural prize, the 2002 Greater Austria State Prize (Groβer Österreichischer Staatspreis) and in 2009 was announced as an Honorary Member of the Wiener Konzerthaus, following a great tradition of musicians to also receive this accolade, including Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Bernstein and Claudio Abbado.

Read more about HK Gruber

This 10-minute documentary exploring the music of HK Gruber was filmed at his home in Vienna.