Composer, Conductor, Soloist
Nobody less than the legendary conductor Raphael Kubelik was René Giessens earliest support. He would not believe, when somebody told him a 14 year old boy is playing the “Gipsy Airs” of Pablo des Sarazate on the chromatic harmonica. René Giessen played it to him and from that moment on, the great conductor was his fatherly adviser.
Back then, Giessen already had great success in the area of the bavarian broadcasting Munich (BR) and strived for a career as harmonica virtuoso.
Kubelik advised him not to stay in the “tiny world” of the harmonica, but instead properly study the craft. An advice that Giessen followed - in 1963 he started studying clarinet at the state university of Munich, and also also took courses in composing (with Günther Bialas) and conducting (Jan Koetzier).
Raphael Kubelik has left his marks on Rene Giessens style of conducting, and what also remained through the early success with the harmonica was his ongoing journey crossing over boarders between classical music and pop.
Upon finishing his studies, Giessen played the solo clarinet with a number of sinfonic orchestras. After decades of being a soloist on the clarinet he decided to intensify his activity in composing, conducting and being a harmonica virtuoso.
His successful millenium world tour with the harmonica concerto by Haitor Villa Lobos startet with the Berlin Philharmonics and ended with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra New Orleans.
In 2001, he premiered his composition “Help, Help the Globulinks”, a homage to the great american composer Giancarlo Menotti, followed by the premier of his “New Orleans Concerto” for for three clarinetts and orchestra in 2002.
More premiers were following, between 2003 and 2005 namely his flute concerto “The Bird” (Carol Brown, flute), “Windjammersuite” for big orchestra, “Der Eisenhans”, symphonic poetry for big orchestra, the violin concerto (Jenisey Concerto) and the rhapsody for clarinet and strings “Mandragora”, which he composed for his friend and soloist on clarinet, Andy Miles.
René Giessen is also a founding member of the Rotary Club, chapter “Isny Allgäu”. (Charter 1005)
Since 2015 René Giessen lives in the German capital Berlin, and is currently working on his first chamber opera.
René Giessen continues to write, conduct and play a wide variety of music genres, which led him to work with a broad spectrum of musicians from Dimitri Tiomkin, Martin Böttcher, Alessandro Alessandroni, Frederic Talgorn, David Shalon, Peter Seiffert to György Kourtag.
The celebration and events with the world star Anna Maria Kaufmann has reached large audiences througout Germany. Magical experiences toutching peoples hearts have made out work together unforgettable! Just the new year concerto tour with Jorge Jimenez, Anna Maria Kaufmann and the Russian Chamberphilharmonic Orchestra St. Petersburg in the largest concert halls in Germany was a tremendous success! Standing ovations every night!
Now Anna Maria asked him to guest on her newest CD with Film Music Hits to be released end of this year.