Reviews / Press reviews

Leading German Guitarist

Classical Guitar

Maestro de la Guitarra

Acordes, Spain

Johannes Tonio Kreusch, with his courage, creativity and virtuosity, is one of the most important instrumentalists between styles.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

One of the most creative guitarists of the present day

Akustik Gitarre

Kreusch is an original musical thinker, with a colorful and dramatic sound, who knows how to tap emotional wellspring… Few have played this Villa-Lobos Etudes so well…

Guitar Review, USA

A hard act to follow

Boston Globe, USA

Johannes Tonio Kreusch – a fantastic guitarist and at least as much an enormously sensitive musician

Bayerischer Rundfunk

… he belongs without any doubt to the small circle of great guitarists…

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

Johannes Tonio Kreusch’s concert was in a different league… The unfamiliar pacing and color-Kreusch knows how to exploit vibrato as many famous violinists do not- seemed to reveal untapped resources in the music and to subvert convention… this was a recital to remember…

The Irish Times, Ireland

Johannes Tonio Kreusch’s game is very intense and expressive, with endless ups and downs and full of sensuality…

Gitarre und Laute

Highlight of the week

Philadelphia Inquirer, USA

Un auténtico virtuoso de la Guitarra

Audio Clásica, Spanien

Johannes Tonio Kreusch not only plays guitar, he lives it. Subtlety, sensitivity, quietly shaded tone, delicate, more spotted than plucked sounds draw small sound paintings of filigree introverted fragility…

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Revolution of Classical Music

Guitar Acoustic

Devoted sensitivity, light-filled sound language and sovereign guitar art


And again Johannes Tonio Kreusch manages to let the music breathe, to fill it with an emotionality beyond all sentimentality, which comes very, very close to the core of the composition.


Johannes Tonio Kreusch – Solo


According to Siddhartha’s path to knowledge, Kreusch takes his audience on an exciting and stimulating journey to the river of life. The high lyricism of the animated tones sings this impressive suite. The fact that all this extreme technical skills were presented was self-sufficient.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Outstanding virtuosity and improvisational joy
Johannes Tonio Kreusch at the start of the “Global Strings” festival in Mannheim’s Old Fire Station

Johannes Tonio Kreusch left them at home, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos or Alberto Ginastera. The guitarist plays his own works, arranges his appearance at the ninth “Global Strings” festival in the Mannheim Fire Station as an evening “between composition and improvisation”. “Music,” he says, “is always created in the moment.”

Other classically trained guitarists – Johannes Kreusch studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at the New York Juilliard School, teaches at Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University – may well agree with this. But the open-minded free-spiritedness and curiosity with which Kreusch inspires his virtuoso play is unparalleled. In addition to works such as “From Far” or “Times Of Joy”, which are played with various scordatura and partly with prepared guitar, “Panta Rhei”, “Alles Flows” is a good example of his creative power: a fine-grained musical foray that leads Western etudes to sounds over warm arcs of tension, which seem to emanate from an Indian sitar, then Chinese. This is world music, if you will, but not one that springs from an unconditional calculus to musical ethnological collective rage. Rather, “Panta Rhei” glides like water that runs through the natural windings of a river, changing speed, forming vortices, passing through diverse landscapes and reflecting them in ever new form. Terrific!

Mannheimer Morgen

The unbearable ease of playing the guitar

Johannes Tonio Kreusch opened the series of events “ presented” with a memorable concert. The program included “Siddhartha”, an original composition by the Exceptional Guitarist from Munich, based on Hermann Hesse’s novel of the same name.

Johannes Tonio Kreusch enters the darkened hall from a side room. Only the small stage is bathed in a warm light by two headlights. Already on the way to the podium, he unleashes pleasantly sonorous bass tones from his instrument and lets pearl-like flageolettes flow over it. Kreusch immediately creates a very intimate atmosphere and captivates the audience sitting close to the stage from the very beginning. Probably no one can escape the magic that is beginning to unfold in the well-filled Mendelssohn Hall of the Hamburg University of Music.

Playing, Kreusch takes his place on stage and, playing, addresses his invitation to the audience to listen to the soft sounds together with him that evening. Afterwards, he takes his listeners on a musical journey through sound spaces that have been unknown to the past, extracting a wonderful wealth of timbres and effects from his instrument and increasingly condensing the already tense atmosphere. What the highly sensitive guitarist offers in terms of musical expressivity and emotional devotion is unparalleled.

The fourteen movements of the full-length “Siddhartha Suite” correspond to the chapters of the novel. They contain both composed sections and improvised passages. Siddhartha’s search for the original ground of his soul is traced by Kreusch as hauntingly as creatively musically. All the virtuosity offered is subordinated only to music and unfolds with great self-evidentness. What is effective display of technical skills in other concerts is so unspectacular that the listener only becomes aware of the play-technical brilliance of Kreusch’s presentation.

As he has come, Johannes Tonio Kreusch leaves the hall, circles his audience once again playing and slowly distances himself until his sounds get lost in nothingness. At first, the audience comes back to reality. After a pleasantly contemplative moment of calm, the enthusiasm unloads into a stormy applause. With the prelude from the lute suite BWV 996 by J.S. Bach and the 11th etude by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Kreusch bids farewell to an audience that reluctantly dismissed the performer from the stage.

Christian Moritz, Gitarre aktuell

Johannes Tonio Kreusch with
Cornelius Claudio Kreusch

The Kreusch brothers were fully uptoin with their desire to connect worlds musically, to highlight their similarities, at least on an emotional level. Here, no worlds collided, but music was played with empathy and commanding passion, finding classical patterns of interpretation, masterful improvisations and global rhythms as if by themselves. It is very rare to hear such fine coordination among freely acting musicians.

Jörg Konrad, Süddeutsche Zeitung

The freedom that artists think was there at this concert. The attempt to combine classical music with jazz is probably not always and everywhere so easily successful.

Passauer Neue Presse

Fantasies behind the swing horizon
Cornelius Claudio and Johannes Tonio Kreusch perform at “Birdland”

Neuburg (DK) No one should believe that everything is only always after the elder’s head. He is a made-up, if ingenious, thick skull and wants to go through the wall with the same mostly frontal. But the daring promise “Two World’s One” comes mainly from the mouth of the younger brother, Johannes Tonio Kreusch.

In the Neuburg “Birdland” jazz club, whose audience is once again breathlessly abducted behind the short horizon of swing and bebop, the 32-year-old guitarist fulfills it in a completely uncomplicated, miraculous way. Together with brother heart Cornelius Claudio on piano and the New York percussionist Jamey Haddad, he implements in tones what has long been haunting the Kreusch family fantasy: a symbiosis of ethno, classical, jazz, meditation and adrenaline.

A journey through different levels of experience, through musical territories, through the past, present and future. The worlds are by no means approaching: they only open a tiny gap. At the Bösendorfer sits a completely different Cornelius Claudio Kreusch than just over twelve weeks ago at the Ingolstadt Jazz Days, where he happily split the camps with his trance rap pop combo. But is C.C. really so much different here than usual? Basically, he is always the same: bubbly, bubbly, driven by constant creative restlessness, sometimes working with brute force on the 88 ivory keys and immediately afterwards loving them again almost tenderly. Only his surroundings change, but his game finds its way everywhere.

Astonishing at most the unusual withdrawal that the Munich resident, who has lived in New York since 1993, demands for most of the pieces. But woe betide if he let go, for example in a duo with the congenial Jamey Haddad, who already provided the coherent rhythm for Paul Simon’s world music courses: he rides on all emotions, like a rodeo cowboy, reaches into the wing, dampens sounds or ecstatically drums it with his fingers. Kreusch meets soul and body alike with his brilliant game. It carries within itself the primal groove that only people who live in a different, less normalized world possess, who do not see music as a commodity, but have long appreciated its value as an acoustic anti-depressant, as a shield or catapult to unimaginable heights.

This is also increasingly understanded by Johannes Tonio Kreusch, a gifted string plunder era in the tradition of Heitor Villa-Lobos. For each theme, he uses a differently tuned instrument to create sounds that no guitarist before him has produced. On a classical basis, his lecture gains improvisational wings and grandiose narrative structures that expose the old values on the six strings as long overcoming.

The fusion initiated by the three is an inner process of hearing, a process that is constantly repetitive yet slowly increasing. Images of the rainforest, of the big city, of people, animals, of laughing, sweaty, of white and black faces are indelibly imprinted in the subconscious.

A sunken rotation, a calm, steady breathing. The worlds unite without losing their identity. Those who succeed in such small miracles are today even light years ahead of statesmen.

Reinhard Köchl, Donaukurier

Johannes Tonio Kreusch in a duo
with Doris Orsan

How the duo Kreusch/Orsan puts the tango on the parquet floor is captivating. Yes, he prickles, crackles and sprays with passion in such a way that one wants to shout, eagerly and eagerly, “Buenos Aires, I’m coming! Doris Orsan and Johannes Tonio Kreusch are not only a couple of stage, but also privately related. Perhaps it is their secret to venture into the Latin-Iberian panorama of modern classical music with a very intuitive, almost self-forgotten and a great verve.


Johannes Tonio Kreusch in a duo
with Giora Feidman

Giora Feidman got really serious in a duo with guitarist Johannes Tonio Kreusch. They created fine, intimate moments based on Franz Schubert to Egberto Gismonti, dialogues full of the power of joint creation that celebrated the beauty of music.

Süddeutsche Zeitung