Bernward Koch was born in January 1957 in Siegen/Westfalen, Germany. When he was 12 years, he started playing French Horn in the musical brass band of his village Wenden-Huensborn, but just a little bit later he changed to the trumpet “to be able to play more melodies”. Two years after he starts to be engaged in bass, guitar and drums. During that time he was playing in a beat-band. When he was 15 his father, an accordeon player, donated him a piano and he got his first piano lessons, but starts right now with improvisations and compositions, too.
His enthusiasm for music grew, especially for Jazz, Rock, Pop and Folk but also for classical music. In his early 20s he started studying at the music-university in cologne, meanwhile he took part (mostly together with his younger brother Christoph) in a lot of music seminars at the University of Bremen, Academy Remscheid and Schloß Weikersheim, e.g. teaching at Prof. Sigi Busch. In the meantime he played keyboards, drums and percussion in different Jazz-Rock-Bands. In 1990 for example an adventurous tournee led him and his Band The Brothers (= Pablo) to Moscow.
Besides Bernward Koch created piano-based instrumental-compositions -enriched with keyboards, flute, guitar and percussion- with a relaxing, metaphorical character and his discernible tuneful signature. 1989 he signed his first deal for an instrumetal solo-project under his own name.
With his debut-record “FLOWING” Bernward Koch has had a successful installation in the United States in 1990, when the important california radio stations THE WAVE and KKSF distinguished and popularized the record of the commonly unknown german pianist.
Koch`s fame began to ascend when his song “Ever returning” was chosen for two Aids-benefit-compilations
-chairman Elisabeth Taylor- initiated by the radio stations KKSF in San Francisco and THE WAVE in Los Angeles. He contributed his track besides artists like Sting (Fragile), Bonnie Raitt (Nick of time), Al Jarreau (One way), Eurhythmics Dave A. Stewart + Candy Dulfer (Lily was here), Ottmar Liebert (Heart still beating), Lauren Wood (Fallen, from the motion picture Pretty Woman), Bob James/David Sanborn (Maputo), Dave Grusin/Lee Ritenouer (Early a.m. attitude) and YANNI (Once upon a time).
In 1992 an important step in his career followed. His record “LAGUNA DE LA VERA” stayed high in the american Billboard New Age charts for a couple of months. Simultaneously it became one of the most highly acclaimed instrumental records of the year in various other countries.
His 1995 published album “STILL MAGIC” was moving upwards as well in the USA as in Europe. UNITED AIRLINES, JAPAN AIRLINES, Deutsche LUFTHANSA, KOREAN AIRLINES, SINGAPORE AIRLINES, AIR CHINA and many more airlines uses his music during the flights all around the world.
The album “PICANTE” came out in 1997 performed by Bernward Koch featuring Pablo (previously called The Brothers). This vivacious CD - a mixture of Latin, Jazz and Funk - documents the brilliant concert acting of the musicians; not only a melodical impressive but also rhythmical amazingly LP.
In 1997 the US-record company Real Music (from Sausalito near San Francisco) re-released Koch’s first album “FLOWING”. This record with a new blue cover was and is very successful again, not only in the USA.
In the summer of 1999 his production “JOURNEY TO THE HEART” was worldwide published by the california-based label. Each song demonstrates Bernward Kochs faculty for melody and harmony, so this record became a heavy airplay in Asia too.
“WALKING THROUGH CLOUDS” was the next successful record under that california-based label, a timeless album, with 16 tracks and one hour very suitable for yoga, meditation, calming.
In 2008 a new album of Bernward Koch was released. This live piano solo record be called “MONTAGNOLA” and is dedicated to the writer Hermann Hesse. It won the “Piano-Heaven” award in England and became the “Audio highlight of the month” of the German STEREO journal, Sept. ’09.
The currently record is called “GENTLE SPIRIT”, released in summer 2009 again in California. Bernward composed as always all tracks and plays the most instruments (piano, keyboards, guitar and bass), enriched with flute and percussion.
Also you hear his music in movies: e.g. in SHANIKO, the title of an award-winning motion picture of 2008. His composition “Childhood Hour” from the “WALKING THROUGH CLOUDS” record is sounding. Shaniko is concurrent the name of a ghost town in Oregon where the movie was shooting.
Nobody, who knows Koch`s music, will be surprised by his success: the artist composes pieces of outstanding formal maturity with an astonishing musical finesse. For Bernward Koch himself music means telling stories.
His piano-based arrangements are always marked by a tasteful balance of natural and synthetic sounds, mixed with the organic pulse of a real flesh and blood percussionist and guitar player (Bernward`s brother Christoph); and the exqusite flute playing of his wife Christiane Böhm has over the years become a trademark feature in his sound.
Bernward Kochs music unfolds a soothing and seductive charm - so by degrees there are and there will be many listerners under its spell.