© Gregor Hohenberg






The ÜberBach album is a collection of compositions by the Munich-based composer Arash Safaian on themes by Johann Sebastian Bach. Safaian starts off with various pieces by Bach – chorales, orchestral works, organ and clavier music – and works with them to create five concertos for piano, vibraphone and chamber orchestra.

Arash Safaian’s musical partner is the internationally acclaimed pianist Sebastian Knauer: “When I heard the first example of ÜberBach, I was enthusiastic about the project at once. The virtuosity of the piano part, the melodiousness of the compositions and the closely woven sound made a deep impression on me. I imagined I was listening to Bach and yet it sounded too modern for the original.”

Sebastian Knauer called his long-time musical partner, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the very next day. He organized the recording and further developed the project with Safaian. For the shimmering crystalline sound, the duo recruited the Luxembourg-born multi-percussionist Pascal Schumacher. He plays the vibraphone, which blends with the piano. There is also a synthesizer to enrich the sound of the basso continuo – for which Bach used the organ.

The project centres on the idea of creating a form of music in which one hears Bach without Bach being heard. Arash Safaian develops the music ideas already contained in the compositions of Bach and interprets them anew: 

“For me, Bach’s works are music in its purest form. They require no deconstruction, no historical classification. What I always think is that I am hearing the grammar of music. That is why I have decided to compose music about Bach’s music. That makes it like a view into a landscape that your own eye interprets in a certain way.” Arash Safain

Booking AgentsBooking Agents


For all booking matters please refer to our dedicated agents here below:




Bookings for Luxembourg

Mr. Raphael Junker  Phone: +352 621 285 044

Email: rjunker@mondaynightproductions.com



Personal Management SebasPersonal Management Sebastian Knauer

Bookings worlwide

Mrs. Angela Kolp  Phone: +49 1636444603

Email: angela.kolp@gmx.de






Arash Safaian - composer
Sebastian Knauer - piano
Pascal Schumacher - vibraphone
Zürcher Kammerorchester - orchestra




Arash SafaianArash Safaian

Arash Safaian is artist, composer and producer. He is the son of artist Ali Akbar Safaian, an important representative of Iranian modernism. Born in Teheran, he grew up in Bayreuth, where he was exposed to Richard Wagner’s operas at an early age.

Alongside his interest in music, painting and sculpture shaped his childhood and youth. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nürnberg and showed his series of pictures in solo and group exhibitions, before moving to the Munich College of Music and Drama to study composition. He has made his mark as a composer with orchestral works, ensemble pieces, film music and operas – in New York (“on the beach”) directed by Robert Wilson at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, in Berlin (“Exit Paradise”) at Oper Neukölln and in Munich (“At Stake”) at the Opera Biennale.

Safaian has won the Composition Prize of the Reinl Foundation in Vienna, the Günther Bialas Prize and Bavaria’s e-on Arts Prize. He has held scholarships from the Villa Concordia Bamberg, the City of Munich and Cité des artes Paris. Arash Safaian lives and works in Munich.


Sebastian KnauerSebastian Knauer

Having made his concert debut at the age of 14 in the Laeiszhalle in his native city of Hamburg, Sebastian Knauer can already look back on a concert career lasting more than a quarter of a century. He has played in over 50 countries on four continents, appearing in such prestigious venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, London’s Wigmore Hall, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Lincoln Center in New York and the NCPA in Beijing. He is a frequent festival guest in Schleswig-Holstein, Dresden, and the Rheingau, at the Ruhr Piano Festival, Bonn’s Beethovenfest, the Schubertiade in Hohenems and the Salzburg Festival, and in Gstaad, Montreux, Aix-en-Provence, Bath, Istanbul, Ravinia, Savannah and Shanghai.

Sebastian Knauer’s highly extensive and varied repertoire is reflected in his 15-plus CD releases to date. His most recent recordings “Bach & Sons” and “Vienna 1789”, both with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra under Sir Roger Norrington, won generous praise: “Brilliant” (Stern), “Fantastic” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), “Excellent” (Die Presse Wien). In 2005, “East meets West”, a joint project with his duo partner Daniel Hope, was awarded the ECHO Klassik and a Grammy nomination.

The Hamburg Philharmonic have performed with Sebastian Knauer in a cycle of all 27 Mozart concertos and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra have played all the Haydn concertos, in each case to his direction from the keyboard. He has also performed in concert with the Dresden Staatskapelle, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Konzerthaus Orchestra of Berlin, Philharmonia Zürich, Camerata Salzburg, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Lucerne Festival Strings, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and the New York City Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi, Thomas Hengelbrock, Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Ingo Metzmacher, John Axelrod, Simone Young, Michael Sanderling and Jaap van Zweden.

An artist with a close affinity with chamber music, he has contributed to numerous projects with such impressive colleagues as the Emerson String Quartet, Philharmonia Quartett Berlin, Sol Gabetta, Sabine Meyer, singers Anne Sofie von Otter, Bernarda Fink, Michael Schade, Olaf Bär and the late Hermann Prey, and with choreographer John Neumeier and the drummer of “The Police”, Stewart Copeland. Already this century he has put together a series of “Word meets Music” programmes, always focusing on one composer. Sebastian Knauer creates the texts about the composer’s life, which are recited on stage by noted actors. With well over 300 appearances in this format since 2001 he regularly plays alongside Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hannelore Elsner, Martina Gedeck, Katja Riemann, Iris Berben, Gudrun Landgrebe and Barbara Auer.

2012 saw Sebastian Knauer establish his own festival, mozart@augsburg, of which he has assumed artistic direction.


Pascal SchumacherPascal Schumacher

Since winning the Django D’Or for Young Talent in 2005 Pascal Schumacher has been relentless in assuring his position as an outstanding artist and composer. He consistently achieves recognition in being awarded some of Jazz Music’s most prestigious titles, from the ECHO JAZZ for International Instrumentalist of the year 2012 and in 2013, the JTI Trier Award for inter-regional achievements across the euroregion of Saar-Lor-Lux.

He has been described as a “Goldsmith” in his art, a boundary-pushing musician, a resourceful improviser and an imaginative composer.

Keen to explore the links that exist between many musical genres, it is difficult to pigeon–hole his talent, his taste or his musical influences.

One thing is certain: he is a Vibraphone player with a unique aptitude and sensitivity who manages to inject panache and flamboyance into every performance. 

His flair for improvisation is married to a lucid inventiveness which together creates an original sound as visionary as it is melodic. 

As a physical performer, he is skilful, far-reaching and theatrical without being pretentious, making his performances inclusive and interesting to watch.

Since he gave birth to his first serious musical project in 1995, his musical partnerships and projects resemble his eclectic nature. 

His duo with Jef Neve produces a hybrid that has been described as somewhere between pop-infused contemporary music and classic-infused jazz.

Pascal Schumacher and Francesco Tristano, also recognised as an European Concert Hall Organization “Rising Star”, perform as a trio with the Lebanese percussionist Bachar Khalifé and share with the audience fascinating insights on the beauty of the journey into the contemporary sound experience.

The Pascal Schumacher Quartet has a potent hook-laden feel that creatively destroys all notions of the polite dinner jazz associations of the past and produces a contemporary sound that is beautiful, melodic and effortlessly articulated. Their 5thstudio album, “Bang My Can” the third release on Enja records, was launched in 2012 to critical acclaim.

In the project “In phase with JS Bach” Pascal Schumacher offers a decomposition and re-composition of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (BWV 1048) written in 1719. He uses his own starting point, based on his own particular aesthetic, which has been honed through his influences and his style created from a co-existence between European and American contemporary Jazz.

As a composer he writes not only for the duo, trio, quartet and chamber music ensembles, but has also created and produced film, theatre and dance projects. He was involved in a ground- breaking Multi-Media project “CTRL variations” and a trans-disciplinary theatre project entitled "LUXTIME – Jacques Tati revisited”.

He is a laureate of no less than four of Europe’s most notable Conservatories from his home town of Luxembourg as well as those in The Hague, Strasbourg and Brussels. He now teaches in the Luxembourg Conservatory classical percussion and jazz vibraphone.

The  glorious soundtrack  written to accompany 1929 silent film  “A Woman one longs for”  directed by Curtis Bernhardt and starring the incomparable Marlene Dietrich, was premiered as a Live Film-Concert in the Philharmonie Luxembourg in May 2012, conducted by Christian Schumann. It seemed then that the ever enigmatic Ms. Dietrich had  met her match in the unequivocal expertise of Mr Schumacher. Never one to rest on his laurels however, Schumacher has pushed the boundaries once more and the Schumann, Dietrich and Schumacher trio will reunite in November 2014, this time to full Orchestral backing by none other than Luxemburg’s own national Chamber Orchestra (OCL).

2015 has begun with a long requested, much hoped for and eagerly anticipated concerto for Vibraphone and Orchestra, commissioned by the Philharmonic Hall and featuring the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under the baton of Duncan Ward. The piece, dubbed “Windfall” is perhaps Pascal Schumacher’s allegory of his own parcours, a personal homage to the wonder of life; a nod to the opportunities and encounters that have come his way, as he has intuitively carved his own space and form on the musical horizon.

With two album released in 2015 will have to work to keep up with his many incarnations. The German label MPS Records/Edel Kultur released in January “Afrodiziak”, a debut for the collaboration between Bachar Khalifé, Pascal Schumacher and Francesco Tristano and Laborie Jazz, France released in March "Left Tokyo Right”, Pascal Schumacher’s first Jazz solo album featuring Magic Malik.

(Text by Ruth Fisher)



Concert halls & FestiConcert halls & Festival (selection)

Tonhalle Zürich (Zürich, Switzerland)

Reeperbahn Festival (Hambug, Germany)

Drive. Volkswagen Group Forum (Berlin, Germany)

Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg, Germany)

Mozart@Augsburg (Augsburg, Germany)

Philharmonie - Kammermuisksaal (Berlin, Germany)

Frauenkirche (Dresden, Germany)

Savannah Music Festival (Savannah, USA)

L'Auditori (Barcelona, Spain)

Teatro Nacional (Madrid, Spain)

Odessa Philharmonie Theater (Odessa, Ukraine)

Date City Venue Project
19/07/19 Schleswig-Holstein-Musikfestival (D) Schleswig-Holstein-Musikfestival UeberBach
10/10/19 Luxembourg (L) Philharmonie Luxembourg Uberbach
04/09/20 Oviedo (E) Summer Festival Ueberbach

Safaian/Knauer/Schumacher - Ueberbach - Photo A. Safaian

(a high definition photo // © Gregor Hohenberg)

Download file: Safaian/Knauer/Schumacher - Ueberbach - Photo A. Safaian

Safaian/Knauer/Schumacher - Ueberbach - Photo S. Kanauer

(a high definition photo // © Gregor Hohenberg)

Download file: Safaian/Knauer/Schumacher - Ueberbach - Photo S. Kanauer

Safaian/Knauer/Schumacher - Ueberbach - Photo P. Schumacher

(a high definition photo // © Ilan Weiss)

Download file: Safaian/Knauer/Schumacher - Ueberbach - Photo P. Schumacher


© Neue Meister (2016)


Track: Halleluja
Track: Canon in C
Track: Modulation Looping Bach


Upcoming ConcertsUpcoming Concerts

19/07/19 - UeberBach: Schleswig-Holstein-Musikfestival (Schleswig-Holstein-Musikfestival, D)

10/10/19 - Uberbach: Philharmonie Luxembourg (Luxembourg, L)

04/09/20 - Ueberbach: Summer Festival (Oviedo, E)



Arash Safain

Sebastian Knauer

Pascal Schumacher

Zürcher Kammerorchester


Neue Meister

Album on Sale