The Austrian guitar player and composer, Wolfgang Muthspiel, started to study the violin at an early age, believing at first his interest in the guitar to be a hobby. In time the things changed and his love for the guitar grew stronger. He therefore went to study jazz and classical music at the Music University in Graz. Still a student, he arranged Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) for two guitars together with Mario Nardelli. The duo brilliantly world premiered the piece at the Bach Music Days festival in Seckau, Austria (there is also a possible recording of this arrangement by the two).
Having arrived to the Boston Jazz Academy, Wolfgang Muthspiel definitely turned to jazz. He was there discovered by Garry Barton, with whose Quintet he went on a two years world tour. After a tremendous success of the tour he dedicated himself solely to creating his own music and projects. The members of his group were, among others, Chick Correa, Garry Burton, Mick Goodrick and Garry Peacock. He has made many return visits to prestigious jazz festivals (Montreux, New York, Toronto, Paris, San Francisco, etc.). Major music festivals (such as Salzburg) commission his new orchestral works that are being performed with great success. He is now based both in Vienna and New York.
His work Tonspiel (The Play of Tones) was composed in 1986. A wide cadenza from the very beginning of the composition turns into minimalism by a sudden contrast, and out of spite to stark academic composing rules. In the moment when the harmonic and rhythmic tensions culminate, the composer-designer gives the performer a complete freedom and an opportunity to improvise in the place of a non-existing cadenza.