‘Certain opportunities that I’ve encountered on my way have arisen quite by chance. But my success is fundamentally built on diligence and two decades of passionate work. Nowadays, my compositions are performed the world over, in even the remotest places, which I still find hard to take in. This website is dedicated to all the friends of my music worldwide.’
(Otto M. Schwarz)
The early years
Born in Lower Austria, Otto M. Schwarz received his first music education at the Wimpassing School of Music and later at the Music Academy in Vienna. He was admitted there in 1978 as the youngest student in Professor Franz Weiss’ preparatory class. Studies followed on trumpet with Professor Josef Pomberger of the Vienna Philharmonic and in music theory with Professor Heinz Kratochwil. At the age of 15, alongside his studies his talent for composition began to emerge. His first successes came in the field of pop music. Three of Otto M. Schwarz’ early compositions were released as singles and placed in the Austro charts of the Ö3 pop music station. Der Weg zur Freiheit (The Road to Freedom) won the prize for best composition in the preliminary round of the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest. This prize was not a public vote, but was determined by the Austrian Composers’ Association from over 600 submissions. Inspired by this success, barely three years later he had set up his own recording studio, in which he has produced thousands of titles.
The conquest of the world
As a composer, Otto M. Schwarz is these days more active in advertising, film scores and jingles for major television networks such as ARD, ZDF, ORF, RTL and many others, In collaboration with renowned international publishers his CD are played and sold in over 80 countries around the world. He has sold an estimated two million CDs or official downloads.
Focus on film music
Since 2001 Otto M. Schwarz has almost exclusively produced film scores for international film productions. The first full-length project in which he was involved was Hooper from the series Police 110, reaching six million viewers. Since autumn 2001 he has worked together with LISA and MONA Film, producing work for the German broadcasters ARD and ZDF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and the Italian broadcaster RAI.
In March 2002, the film adaptation of the novel Die Wasserfälle von Slunj (The Waterfalls of Slunj), which he set to music, won a prize at the Venice TV Festival. Films with Horst Tappert—Herz ohne Krone (Heart without Crown) and Franco Nero—Die achte Todsünde (The Eight Deadly Sins) and Das Todeskarussell (The Carousel of Death) followed. Annas zweite Chance (Anna’s Second Chance) was awarded the 2009 Diva award for the most-watched German film production (02/01/2009, ARD, 7.44 million viewers).
He later took over the film music production for such well-known series as Alpenklinik, Lilly Schönau, The Country Doctor, SOKO Kitzbühel and Agathe kann’s nichts lassen. Other collaborations in films directed by Josef Vilsmaier, Holger Barthel, Karsten Wichniarz, Peter Patzak, Michael Zens, Helmut Metzger und many others followed.
The ‘S-Class’ symphony orchestra
Since 1995, Otto M. Schwarz’ compositions in the symphonic sphere have been published by the Dutch music publisher De Haske, by the Swiss publisher Mitropa-Verlag and in America by their parent company Hal Leonard. Works such as Nostrodamus, Around the World In 80 Days, Dragon Fight, Man in the Ice, Bonaparte and many others are performed successful the world over.
Under the programmatic name ‘Symphonic Dimensions’, in 2013 Otto M. Schwarz delivered his first produced for large symphony orchestra. Some of his most popular compositions have been rearranged for this instrumentation and since December 2013 have been available on CD or to download. Further works in this direction are already in the pipeline.