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Wanja Rosenthal is a guitarist and composer from Vienna, Austria. As a part of the city's new generation of aspiring musicians who approach jazz music with modern inspiration, he finished his guitar studies at the University for Music and Performing Arts. Ever since he started learning his instrument in adolescent years, composition was a significant part of his creative progress in music. This particular focus grew as a student, due to composition classes and piano lessons.

Rosenthal's guitar playing style is connected to his compositions. On the one hand, he is highly influenced by jazz idols like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Tom Harrell and Bill Evans. Moreover, his playing draws upon various musical inspiration, ranging from Brazilian music to piano pieces from the impressionism era. Where there is space for virtuosity, he always keeps an eye on the broad musical situation. Here, the aspect of melodic character strongly defines his approach to composition and improvisation.


In the year of 2022, he spent a year of studies at the Hochschule for Music and Dance Cologne. There, his musical creative process reached a new peak, influenced by different surroundings of musicians and teachers. By this time, he got to know the Cologne-based musicians Adrian Gallet, Daniel Oetz Salcines, Mathieu Clement. The constant musical exchange with them lead to a studio session in February 2023. With the created debut album “LÜFPYRÜN”, for the first time, Rosenthal releases his compositional work under his own name.

In Vienna, Wanja Rosenthal participates in various projects around the city’s diverse jazz scene. Going along with the formerly described debut albums’ idea, his creative approach especially thrives in small bands. In duo, trio and quartet combination concerts he embraces the flexibilities and possibilities of his instrument in a reduced lineup. Nonetheless, his musical work as a guitarist also takes place in large ensembles. Being in the Vienna Composers Big Band’s rhythm section, his guitar playing style frequently varies and changes. Still keeping its own distinctive sound, his approach subtly adapts to modern original compositions by the ensemble’s players.

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