Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka

© Carsten Sander


The work of composer and pianist Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka, residing in Düsseldorf, Germany, is currently being celebrated by the press and audiences worldwide.

Hauschka's preferred instrument is the piano, which he prepares meticulously with metal parts, foil and clamps, the objects causing rustling, metallic noises as he plays. Reminiscent of electronically generated sounds and cymbals, these sounds lend a lyrical quality to the already atmospherically dense compositions, which he bases on harmonic patterns. At times, he also performs accompanied by guest musicians, such as Hilary Hahn, Adam Butler (Vert), John Convertino (Calexico), Samuli Kosminen (múm) and Stefan Schneider (Mapstation, To Rococo Rot).

It excites Hauschka to find new musical expressions for each specific situation, which also applies to the work he does together with film and theater directors. Together with longterm partner Torsten G. Mauss, he composed the soundtrack for the highly praised Lars Henning Jung film Höhere Gewalt, which received double awards at the Max Ophüls Preis film festival in Saarbrücken, Germany, in 2008. Praia do Futuro, the film of award winning director Karim Aïnouz with a score by Hauschka premiered in the Competition programme at the Berlin International Film Festival 2014. His latest film scores include the music for Sönke Wortmann's film DEUTSCHLAND. DEIN SELBSTPORTRÄT as well as for the US productions Lion, directed by Garth Davis, and In Dubious Battle (director: James Franco). For their collaborative score for Lion, Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O'Halloran were nominated for the Golden Globe, the BAFTA Award and the Oscars 2017.

Working for the stage, Bertelmann has collaborated with dancer and choreographer Stephen Shropshire, whose dance piece Danceworkorange at the Augsburg Theater won high acclaim. His latest collaboration with Edivaldo Ernesto - an encounter of improvised music and dance - was initiated at Berlin's Radialsystem V and shown at EXIT festival in Créteil, France, Gdansk Dance Festival and at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. For the Ruhrfestpiele celebration of the European Capital of Culture 2010, Hauschka wrote the score for Heinrich von Kleist's Marquise von O. which was directed by Kevin Rittberger and subsequently performed at Schauspiel Frankfurt. Hauschka's latest composition for theatre could be heard in Sebastian Baumgarten's Ballad of the Flying Dutchman at Schauspielhaus Hamburg.

Germany’s oldest Radio Symphony Orchestra directed by Estonian-American conductor Kristjan Järvi, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, announced Hauschka as Artist in Residence for 2014/2015. Their first concert opened the 38th edition of the renowned Leipzig Jazz Festival, followed by the world premieres of Cascades and Drowning (with múm) - both performed at Gewandhaus Leipzig.



Here you can browse a selection of Hauschkas publications.

What If, 2017
City Slang, Temporary Residence

A NDO CY, 2015
Temporary Residence

Abandoned City, 2014
City Slang

Foreign Landscapes, 2010
Fat Cat 

Snowflakes & Car Wrecks, 2009
Fat Cat

Ferndorf, 2008
Fat Cat

Room To Expand, 2007
Fat Cat

Versions Of The Prepared Piano – Remixes, 2007
Various Artists
Karaoke Kalk

The Prepared Piano, 2005
Karaoke Kalk

Substantial, 2004
Karaoke Kalk


Tonetraeger: „Wortbrot“, 2007
OST: Hauschka & Torsten Mauss
Strawberry Kills

Music A.M.: „Unwound From The Wood”, 2006
Production and Music: Hauschka, Luke Sutherland, Stefan Schneider

Music A.M.: „My City Glittered Like A Breaking Wave”, 2005
Production and Music: Hauschka, Luke Sutherland, Stefan Schneider

Music A.M.: „A Heart & Two Stars“, 2004
Production and Music: Hauschka, Luke Sutherland, Stefan Schneider

Tonetraeger: „This Is Not Here“, 2004
Production and Music: Hauschka & Torsten Mauss

Tonetraeger: „Spieleabend“, 2002
Production and Music: Hauschka & Torsten Mauss
Spinner Ace Records


Adrift, 2018
Director: Baltasar Kormákur

The Current War, 2017
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

, 2017
Director: J Blakeson

Patrick Melrose
, 2017
Director: Edward Berger

Hotel Mumbai, 2017
Anthony Maras

AlphaGo, 2017
Director: Greg Kohs

Ashes in the Snow, 2017
Marius Markevicius

In Dubious Battle, 2016
Director: James Franco

Lion, 2016
Director: Garth Davis
Nominations "Best Original Score": Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, Oscar

Tausend Arten, den Regen zu beschreiben, 2016
Director: Isabel Prahl

Exodus - Where I Come From is Disappearing, 2016
Director: Hank Levine

Director: Sönke Wortmann

The Boy, 2015
Craig Macneill

Praia do Futuro, 2014
Director: Karim Aïnouz

Farewell, Herr Schwarz, 2014
Director: Yael Reuveny

Horses, 2013
Director: Stephanie Martin

Bliss, 2012
Director: Doris Dörrie

In Between a Kiss, 2009
Director: Reza Rameri

Morgenrot, 2009
Director: Jeff Desom

Höhere Gewalt, 2008
Director: Lars Henning Jung

Bloksky, 2008
Director: Jeff Desom,
Actor & Music: Hauschka
Award International Music Video Festival Museek, St. Petersburg

Wortbrot, 2007
Director: Estelle Klawitter
Film Score: Hauschka & Torsten Mauss

Vampyr – Der Traum des Allan Gray, 2007
Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Silent Film from 1932
Solo piano live accompaniment



Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Music: Volker Bertelmann & Dustin O'Halloran

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s historical drama The Current War depicts the dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.

Having teamed up with Dustin O'Halloran again, Volker Bertelmann co-composed the score for the film which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2017.

Theatrical release dates: November 24, 2017 (USA, limited) | January 19, 2018 (USA) | January 11, 2018 (Germany)




Director: Garth Davis
Music: Volker Bertelmann & Dustin O'Halloran

Together with Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka composed the Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and Oscar nominated score for Lion, starring Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Dev Patel. The Weinstein Company backed feature is based on Saroo Brierley’s autobiography, A Long Way Home.

Separated from his older brother at a train station, five-year-old Saroo Brierley found himself lost in the slums of Calcutta. Nearly 25 years later, living in Australia, he began a painstaking search for his birth home, using ingenuity, hazy memories, and Google Earth.

World Premiere: Toronto International Film Festival 2016
Theatrical Release: November 26, 2016 (US) // February 23, 2017 (Germany)




Director: James Franco
Music: Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka

Hauschka wrote the score for James Franco’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era novel about two labour organizers trying to unionize exploited California fruit pickers. Starring Selena Gomez, James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Robert Duvall amongst others.

World Premiere: Venice International Film Festival 2016




Director: Marius Markevicius
Music: Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka

Hauschka scored the Marius Markevicius directed film Ashes in the Snow, a World War II drama based on Ruta Sepetys’ best-selling novel Between Shades of Gray, a coming-of-age tale of 16-year-old Lina Vilkas (Bel Powley) who is deported to Siberia amid Stalin's reign of terror in the Baltic region. An aspiring artist, she secretly documents her harrowing journey with her drawings.