Wilfried Berk grew up in Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil, where he was born as a son of German immigrants. He studied at the National Academy of Music in Rio. After his graduation he became a member of the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (OSB) and was a founding-member of the Quinteto Villa-Lobos in 1962. Events with the Quinteto in 1964: – Caravana da Cultura, touring Northeastern Brazil – and a tournée through South America in official mission of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations concerts in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Asunción, Montevideo (May-June 64).
Some steps of his career: winner of the Youth competition for soloists of the OSB – yearly, from 1960 to 1964: teaching assignment as a clarinet professor at the University of Salvador/ Bahia and principal clarinetist at the symphony orchestra there (from 1964 to 1967). Since May ’67 living in Germany alter a study (thanks to a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service) with Diploma in Berlin. Orchestra musician in Marl (Philharmonia Hungarica) and Stuttgarter Philharmonie.
For over 30 years he has had a teaching position in Hanover/ Germany, this in addition to his activities as a clarinet soloist and chamber musician, as an arranger and editor of his own publications – records, the clarinet involving articles (example: “The large presence of the Boehm clarinet at the CD market”) and music scores: clarinetto arioso & clarinetto virtuoso/ editor Simrock/ Benjamin, Hamburg/ London.
Features: 1° Festival Internacional de Música do Rio de Janeiro (1963), laureate at the Intern. Chamber Music Competition (with Villa-Lobos Ensemble) at Colmar/ France, Intern. Study for Clarinetists (Queekhoven/ Netherlands in 1971, Festival da Bahia (1975), Semana da Música Brasileira em Bonn/ Bad Hersfelder Festspielkonzerte (Germany, 1975), Famiglia Menighina diMilano (Italy, 1977), Incontri Musicali a Venezia 1980: Congrès International de la Clarinette à Paris, visit to the Maison Vandoren (France, 1981). Participation to international music camps – with Jost Michaels (Trossingen/ Germany, 1983), Jacques Lancelot, Walter Boeykens (Holland, 1971), John McCaw (Paris, 1981), Lateinamerikatage Dortmund 1992: Kulturkaleidoskop/ EXPO 2000 (Hanover). Performances as a clarinet soloist: – with orchestra conducted by Eleazar de Carvalho, Alceo Bocchino, Jayoleno dos Santos, Vicente Fittipaldi, Victor Tevah, Sergio Magnani and Isaac Karabtchevsky, playing concertos by W. A. Mozart, C. M. von Weber (op. 26, 73 & 74), Johann Stamitz and Franz Krommer, – with the Pandula-Quartet and the Quarteto de Cordas de São Paulo (Quintets by Mozart, Brahms and Arthur Bliss), – with the Clarion Ensemble (German premiere of Poulenc’s Sextuor and Villa-Lobos’ Quatuor) / Collegio col Clarinetto (Ravel’s Introduction et Allegro). Many recordings and recitals in Europe and South-America (the main repertory for Duo) for radio with his wife – the pianist Elisabeth Berk-Seiz. They toured in Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. (London and surroundings). Together with German and Brazilian music colleagues he has established since 1991 the groups Escola de Choro, Duo Carioca and Canto do Rio to the spreading of choro-music, which is very important to him, due to his roots.