Biography as Composer
Dirk's Journey as a Musician and Composer
Dirk Tomandl is a composer of neo-classical, neo-romantic and modern style music. Born and raised in Germany, he currently resides in the Indianapolis area in the US with his family. Alongside his passion for music, Dirk works as a Principal Research Scientist and Director in Drug Discovery, developing novel medicines.
Focusing primarily on orchestral, piano and choral compositions, Dirk's music is known for its complexity and virtuosity, yet accessible and enjoyable for both casual listeners and music enthusiasts alike. Dirk's compositions convey universal emotions. His use of music as a language allows him to effectively communicate the fundamental, timeless feelings that resonate with listeners on a deep and personal level. As a technology geek, Dirk sometimes incorporates artificial intelligence as inspiration into his composition process.
Classical Music Background
Dirk grew up with a rich classical music background. Music was played very day. His father played piano for many hours every evening. His fondest early childhood memories are of watching his dad and his grandfather play classical music together on piano and violin. Dirk began taking piano lessons at the age of nine, honing his skills and developing a deep emotional connection to music. His passion for music extended beyond piano, as he sang as tenor in semi-professional choirs for over 30 years.
Dirk's musical influences range from Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Grieg, Saint-Saëns to many tonal 20th century composers to classical rock such as Freddie Mercury, QUEEN, Styx, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd to pop such as Billy Joel, Elton John, ABBA, ELO. Style is irrelevant as long as the music is intense, complex, emotional, dramatic, harmonically and rhythmically interesting - and carries you away.
Dirk always listens with intent to music, studies, analyzes, and learns from it. This is his primary source of musical knowledge and inspiration.
Since the early 1980s, Dirk sang in choirs which he continued in all places where he lived. For nine years until 2017, he sang in the "Indianapolis Arts Chorale" as well as served on its Board of Directors. Ultimately, he realized that the choirs and the local symphonies he had enjoyed on two continents had one thing in common: they almost exclusively played the greatest hits of mostly dead composers. Dirk wanted to find newer music in the rich, complex classical style that he could enjoy.
He needed new content.
In 2018, Dirk decided to shift his creative focus from performing to creating. He built a home studio that allowed him to start composing on a more serious level. In 2019, he started to sketch his most ambitious project to date which eventually became the first piano concerto. In 2020, he took a hiatus from the piano concerto and focused on composing piano solo pieces and experimenting with AI as inspiration. In 2021, he resumed the work on 'Playful Passion' and completed it in October. The piano concerto has been professionally recorded and performed in Summer 2022.
Dirk released the piano concerto and the piano solo compositions compiled as his first album titled "Playful Passion".
Dirk has begun sketching the next piano concerto...