Samuel T. Klemke was born in 1978 into a family with musical roots back to his great-grandfather, who already performed music. His grandmother and great-aunt were professional musicians, as are his uncle and his father. Thus he got his first guitar lessons from his father Tobias at the age of four years, but has played on the guitar much earlier, when he could barely sit.
At the age of six Samuel had his first public performance, followed by a first solo-recital when he was 8. 1986 also was the birth year of the Guitar Trio Klemke with his sister Laura and their father Tobias. This Trio performed regularly in the northern region of Germany and throughout the country and also had TV-apperances. At age 10 he won his first national competition, followed by many more prizes. Since 1990 Samuel performed with his father Tobias, playing such ambitious pieces like the Tango Suite by Astor Piazzolla.
1991 was the founding year of the Guitar Duo Klemke, since this year Laura and Samuel Klemke perform together regularly and the Duo became their main focus. Also as a duo they won many prizes in duo / chambermusic competitions. In 1994 Samuel had his first performance in a foreign country: he played a concert on New Years Eve in Valkenburg / Netherlands. In 1995 the Guitar Duo Klemke had it’s first big success, playing in the Radisson-Plaza-Hotel for more than 600 listeners and receiving Standing Ovations. It was the same year that they also received an award by the “Marie-Luise Imbusch Stiftung” in Lübeck.
In 1996 the Duo had their first radio-recordings with the NDR in Hamburg for the radio competition “Concertino Praga” where they made the 7th place. In 1998 the Duo also received the award by the “Marie-Luise Imbusch Stiftung”a second tim for their exceptional artistic achievements in the national competition “Jugend musiziert”.
In 1999 Samuel picked up his guitar studies at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar / Germany with Prof. Monika Rost. He received the artistic diploma in 2003 with the best mark possible for his solo recital. He took further studies with Prof. Thomas Müller-Pering for a year, then was allowed to study for the Concert Exam, which he finished with two highly acclaimed solo recitals after two years. With Laura he also studied the Concert Exam Chambermusic that was awarded to them in 2009. His studies were promoted by a 2-year scholarship by the government to work on the music by H. W. Henze and T. Takemitsu resulting in excellent performances of Henze’s Chambermusic 58 and all the guitar works (solo and chambermusic) by Toru Takemitsu.
During his studies in Weimar he took many Masterclasses with the world’s most renowned artists such as Pepe Romero, David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Aniello Desiderio, David Tanenbaum and others, that formed his musical personality. He was able to perform successfully in many competitions in the world from Malibu / Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Chile to Martinique, and throughout Europe (Paris, Rome, Madrid). Samuel has won more than 25 prizes and often was rewarded for his exceptional skills in performing the music of the 20th century. His activities also led to concerts in many parts of the world. He has performed and given masterclasses in the Americas, most European countries, the Near East, Japan and in 2010 he could add Australia and India to this list.
Since 2005 Samuel also began to extend his chambermusic activities. He was founding member of the vanguard Ensemble Marges that is performing newest compositions and is working with silent movies and artists of different genres as well (for example the project ART!stik Labor with the Compagnie Aquanaut). They are regular guest of the big festival for contemporary Music via nova and also form part of the jury of composition competitions. He also performs more classical music in different chambermusic combinations with violin, accordion, flute and piano, for example also with the Spanish soprano Natasha Lopez.
While a student in Weimar Samuel also took classes in electroacoustic music and instrumentation, and so far he created some pieces. He also started working for film, mainly experimental films. He composed the music for the award winning 360°-full-dome short “Super Golden Years” in 2010. He is very much interested in sound installations and is working on some concepts to be realized soon.
So far Samuel has recorded three full-length CD’s, a single CD, and a live DVD. A double CD with the complete 24 Preludes and Fugues “Les guitares bien temperees” by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco will soon be published.
Samuel plays guitars by Dietrich, Alma guitars, Roemmich, and uses capos by G7th