The press and the public agree: Hamburg-born bassoonist Malte Refardt is always credited with qualities such as a warm sound, elegant arioso playing, a soft, round tone, a remarkable beauty of sound and a natural technical mastery.


While still in school, the artist began his studies at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg. From 1995 he studied with Dag Jensen in Essen and Hanover, and then, as a student of Georg Klütsch, completed his concert examinations in Weimar and Cologne.

While still studying, Refardt was principal bassoonist of the renowned Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra from 1997 to 1999, working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Iván Fischer, Kent Nagano and Daniel Harding.


After stations in Essen and Munich - including as principal bassoonist of the Bavarian State Opera under Zubin Mehta - he was appointed principal bassoonist of the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover in 2002, where he worked until 2018.


In addition to working with all the major German orchestras - including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR, NDR, SWR, Bamberg Symphony, Munich Philharmonic and Ensemble Modern - since 2003 he has also been regularly invited by Seiji Ozawa to perform as principal bassoonist with the Saito Kinen Orchestra, Tokyo Opera Nomori and Mito Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he is a regular guest with world-class chamber orchestras such as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.


An avid chamber musician, Refardt has worked with artists such as Ana Chumachenco, Eduard Brunner, Jacques Zoon, Wen-Sinn Yang, Rudens Turku, Adrian Oetiker, Oliver Schnyder, Ingo Goritzki, Kai Frömbgen, Johannes Gmeinder, Sibylle Mahni, and András Adorján, as well as in Ensemble Oktoplus, Ma'alot- Quintet, Arte Ensemble, and Ensemble Villa Musica. As a soloist, Refardt has worked with orchestras such as the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, and, in his Carnegie Hall debut, the Saito Kinen Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa.

He has performed at major festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, the Vienna Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, and the London PROMS, to name a few.


At the age of 32, Malte Refardt became a professor at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, where he leads the highly successful bassoon class. He is also invited as a jury member to international competitions such as the German Music Competition, the German University Competition and the Kyoto Prize, the Japanese equivalent of the Nobel Prize. He is also a wind coach for top student orchestras such as the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and, together with Zurich bassoonist Matthias Rácz, has built "The Bassoon Channel" the first online news and teaching platform for bassoon.


Since 2009, Refardt has been artistic director of the renowned Domleschger Sommerkonzerte ( in central Switzerland, together with his wife, violist Taia Lysy. The festival celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2023.