Dr. Zither meets Andreas Erber

During a recent visit to Austria’s famed Salzkammergut area (think „Sound of Music“) I had the great fortune to attend a concert featuring, among others, the Austrian zither sensation, Andreas Erber.

A native of St. Johann in Tyrol, Andreas started playing the zither when he was 9 years old. He is the winner of the Austrian musical competition “Prima La Musica”, and has performed around the world, including concerts in the Far East and in Dubai. Besides his musical career, Andreas is also a well-known fixture on Austrian TV and can be seen on various television series. He attended the drama school (Schauspielschule Sachers) in Innsbruck.

During one of his breaks, I approached him and introduced myself. He was very gracious and was rather surprised to find an American, especially an American zither player in the audience in the middle of the Salzkammergut! We only had a few minutes to chat, and even that was very difficult because at the time the world-famous ”Glenn Miller Orchestra” was performing!

After we agreed to exchange e-mails, Andreas returned to the stage, performed “American Patrol” together with the Glenn Miller Orchestra while the “Extreme Schuhplattlergruppe Gaflenzer Plattler” performed a Schuhplattler choreographed especially for this great American hit-song of the 1940s. This was quite extraordinary – here was traditional Alpine dancing to the sound of a traditional Alpine musical instrument accompanied by an American swing “Big Band”.

After playing several more solo songs on his zither made by Peter Mürnseer of Kitzbühel, including one which he played with an empty glass on the fingerboard, Andreas brought down the house with his signature rendition of “The Third Man Theme” played with his zither resting on his shoulders behind his head.

Andreas Erber is a wonderful zither player and a very engaging young man. I hope to get to know him better.