BRIEF  PORTRAIT  Peter Karkowski

Date of birth: 14th June 1954, Place of birth: Oberhausen, Germany.

Taught himself to play guitar at the age of 14.

Eagerly started writing poetry, played and sang his own compositions.

Early experience in performing made as a busker whilst  hitchhiking through Europe.

1971, at the tender age of 17, first stage performances at folk clubs and festivals in Holland and England. Meeting personalities from the Anglo-American Folk & Blues Scene had a great influence.


Musikhochschule Ruhr-Institut Duisburg (Duisburg Academy of Music).

1 year conservatory, 4 year course of studies in classical guitar with Prof. Leonhard Beck, subsidiary subject  singing.

First award: Winner in the category folk guitarist at the DU-Folk Competition 1983 (Duisburg).

Numerous solo concerts of classical and popular guitar music.

Contacts to the Middle Ages Scene inspired him to write his own scores to the lyrics of the German minnesingers. In-depth studies of old music in particular of lute and guitar music along with the re-discovery of German folk songs. Concerts with songs and lute music in historical settings such as castles and palaces throughout Germany.

Active in historical as well as vocal groups.

WDR (West German Radio) solo award winner 1989 at folk competition with his own English songs.

Presentations in words, illustrations and music: “The Guitar tells its Story”, eras which marked the evolution of the instrument in single illustrations.

“Vagrants, people of the peoples”, songs, legends and the life of the travelers.

1990 Ruhrförderpreis for Art and Science awarded by the town of Mülheim/Ruhr.

Programmes with a wide variety of contents as well as styles characterize his work. Apart from classical instrumental repertoires his great loves are song and vocal accompaniment.



1985 “Fresh Guitar Fruits”               new acoustic guitar music, solo

1986 “Long Drinks & Small Talk”    new west coast songs in duet with Detlef Neuls

2000 “Four to the Bar”                   unplugged hits and unknown misses

A 3-volume guitar textbook:            You and your guitar, Sonic Postcards, Guitar Treasures, White Album for Guitar, Folk & Blues News, Sound Moves 1984.