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Marcus Ratka

Rector / Univ.-Prof. for Theory/Arrangement/Composition (Faculty of Music)
Artistic Major(s): Composition and Music Theory, Guitar

Artistic and pedagogical education

  • Currently: University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna: PhD studies on "Composition in Jazz".
  • Musicology Vienna: Mag. Phil. (2007)
  • Conservatory of the City of Vienna, Diploma in Jazz Theory (1999), Diploma in Jazz Guitar (1997)

Teaching & Research


  • Teacher at the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University for Jazz and Popular Music & at the Friedrich Gulda School of Music since 2011.
  • 2008-2011: University of Music "Franz Liszt" in Weimar. Head of composition, arrangement and music theory classes in the jazz department. Collaboration in curriculum development during the transition to bachelor and master programs.
  • 1998-2008: Gustav Mahler Conservatory Vienna


  • International Artistic Jazz Research Symposium 
  • Music in Progress: International Center for Artistic Research in Jazz and Popular Music Vienna
  • since 2007: University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna: PhD studies, research activity in the field of "Jazz Research", title of thesis "Composition in Jazz


Artistic publications – CDs, DVDs

  • Chameleon Changes, The Dangerous Lab, 2016
  • Captain Austria, Quinton Records, 2012
  • Natural Born Viennese, Quinton Records, 2012
  • A Night at Jazzland, 4tune productions, 2012
  • Hotel Sweet Dreams, 4tune productions, 2011
  • Chameleon Changes, Preiser Records, 2005
  • Boulevard Delirium. Paul Capsis, Wiener Schauspielhaus, 2004
  • Zur Eiseren Zeit mit Christian Qualtinger, Preiser Records, 2003
  • Oh play dat thing! Salonorchester Alhambra, Edition Berliner Musenkinder, 2002
  • Caroline Vasicek und Boris Eder singen Hermann Leopoldi, ORF Edition, 2002
  • Die Drei von der Tankstelle, BMG, 1998
  • Eintänzer gesucht. Salonorchester Alhambra, ORF Edition, 1997

Scientific publications

  • Line Writing. Universität Wien, musikwissenschaftliches Institut 2007
  • Wie funktioniert Musik? Laaber Verlag 2010
  • Komposition im Jazz, PhD Arbeit, Musikuniversität Wien, seit 2010
  • Musikausbildung 2012, Chancen und Herausforderungen für die Zukunft - Österreichischer Musikatlas 2012

Further work experience

  • Co-founder and since 2017 executive rector of the JAM MUSIC LAB private university. 
  • Since 2019 jury member of the "Michael Brecker Saxophone Competition". Red Sea Jazz Festival, Eilat, Israel. 
  • Since 2018 member of JEN. (Jazz Education Network) 
  • Co-founder and since 2019 executive director of the International Academy of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
  • 2017 Co-founder (together with Ö1 and Dr. Andreas Felber) of the Ö1 Jazz Stipendium.
  • 2017 Co-founder (together with Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien and Dr. Christoph Becher) of the international composition competition "Spheres of a Genius"  
  • Since 2017 co-founder (together with Jürgen Drimal) and host of the radio program "JAM MUSIC LAB Radio Sessions" on Radio Superfly
  • Since 2011 - 2019 executive director of the JAM MUSIC LAB - Conservatory for Jazz and Popular Music Vienna
  • Since 2011 organizer and director of numerous master classes, symposia, lecture series and research projects as well as concerts among others with Jazz Fest Wien, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Jazz Congress (New York) Eurasia (Hong Kong), Masters International (Beijing) International Conservatory Festival (St. Petersburg), Vienna Boys Choir and Gerald Prof. Wirth, International Jazz Day, Musikhochschule Basel, Branford Marsalis, John Hollenbeck, John Beasley, Jeff Levenson, Monika Herzig, James Burton, Jazz at the Lincoln Center, Michael Abene, Mike Clarke, Pedro Eustache, Gernot Wolfgang, Larry Applebaum, John Edward Hasse, 
  • Since 2011 managing director of JAM MUSIC LAB GmbH.
  • Since 2010 musical director of the company "4tune media productions" in Vienna
  • 2002 Founder and since then director of the ensembles "Chameleon Changes" and "Zur Eisernen Zeit".
  • Since 1990 freelance musician, composer and project manager: musical/artistic collaborations with Joe Zawinul, Sylvester Levay, Harry Kupfer, Jérôme Savary, Werner Herzog, Hansi Lang, Paul Capsis, Roman Gottwald, Thomas Gansch, Mario Gonzi, Georg Breinschmid, Bumi Fian, Herwig Gradischnig, Erika Pluhar, Boris Eder, Theater an der Wien, various radio stations such as ORF, ARD, RTL

Prices, awards, miscellaneous

Voluntary activities (excerpt)

  • Member of the Board: Music in Progress: Society for applied research in Jazz and Popular Music
  • Member of the board: Kulturverein Gasometer
  • Member of the jury for "Live Music Now!" of the Yehudi Menuhin Organisation 
  • Advisory board of the Falco Private Foundation