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Marcus Ratka

Artistic Major(s): Composition and Music Theory, Guitar


  • Current: University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna: PhD studies, "Composition in Jazz"
  • University of Vienna, Musicology Vienna: Mag. Phil. (2007), Studies with Gerhard Kubik and Gernot Gruber
  • Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna,  Studies with Heinz Czadek: Diploma for Jazz Theory (1999) , Studies with Claus Spechtl, Diploma for Jazz Guitar (1997)

Work Experience

  • Co-founder and since 2017 managing director of JAM MUSIC LAB Private University
  • Since 2019 jury member of the "Michael Brecker Saxophone Competition". Red Sea Jazz Festival, Eilat, Israel.
  • Member of JEN since 2018. (Jazz Education Network)
  • Co-founder and since 2019 managing director of the International Academy of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
  • 2017 Co-founder (together with Ö1 and Dr. Andreas Felber) of Ö1 Jazz Scholarship
  • 2017 Co-founder (together with Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna and Dr. Christoph Becher) of the international composition competition "Spheres of a Genius"
  • Since 2017 co-founder (together with Jürgen Drimal) and moderator of Radio show "JAM MUSIC LAB Radio Sessions" on Radio Superfly
  • Since 2011 - 2019 managing director of the JAM MUSIC LAB - Conservatory for Jazz and Popular Music Vienna
  • Since 2011 organizer and leader of numerous Master Classes, Symposia, Lecture series and research projects as well as concerts 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, Basel University of Music, 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 "4tune media
  • Since 2002 Founder and 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, novel Gottwald, Thomas Gansch, Mario Gonzi, Georg Breinschmid, Bumi Fian, Herwig Gradischnig, Erika Pluhar, Boris Eder, Theater an der Wien, various radio stations like ORF, ARD, RTL

Voluntary Services (excerpt)

  • Culture for children / Sing out Vienna.
  • Member of the Board: Music in Progress: Society for applied research in Jazz and Popular Music
  • Member of the board: Kulturverein Gasometer
  • Specialist juror for "Live Music Now!" of the Yehudi Menuhin Organisation 
  • Advisory Board of the Falco Private Foundation

CD Publications (discography) - excerpt

  • 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 Eisernen Zeit with Christian Qualtinger, Preiser Records, 2003
  • Oh play dat thing! Salon Orchestra Alhambra, Edition Berliner Musenkinder, 2002
  • Caroline Vasicek and Boris Eder sing Hermann Leopoldi, ORF Edition, 2002
  • Die Drei von der Tankstelle, BMG, 1998
  • Eintänzer gesucht. Salon Orchestra Alhambra, ORF Edition, 1997

Publications (excerpt)

  • Line writing. University of Vienna, Department of Musicology 2007
  • How does music work? Laaber publishing house 2010 
  • Composition in Jazz, PhD work, University of Music Vienna, since 2010
  • Music education 2012, chances and challenges for the future - Austrian Music Atlas 2012

Teaching & Research

  • JAM MUSIC LAB Private University.
  • Music in Progress: International Center for Artistic Research in Jazz and Popular Music Vienna.
  • International Artistic Jazz Research Symposium
  • Since 2011: JAM MUSIC LAB Conservatory. Head of studies and teaching, Curriculum development; since 2013, strategic development of the "Artistic Research"
  • 2008-2011: University for Music "Franz Liszt" in Weimar. Head of the Composition, arrangement and music theory classes in the jazz department. Collaboration in curriculum development for the changeover to Bachelor and Master's degree programs.
  • Since 2007: University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna: PhD studies, Research activity in the field of "Jazz Research", title of the work "Composition in Jazz".
  • 1998-2008: Gustav Mahler Conservatory Vienna


Publications and Achievements