On 14.10.43, I was borne by Friedrich and Helene Pauer in Vienna. The first impressions of my environment were all coloured by renewal and reconstruction.
My father knew some lively potpourris that he could perform excellently on the mandolin.
As my father’s sister got a Bösendorfer grand piano, she gave us her upright piano. The new site of the "upright" was now two storeys above my aunt and my grandmother in the one-room-and-kitchen apartment of my parents. Some of my relatives played their individual repertoire thereupon on diverse occasions. Soon - with five years of age - I received my first piano-lessons. And the four-hand duets with my two years older sister soon became a further point on the program of our family festive occasions.
The first Boogies and standards I heard from my cousin, he played by ear. Soon I could also play some of that stuff myself. In the radio I heard enthusiastically the "Joe Zawinul Trio" and the "Austrian Allstars".
With fourteen years of age I parted from my piano teacher who had taught me so much. From now on I spent a lot of time at the piano and also sought contacts in the Vienna jazz scene.
Soon I had an engagement with a fixed monthly salary at the Viennese meeting-place for artists and jazz bar "Adebar". I was then seventeen years old. Simultaneously I was for some time enrolled in a formal school-institution. After an "Audition" for Fatty George, he took me into his band. In his jazz bar "Fatty's Saloon", I met top musicians like Friedrich Gulda and Hans Kollar with whom I later on would perform with.
Fatty himself was an open-minded musician and the most different styles were represented in his bar. There were Jam-sessions with musicians like Elvin Jones, Ray Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and many others, whom Fatty all excellently served. Unfortunately, his liberality had negative effects on the business and also there was not much interest in jazz music in the public mind of Vienna at the time.
The percussionist Joe Nay brought me in 1964 to Berlin where I remained until 1968. There I played for the first time with Art Farmer – he had brand-new pieces from Carla Bley in his repertoire. Leo Wright and Carmell Jones, both resident in Berlin, brought me into their band. My musical field of work had meanwhile become very diverse: in addition to my engagements in the Berlin jazz clubs, I began freelance activities for the radio as arranger and composer, wrote stage-music and became co-founder of the Free-jazz-ensemble "The Citizens". At the music competition "International Competition for Modern Jazz" of Vienna, I won, then twenty-three year old, first prize as the best jazz pianist. At this occasion, I met for the first time Joe Zawinul, who to my great joy played jazz a whole afternoon on the Bösendorfer for my aunt - among other things unpublished compositions of his own
In 1968 I returned to my home town Vienna where I stayed until 1982. I was during this time pianist, composer and arranger for the ORF Bigband and the Erich Kleinschuster Sextett. I founded the Fritz Pauer trio, wrote ballet music for Jeunesseballett Vienna, and was piano teacher on the jazz department of the conservatory of the city Vienna. Some of my pupils from those days are today persons of repute in the jazz scene.
For the celebration of the fifty year anniversary of the ORF, I composed the "ORF concerto". None less than composer Ernst Krenek congratulated me after its successful performance.
After the dissolution of the ORF Big-band, I was from 1982 until 1984 director of the Swiss Jazz-school in Bern. I then undertook trips into the Amazons of Peru and moved into Burgenland/Austria - my present residence. After some time as a freelance musician (until 1998) I am today teacher at the jazz department of the Music University of Graz.
In the legendary Art Farmer Quintet I participated for almost 15 years. It was a splendid ensembl!
For my 60th birthday, on the occasion of a concert in the concert hall of Vienna, I received the golden merit sign of the Republic of Austria. In the same year - 2003 - I was nominated for the Hans Koller prize.
With the ensembles "APOLLON STRINGQUARTET,"FRITZ PAUER TRIO", "POLYPHONE-X-" and the text-poetess and singer LAURIE ANTONIOLI I have found equivalent partners with whom I can realize my musical ideas in the best possible way.
Since the beginning of 2004 I also give SOLO RECITALS.
To make music gives me great joy.
My aim: To share this joy with you!"
Fritz Pauer, August 2004
Fritz Pauer zählt fraglos zu den wichtigsten europäischen Jazzpianisten und Komponisten. Geboren am 14. Oktober 1943 in Wien begann er mit siebzehn Jahren im Wiener Club "Fatty's Saloon" seine Karriere mit Fatty George, Hans Koller und Friedrich Gulda. 1964 wurde er Hauspianist in der Berliner "Jazz Galerie", wo er mit sämtlichen in Europa lebenden amerikanischen Jazzgrössen zusammen arbeitete. Sein Werdegang führte ihn jedoch wieder zurück in seine Heimatstadt Wien um Mitglied in der ORF Big Band zu werden. Von 1982 bis 1984 war Fritz Pauer Direktor der Swiss Jazz School in Bern und arbeitete danach als Freelance Musiker, mit seinem Trio, dem Art Farmer Quintet und dem Klaus Weiss Quintet mit Roman Schwaller (Album "Salt Peanuts" auf Jeton, 1982). Zu seinem 60. Geburtstag wurde ihm im Wiener Konzerthaus das "Goldene Verdienstzeichen der Republik Österreich" verliehen. Im April 1978 trat Fritz Pauer zusammen mit Isla Eckinger im Frauenfelder Rathaussaal auf, das erste Jazzkonzert in diesen damals für Jazz heiligen Hallen! Organisator des Konzertes war übrigens der jetzige Präsident des Fördervereins generations, Röbi Fürer.