Dominik  Wachtel

Pianist - Composer - Educator

About Dominik

Early Years

Born in Austria in 1983 Dominik began his musical studies at the age of five. Growing up in Libya, he took percussion lessons from an American teacher and by age ten his family relocated back to Austria where he began his classical piano education. Soon after, professor Thomas Kreuzberger, from the prestigious Viennese Conservatory and University Of Performing Arts Vienna, heard him play and offered Dominik a spot in his studio. Dominik performed several times in Prima La Musica, a world renown competition for young musicians, winning first and second prizes in piano solo and chamber music. During this time Dominik had the opportunity to play with ensembles that performed at the esteemed Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. He has also played solo concerts in Libya, Pakistan, Japan, Hungary, and in the United States.


Dominik holds two bachelor’s degrees from the Vienna Conservatory in both classical and jazz piano. Andy Middleton, a highly regarded saxophonist, invited Dominik to lead jam sessions at the world renown jazz festival, called Jazzinty in Slovenia. He had the opportunity to perform nightly with his trio and debut his original works. In 2012 Dominik was chosen to play with the Vienna Military Brass Band. They performed at many official ceremonies and balls, including the birthday celebration for the former president of Austria, Heinz Fischer. 

Dominik received a scholarship from the University of North Texas to pursue his masters degree in jazz. He had a strong presence in the Denton music scene and in the Dallas Forth-Worth area leading his own groups and collaborating with his peers. He gained experience playing in big bands and recorded at the Pan Handle House his own original music. Throughout his education he performed in master classes with Danilo Perez, Harold Mabern, Adam Nussbaum, among others. His main mentors at UNT were Stefan Karlsson, Pat Coil and Dan Haerle.

Time in Austin

Since living in Austin, Dominik has performed with Hailey Tuck, a SONY recording artist, at the South by Southwest festival 2018, played at the infamous Townsend with award winning band A Is Red, accompanied the American Ballet Theater for their summer intensive program at University of Texas at Austin, and performed at Jazz TX in San Antonio. 


Teaching experience

Dominik is a passionate educator, taught at the New School of Music and Clavier Werke in Austin. He also taught for the Texas Jazz and Blues Workshop in Austin.

Dominik has moved back to Austria, currently teaching at Tonart Music School in Vorarlberg.

His goal as a teacher is to instill in his students a practice of discipline that they can carry with them into all facets of their lives.


If life imitates art, then I feel strongly that for a life well lived, travel, adventure, surprise and mystery are the necessary tools. I want to express through music my lived experience, and the more I live, the better the music.”