Hubert von Goisern was born as Hubert Achleitner on 17th November 1952 in Bad Goisern in the Austrian Salzkammergut region. At the age of 5 he told his parents that he wanted to be a conductor. When he was 12 he joined the local brass band and was loaned his first instrument - a trumpet - and received free music lessons. At the age of 16 Hubert was playing first trumpet in the orchestra, but differences of opinion with the bandleader over the repertoire and Hubert's shoulder-length hair led to him being thrown out three years later. Now without the loaned trumpet, he next turned to the electric guitar, teaching himself to play. The formation of his first band followed, along with his first compositions. Taj Mahal, Alexis Korner, Jimmy Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, John McLaughlin and Miles Davis all provided inspiration for the young musician.
Reaching his twenties, Hubert emigrated to South Africa, where he lived for 4 years and worked as a chemistry laboratory assistant. The next stop was Canada, where he lived for 3 years and studied flamenco guitar in Toronto. On his way home to Austria, Hubert spent six months in the Philippines, where he learned their songs and how to play their instruments, such as the noseflute. In return he taught the Kalingas Austrian folk songs and yodels and was inspired to look for a new approach to his own native music on his return home.
In Vienna Hubert studied electroacoustic experimental music at the University of Music and made a living as a freelance musician and composer. In 1986 he took up the diatonic accordion for the first time.
His grandfather had given him the instrument many years before. For Hubert
however it was the epitome of the eternal past. In a schnapps-fuelled destructive
mania he grabbed the instrument and in trying to rip it apart discovered
a new way of playing. The same year Hubert met musician Wolfgang Staribacher and the pair performed together as the Alpinkatzen. While playing street music on Kärntnerstrasse in Vienna, Hubert was approached by a manager from CBS and offered a contract. In 1998 Wolfgang and Hubert released their first record: Alpine Lawine. The duo split in 1991 and Hubert looked for a new band.
Having followed his heart to Salzburg, it was there that Hubert found his new band: keyboarder Stefan Engel, drummer Wolfgang Maier and guitarist Reinhard Stranzinger. The Alpinkatzen were complete with the addition of Sabine Kapfinger, the 18 year old singer and yodeller from whom Hubert learned to yodel. In 1992 the album Aufgeigen statt niederschiassen was released. The songs Heast as nit, Weit, weit weg and in particular Koa Hiatamadl caught the attention of radio stations and suddenly Hubert and his Alpinkatzen were in the charts and on everyone's lips. In 1994 Omunduntn was released. The band toured extensively and even abroad there were standing ovations and encores at shows in Paris, Texas and New York. On 1st November, Hubert von Goisern and the Alpinkatzen played their last concert together.
The final concert in Munich's Circus Krone was filmed by Dana Vávrová and Joseph Vilsmaier and released as Wia die Zeit vergeht. A live double album of the same name was also released. Together with designer Klaus Höller Hubert produced a number of fashion collections. In 1995 he made his acting debut opposite Martina Gedeck in the TV film Hölleisengretl. The same year he also composed the soundtrack to Joseph Vilsmaier's major film Schlafes Bruder together with Norbert Schneider.
In March 1996 Hubert von Goisern presented an Austrian tour by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). His interest in the Tibetan situation was peaked and just two months later he travelled Tibet with exiled Tibetan Tseten Peldon Zöchbauer. They spent six weeks in the country and Hubert returned to Europe, shocked by the Tibetans' lack of freedom
and the arbitrariness of the Chinese occupation, with the wish to give musical expression
to what he had experienced. At an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama
he received the blessing and permission to bring this vision to life with
artists from the TIPA. The result was the album Inexil, released in 1998. In 1996 Hubert also travelled to East Africa at the invitation of primatologist Jane Goodall. Impressed by her character and work, he produced the documentary Von Goisern
nach Gombe the following year. The soundtrack to the film, Gombe, was released in 1998.
November 2000 saw the release of Hubert von Goisern's comeback album Fön. The following year he toured the German-speaking countries for the first time in seven years with a new band and in the spring a second album, a collection of Austrian folk songs, was released under the title Trad. Both works were awarded the Austrian Amadeus music prize.
At the invitation of the Goethe Institute, HvG gave a joint concert with Nubian superstar Mohamed Mounir to an audience of 15,000 in Assiut, Egypt in 2002. A three-week tour through Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Senegal followed with Hubert and his band giving both solo and joint concerts with local artists. The studio album Iwasig was released in September. In the winter Hubert recorded a second album of Austrian folk songs, Trad II, in an empty hotel on the Krippenstein mountain. The 2003 tour included stops in Sarajevo and Cape Verde, as well as a three week joint tour with Mohamed Mounir through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In 2004 Hubert's live programme consisted of purely folk songs. The finale of the tour took place in January 2005 at the Festival au Désert in Mali. The double album Ausland with a live CD and the documentary Warten auf Timbuktu were released in September. During his break from the stage, Hubert also produced a sound installation for the Dachstein ice caves and composed the new club anthem for the Red Bull Salzburg football team. In 2006 HvG published an open letter to head of the Austrian Freedom Party, HC Strache, requesting that he refrain from using his music at FPÖ events. In the summer the two-disc greatest hits album Derweil was released.
Hubert von Goisern's hitherto grandest project, the Linz Europe Tour, began in the summer of 2007 when he sailed with a barge converted to a stage ship from Linz to the Black Sea. Along the way he stopped in harbours to give joint concerts with local musicians to audiences on the river banks. The documentary series Goisern goes East chronicles the tour. The studio album S'Nix was released in spring 2008. The second leg of the Linz Europe Tour then proceeded from Linz to the North Sea, the series Goisern goes West documenting the journey and concerts with artists such as Xavier Naidoo and BAP. The live double album Haut und Haar was released in June 2009. The grand finale to the tour took place in Linz harbour in July with a three day festival reuniting many of the artists who had joined the tour. In 2010 the book Stromlinien - ein Logbuch was published, Hubert von Goisern's résumé of the last four years and his debut as an author.
In spring 2011 Hubert von Goisern set off on tour with a small band and a programme of unreleased material. The tour included a series of concerts in Austrian taverns, as well as a two-day festival with a number of guest artists at the Kaltenberg Arena. The album Entwederundoder was released in September and performed well in both the Austrian and German charts, being awarded double platinum in January 2012. The accompanying single Brenna Tuats Guat spent 5 weeks at the top of the Austrian single charts and was awarded platinum in January. In May HvG was awarded 2 Amadeus Austrian Music Awards in the categories "Album of the Year" und "Pop/Rock". In 2012 HvG and band played 101 concerts on the Brenna Tuats tour through Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In 2013 Hubert von Goisern received an honorary Amadeus Award for music that combines genres and brings people together and Im Jahr des Drachen, the live album of the tour was released in June.
Work on a new studio album and an autumn tour were not the only projects occupying HvG in 2014. The Alpenliebe exhibition, which opened on Großglockner in June, features a musical journey through the Alps by Wurlitzer, created by Hubert himself. A selection of this music was released on Steilklänge in October. The soundtrack to Joseph Vilsmaier's epic film Österreich: Oben und Unten, composed by Hubert von Goisern was released in the same month on the album Filmmusik. HvG himself hit the big screen in April 2015 with the release of the biographical documentary Brenna tuat's schon lang. The new studio album Federn, with tastes of country and bluegrass, was released in May 2015 and Hubert von Goisern and band set off on tour soon thereafter. The tour continued in 2016, starting in America with concerts in New York, Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas and was followed by the double album Federn Live 2014-2016 in April 2017.
In May 2018 the Hubert von Goisern Culture Award was announced, a development prize for artists totalling €15,000 each year. After a break from touring, HvG published his first novel in May 2020. Flüchtig (Fleeting) was published under his real name Hubert Achleitner and quickly became a bestseller. The new studio album Zeiten & Zeichen was released on 28th August 2020 and reached number 2 in the Austrian charts.
In September 2021, the new music show Steilklänge – Radio für Schwindelfreie produced and presented by the musician premiered on Freies Radio Salzkammergut. In 2022 Hubert von Goisern and his band took the Zeiten & Zeichen album on a long-awaited extensive tour. Derweil 2 – a collection of the best songs from 2007-2023 – was released in spring 2023, along with a live recording of the previous year's tour finale at the Festspielhaus in Salzburg: the double album Zeiten & Zeichen Live. From May Hubert von Goisern and his band will be back on the stages of Europe with the Neue Zeiten Alte Zeichen tour.