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The Vice Rector spins the discs

Gunther Neuhaus - aka DJ Gunther - will keep the beat at the staff council summer festival on 19 July 2018

Freiburg, Jul 12, 2018

The Vice Rector spins the discs

Foto: wideonet/Fotolia

He’s already well known to students for his appearances at Faculty of Biology parties – now Vice Rector Professor Dr. Gunther Neuhaus will be back as DJ Gunther at the staff council summer festival and he’ll get University of Freiburg employees up and dancing. He let Nicolas Scherger in on the secret of how he’s going to do it.

“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson and “Walk like an Egyptian” by the Bangles get the people dancing. Photo: wideonet/Fotolia

Professor Neuhaus, what makes a good DJ set?

Gunther Neuhaus: A DJ set is a success when people get up and dance - that means it’s all about the order of the songs. You have to divide up the evening. First there are the songs to warm up, then a main part, and then at the end, something to cool everyone down.

Which songs get people dancing?

That depends on whether there’s a theme - for instance, the music of a certain decade. But there are a few classics you just can’t leave out - hits everyone knows and can sing to: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, “Walk like an Egyptian” by the Bangles, “Tainted Love”…

… which version – Gloria Jones, Soft Cell or Marilyn Manson?

I don’t like playing remixes - the originals are good enough. But it always depends on the people, and how they dance. I also like to put on new stuff, like Jan Delay or Culcha Candela. And the Fantastische Vier are always popular, too.

Is there a motto for the summer festival?

So far I’ve only heard that a lot of people want to hear music from the 1980s and 90s. I’ll probably go with that, and put in a few modern numbers like “Hangover” by Taio Cruz. And, once people are on the dance floor, you can play something a bit more exotic: Jimi Henrix, Prince – that works then.

An award from students: For his performances at faculty parties, DJ Gunther received the Golden Record from the Biology Faculty student council. Photo: Sandra Meyndt

And will there be anything from your home country - Austria?

Of course. “Der Kommissar” by Falco is a classic, I have to play that. And another thing: Austro-Pop arose from the cabaret, art, and theater scene – from DÖF or Deutsch-Österreichisches Feingefühl, via Arik Brauer and Ludwig Hirsch, to the Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung. It is quite interesting when you look at it.

Will your playlist at the summer festival take a different approach from that of a faculty party?

No, not at all. It doesn’t matter how old the people are - you simply have to have a feel for what will get them up and dancing. And there’s one mistake you must not make: Never play the music you play at home.

What would that be in your case?

Firstly - a lot of classical, from Johann Sebastian Bach to Henryk Górecki. Secondly - some pretty acquired-taste rock: Heavy guitar sound by Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Dream Theater. Thirdly - electronic music of the Berlin School, like Tangerine Dream. I also produce my own electronic music, but I rarely have enough time for it.

Do you play any instruments?

I still play keyboard, I need that for my electronic music. For a long time I was a trombonist in bands and an orchestra. When I came to Freiburg I started playing tenor saxophone, but I don’t get to that at all these days. And I always wanted to learn a proper stringed instrument and bought myself a bass guitar. A week later the Rector asked me if I would like to join the Rectorate. I sometimes pick up my bass guitar, but you couldn’t call it playing.

Music seems to be very important to you.

Certainly, it always was - to me, it’s a wonderful escape, especially classical music. I particularly like to listen to different productions of a work, because I’m fascinated by the different ways in which directors and singers interpret it.


Staff council summer festival

The staff council summer festival is on 19 June 2018, from 4pm to 10pm at the Ganter Biergarten and in the Wodanhalle. All University of Freiburg employees are invited. The music program is by the Uni BRASS Band Freiburg, Contrappunto bestiale, Acoustic Rockz, Die Schnittchen and DJ Gunther. There are also games arranged by Aktiv-Bike as well as bicycle safety training and baseball for the children.

More information


Video by about DJ Gunther (2012) (only German)