The well-known German lutenist, Walter Gerwig, was among the pioneers in the revival of early music and historical performance practice (HIP). He was also known as a choir director who earned reputation for his ability to bring out the various colours of the human voice in the choir. This quality coupled with his own enthusiasm gave his interpretations of early masterpieces unusually strong expression and vitality.
Through his international concerts Walter Gerwig contributed significantly to the Renaissance of the lute and the lute repertoire in Europe and America, and to the early music movement in general. In courses and lectures he also gave suggestions for a sustained renewal of house music.
Walter Gerwig began the folk music and the lute playing movements, and together with Fritz Jöde was one of the co-founders of the first folk music school in Berlin, the Berliner Volksmusikschule. From 1928 he served as a teacher for lute at the Berlin's Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik. During the Hitler government he did not join the Nazi Party and avoided appearing in their events. From 1952 he headed the class of his instrument at the State Academy of Music in Cologne.
Walter Gerwig made numerous recordings. For the recording of J.S. Bach's Suite in G minor (BWV 995), he received the prize of the Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 1965, a year before his death.
Walter Gerwig's lute playing was much in demand not only for musical productions, but also as an accompaniment for readings. So he played for Mathias Wiemans poetry readings at Mathias Wiemans small nightclub, and also accompanied recitations by Gert Westphal and Karl Heinrich Waggerl with his improvisations.
In addition, Walter Gerwig also composed several works for stringed instruments.