Rampe’s repertoire on period keyboard instruments ranges from the Middle Ages to César Franck and Johannes Brahms. His list of recordings includes more than 50 CDs, all of which were made exclusively for EMI and Virgin since 1987 and also for Musikproduktion Dabringhaus & Grimm (MDG) since 2000. Many of them have received international awards. Among them are a large number of clavier and organ works and keyboard concertos by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart as well as music from the seventeenth century. These pieces, usually performed on original instruments dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, form the core of Rampe’s repertoire.
Peter Cossé referred to Rampe’s recording début, with Mozart’s clavier sonatas, as “sensational” and “the utmost in technique and artistry.” To Heinz-Josef Herbort, Rampe is “a performer who forces one to listen intently” (Die Zeit, 1990). His interpretations are rooted in a thorough study of compositional technique, performance practice, and the composers’ surroundings. His constant quest for an understanding of both composer and work has led to new insights and opened up new avenues of expression. The certificate of the German Record Critics Award maintains that “Siegbert Rampe has emerged as a musician of remarkably incisive and independently-minded powers of expression. The result is music-making of a linearity, presence, and intensity that literally beggars comparison” (Ingo Harden, 1996).
Rampe has also conveyed his discoveries in several books (e.g. on Bach and Mozart), a great many journal articles, and a new generation of complete editions of early music (Bach, Ebner, Froberger, Krieger, Lübeck, Muffat, Rameau, Sweelinck, and Weckmann). These editions meet the demands of performers and scholars alike and have been accorded worldwide recognition. Most of his writings and editions have been published by the House of Bärenreiter.
In 1988, Rampe founded Nova Stravaganza, an ensemble specializing in performances on period instruments. Since then, he has led this group as an orchestra and expanded it to include a clavier trio. From 1998 to 2002 he was also artistic director of the Bach Festival in Cöthen Castle.
Since 1996, Rampe has been a professor of early music and historical keyboard instruments at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen (1997–2004), at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg (2000–2003) and at the Arizona State University in Tempe/Phoenix, USA (since 2005). Today he lives in Cologne.