Wolfgang Manz is prizewinner of many prestigious international piano competitions such as Leeds (1981) and Brussels (Concours Reine Elisabeth, 1983), with each time 2nd prizes, furthermore winner of the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – Prize Berlin 1980, 2nd prize at the National German Music Competition in Bonn 1982 and a jury discretionary award in the 1989 Van Cliburn International Pianoforte Competition in Texas/USA .
Wolfgang Manz has been influenced by two very different traditions, by the Czech pianist Drahomir Toman, a representative of the Eastern European school originating from Theodor Leschetizky, whereas he adapted elements of the German tradition going back to Hugo Steuer and Robert Teichmüller, at the renowned University of Music at Hanover in the class of Prof. Karlheinz Kämmerling.
Wolfgang Manz has been much in demand as soloist with orchestras, in solo recitals and chamber music. His repertoire includes more than 50 piano concertos with orchestra and an extensive solo and chamber music programme ranging from Bach to Contemporary Music. In the 80-ies he performed with well-known orchestras and conductors, particularly with British orchestras as the English Chamber, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestra (appearance at the London “Prom” concerts 1984 with Brahms 1st piano concerto).
Manz was soloist with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the „Radiophilharmonie“ Hanover, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Düsseldorf Symphony and the Munich Chamber Orchestra, over the last 5 years with German orchestras in Nuremberg, Rostock, Göttingen, Halle, Baden-Baden and Bielefeld. In 2005 he was soloist at the renowned „Festival d´Echternach“ in Luxemburg with Mendelssohn`s first piano concerto.
Recital tours took him to cultural centres such as Cologne (Philharmonie), Berlin (Philharmonie), Hamburg (Laeiz-Hall), Munich (Herkulessaal), Salzburg (Festspielhaus), Frankfurt (Alte Oper), Brussels (Palais des Beaux-Arts), London (South Bank), Tokyo (Suntory Hall), Moscow (Conservatory), Santiago de Chile (Teatro municipal) and Amsterdam (Concertgebouw).
A couple of CD productions with Wolfgang Manz are available on the market : Arte Nova (Brahms piano concertos), Chandos Records (Dohnanyi piano quintet with the Gabrieli string quartet) and Telos Records (Brahms late piano pieces and concertos for piano and orchestra, solo recital with Schumann, Liszt, Debussy),
Thorofon (pieces by Schubert, Liszt. Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninov s piano duet for 4 hands and 2 pianos) and Telos (Beethoven-Liszt 9th symphony and Russian Music for 2 pianos). In 2011 Manz recorded a Liszt recital programme for Telos records.
Together with his compatriote Rolf Plagge – also prizewinner at the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels, and nowadays professor at the Mozarteum Salzburg – Wolfgang Manz founded a piano duet (Duo Reine Elisabeth) in 1988 which has performed frequently in Europe as well as in South America (Chile) and Central America (Mexico), and produced a number of CD recordings for TELOS records.
Apart from his career as soloist Wolfgang Manz has gained much recognition as pedagogue. He regularly gives masterclasses in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy (Conservatorio di Trento, PianoLab 2015,2016) and South Corea. From 1994-1998 Manz held a teaching position at the University of Music at Karlsruhe, substituting Prof. Naoyuki Taneda. In 2000 Manz was guest professor at the Ferris – University in Yokohama / Japan. In the same year he was appointed ordinary professor for piano at the University of Music Nürnberg, where he was also vice president from 2015-2017. From 2011 to 2014 Manz was guest visiting professor at the Leeds College of Music in Britain.
Wolfgang Manz is recently sought after as jury member in national and international piano competitions, for example at the German National Music Competition („Deutscher Musikwettbewerb), at the Walter Gieseking piano competition in Saarbrücken (2007), at the International Competition for Young Pianists Ettlingen (2006 – 2018), at the Rachmaninow competitions in Moscow and Darmstadt (2008), at the Prague Spring Competition and at the Georges Enescu – Competition in Bucarest (2009-2016).
Many of his students have already won major prizes at international piano competitions such as Leeds, Hongkong (Sunghoon Kim) , Rhodes International Competition (Soyeon Kim) , “Tomassoni”/ Cologne (Jin Sang Lee) , Luis Sigall / Chile (Jung Eun Kim) , Wiesbaden, Porto (Konstantin Semilakovs) , Vienna Beethoven Competition and Cleveland 2011 (Alexander Schimpf) .
Some of his former students became professors at music universities in Hanover, Vienna, Seoul/Corea and York/GB.