Cord Garben was born in 1943, Bad Homburg. He studied music education, piano and conducting at the State Academy of Music in Hanover. After working as coach at the Lower Saxony State Theatre he specialized in vocal accompaniment for such renowned artists as Edith Mathis, Brigitte Fassbaender, Anne-Sophie von Otter, Peter Schreier and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Kurt Moll. He has recorded the complete Song Works by Alexander Zemlinsky, Hector Berlioz, and Carl Loewe. He is the recipient of the German Record Prize as well as other major international awards including the 1989 Best Cultural Initiative prize given by the French Minister of Culture.
As a conductor, he has worked with the world’s renowned orchestras. Highlights include new productions in Copenhagen (Kurt Weill, one-act play) and Tokyo (Wagner's "Tannhäuser"). He has recorded extensivley with the NDR-Sinfonieorchester (Hamburg), the German Symphony Orchestra and the Hanover Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
For more than two decades, he was a record producer for Deutsche Grammophon and oversaw recordings by such artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Herbert von Karajan. As Head of Vocal Productions for the same company, he was the recipient of seven Grammy Awards, including four for the Met’s production of Wagner's "Ring" with James Levine conducting.
Cord Garben is President of the Johannes-Brahms-Gesellschaft (Hamburg) and Honorary Member of the International Carl Loewe Society.
Cord Garben is also an accomplished arranger for the music publisher SIKORSKI (Brahms - Cello Concerto amoungst others) and CF Peters (Concerto Arpeggione).