He began his studies at the Vienna Music Conservatory in 1955. He was named first violin of the Wiener Symphoniker at the age of 18, and at 21 Herbert von Karajan chose him as first violin of the Wiener Philharmoniker. In 1969 he won the “Mozart Interpretation” prize.
Since 1963 Günter Pichler has taught at Vienna’s Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, and since 1993 he has been a guest professor in Köln. In 2007 he was named head of the String Department at the International Chamber Music Institute (Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia) of Madrid. In addition, during the summer he regularly holds master classes at prestigious academies.
Among his students are the most important and established European chamber music ensembles, such as the Artemis, Belcea, Casals, and Fauré Quartets, the Trio con Brio, the Atos, Eggner, and Morgenstern Trios, etc.
In 1970 he founded the Alban Berg Quartet, of which he has since always been the director.
In parallel with his activity in the quartet, Günter Pichler has also undertaken the career of orchestra conductor and conducted a number of European and Japanese orchestras in concerts and tours.
He is presently the Artistic Consultant of the Kanazawa Orchestra Ensemble.
He has been teaching at the Accademia Chigiana since 2005.