In 1975, he discovers the harp and develops his own style - tailoring the instrument according to his needs. Thus, he creates a new instrument for himself: the electro-acoustic harp. Vollenweider composes for film, theater and TV productions.
1979 marks his Swiss debut album "Eine Art Suite in XIII Teilen", which is considered as the cradle of the Vollenweider sound.
Two years later, in 1981, Andreas Vollenweider & Friends perform their first show, at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival. The following autumn sees the release of the album "Behind The Gardens, Behind The Wall, Under The Tree...". This proves to be a success with both critics and the audience, putting Vollenweider's distinct sound on the map.
In 1983, he emphasises his commitment to the environmental and peace movements with the single "Pace Verde" and its much-talked about video. In the same year, he receives an Edison Award in Amsterdam for his innovative sound.
A year later, his 1983 album "White Winds" breaks through in no less than three US-charts in the pop, classical and jazz categories. His first US tour is hugely successful.
He plays for sold-out venues on his 1985 US-tour: conquering New York's Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.
In 1987, Vollenweider's 1984 album "Down To The Moon" receives a Grammy Award - followed by tours in Canada, the US, thirteen European countries, Japan and Australia.
The dynamic album "Dancing With The Lion" is created in 1988 and 1989. For the first time, Vollenweider opens his project to numerous guests from a wide range of musical genres. He directs and produces two award-winning videos, for which he also contributes to the storyline, the choreography and the set and costume designs.
The double album "Trilogy" is released in 1990 - a selection of the first three albums "Behind The Gardens", "Caverna Magica", "White Winds" and previously unreleased material.
1991 follows with the album "Book of Roses", on which Vollenweider includes symphonic orchestral elements for the first time.
In 1992, he participates in a benefit show for Chernobyl's children on Moscow's Red Square. He receives the World Music Award in Monaco.
For the first time, Vollenweider produces an album with vocals: 1993 -1994 "Eolian Minstrels" with contributions from US singers Carly Simon and Eliza Gilkyson. The release is followed by worldwide tours.
In 1994, he performs at the Pavarotti and Friends event in Modena (Italy), where he plays duets with Luciano Pavarotti and rock balladeer Bryan Adams.
After doing tours and open air shows in Europe and the US, he plays for the first time in Latin America in 1995.
Until 1997, he plays a series of shows in remarkable locations: a tour of Polish castles, a show with Italian singer/songwriter Zucchero at the 2500 m high location (at -8 Celcius) of Brunico in the Southern Alps and in a giant volcanic cave at Lanzarote's Festival Musica Visual.
In 1998, he starts to record "Kryptos", a work for symphonic orchestras and guest virtuosos from all over the world. Parts of "Kryptos" are performed with the RAI orchestra at Italy's San Remo Festival. Vollenweider initiates a symphonic live project called "Wolkenstein".
In 1999, Vollenweider returns to free improvisation and intimate musical dialogues with his album COSMOPOLY. He invites friends from all over the globe to create world music in the true sense of the word: the American vocal acrobat Bobby McFerrin, the Brazilian cult poet and singer Milton Nascimento, the South-African ethno-jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, the 74-year old Armenian duduk legend Djivan Gasparyan and the Galician bag-pipe and whistle virtuoso Carlos Nuñez, the American songwriter-legend Carly Simon, the American blues-trombone-master Ray Anderson...
2000, travelling with the COSMOPOLY project through Europe. With the almost daily changing configuration of musicians, Vollenweider is following the open concept of the album. In New York they play two concerts for the release of COSMOPOLY in the US. This time, Andreas' friend Carly Simon joins the group, as well as Mind Jostyn, Carlos Nuñez, Djivan Gasparian, XiaoJing Wang and Walter Keiser.
2001, Andreas performs in Bali (Indonesia) at the international conference "song of convergence" with Balinese musicians.
September, Athens (Greece), at the old Olympic stadium; theaterpiece "SOCRATES - dawn of civilization", with the American actor Rod Steiger as Socrates. Vollenweider's large scale soundtrack, a dramatic blend of sound design, choirs and percussion.
2002, performs at the Budapest Spring Festival, Hungary.
2003, continues work with Hans Zimmer.
2004-2005 - AVAF continued to increase touring activities in Europe. Entire catalogue was re-mastered and re-released on new record labels worldwide (USA/Canada: www.kinkoumusic.com; international: www.edel.com). Compilation, "The Best of "Magic Harp" was released in the US and Canada and "The Storyteller" in Europe. A four-hour DVD is produced, release USA March 2006, International October 2006. Vollenweider played for HH, the Dalai Lama at his visit in Zurich.
Fall 2005; the album "VOX" is released, featuring his own voice.
2006 first quarter, touring in Europe, re-activating of the touring activities in the US since more than ten years, tour from coast to coast. Release of first DVD "The Magical Journeys", with almost four hours of live concerts, documentaries, interviews. During the summer; recording of the new album "Midnight Clear", collaborating with american singer-songwriter legend Carly Simon, fourth quarter; touring in Europe, release of Midnight Clear worldwide, as well as the DVD "Magical Journey" in the rest of the world.
2007, 3rd Nomination for a Grammy for the soundtrack album of the current DVD release "The Magical Journeys of Andreas Vollenweider". Concerts in Europe and the US. September: release of the double-CD "Andreas Vollenweider & Friends - 25 years live" (1982-2007).
2008, writing and recording of the album "AIR", guest-performance at the celebration concert for the 80th birthday of Armenian duduk legend Jivan Gasparyan