Hartwig was born and raised in Germany, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Tübingen, Germany with a dissertation about piano music by Johann Sebastian Bach. He moved to Seattle 1992 and has made it his home ever since.
A pillar of his professional life here is church music, currently being organist/pianist at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church. Hartwig has a strong background as opera conductor and coach, having worked in this capacity in Germany, Italy, Brazil, and being involved in many opera projects and activities in the Seattle area.
Coming from the European classical background, he has ventured into the American music, especially the Spiritual Songs of the Afro-Americans. He is also the director of the Jubilee Singers, a chorus devoted to the tradition of acapella singing of the Spirituals.
As a pianist, Hartwig made his first steps into the limelight as a prizewinner of the Steinway Competition in Hamburg, Germany. He enjoys exploring the repertoire of the usual as well as the unusual kind as a solo pianist, vocal accompanist, and chamber musician.