Photo © Stefan Wildhirt

Karl-Heinz Steffens



Music Director: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

The German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of great distinction in both operatic and symphonic worlds

Under his leadership as Music Director of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, the orchestra has been honoured with many accolades; they received the ECHO award for Best Orchestra in 2015 for their recording of works by B.A. Zimmermann, and in 2016/17 they were nominated prizewinners of the Best Concert Programme of the Season by the Deutsche Musikverlegerverband, the German Music Publishers’ Association. Undertaking substantial surveys of repertoire with the orchestra, Steffens is presently engaged in a Bruckner symphony cycle programmed across several seasons.

Steffens is in great demand as a guest conductor. Recent seasons have seen him work with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestras. He has worked frequently with the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Stuttgart, and this season returns to the Dresden and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras. Appearing in the three Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo with the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra, he also conducts the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and the Orchestre National de Lyon.

In the UK, Steffens returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra to continue his cycle of Brahms symphonies, conduct the Requiem and appear as soloist in the composer’s Clarinet Quintet, as well as leading the orchestra on a tour of Spain. He also makes his debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Equally at home in the opera house, Steffens recently gave the Norwegian premiere of Pelléas and Mélisande at the Norwegian National Opera where he has also conducted productions of Cosi fan Tutte, Fidelio and Calixto Bieito’s Tosca. He has appeared several times at the Teatro alla Scala leading performances of Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Götterdämmerung, is regularly invited to the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, and recently made his Zürich Opera debut with Cosi fan tutte.

Prior to his conducting career, Steffens was a highly respected solo clarinettist who also held several orchestral positions culminating in the successive posts of Principal Clarinet with the Bavarian Radio and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras.

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Karl-Heinz Steffens

Bernd Alois Zimmermann | Symphony in one movement | Berliner Philharmoniker

Karl-Heinz Steffens

Franz Schubert | Symphony No. 3 | Berliner Pfilharmoniker

Karl-Heinz Steffens

Filmportrait Karl-Heinz Steffens