Karl-Heinz Steffens

Karl-Heinz Steffens

Music Director: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
Representation: General Management

Photo: Michael Bode


The German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of great distinction in both operatic and symphonic worlds. As well as his guest engagements with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestras, Steffens takes particular pleasure in undertaking substantial surveys of repertoire, for example an ongoing Bruckner symphony cycle with his own orchestra, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Ludwigshafen, and a Brahms symphony cycle with the Philharmonia in London. He is also regularly invited to opera houses including the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Teatro alla Scala.


Full Biography

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.

Artist Website: www.karlheinzsteffens.com

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.
Email: Ed Williams



Steffens’ Israel Philharmonic Debut

July 10th, 2018

Eleven performances throughout July

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Steffens celebrates Bernstein in Bilbao

June 20th, 2018

Steffens returns to Spain to perform at the Teatro Arriaga Antzokia

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Steffens: From Stockholm to Lyon

April 17th, 2018

Conducts the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic & Orchestre National de Lyon.

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Steffens and the Philharmonia

March 9th, 2018

Steffens performs with the orchestra in London and across Spain

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Steffens‘ Scottish Debut

February 7th, 2018

Karl-Heinz Steffens conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

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Discography & Repertoire

Robert Fuchs: Symphonies 1 & 2

Steffens conducts the WDR Symphonieorchester Köln in Robert Fuchs’ first two symphonies.

CPO 2016


Steffens and the Bamberger Symphoniker in Overtures by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Cherubini, Gluck, Mozart & Maria von Weber.

TUDOR 2016

Henri Dutilleux: Symphony No. 1 – Deux sonnets de Jean Cassou – Métaboles

Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz directed by Karl-Heinz Steffens with Paul Armin Edelmann (baritone).


Artist Manager

Roderick Thomson (London)
020 7636 5451

Imogen Morris (London)
020 7636 5448

Assistant Artist Manager

Ed Williams (London)
020 7636 5450