Karl-Heinz Steffens

Karl-Heinz Steffens

Music Director: Den Norske Opera & Ballett
Music Director: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

Representation: General Management


Recently appointed Music Director of Den Norske Opera & Ballett in Oslo, 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

Recently appointed Music Director of Den Norske Opera & Ballett in Oslo, the German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of great distinction in both operatic and symphonic worlds.

Currently Music Director of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Ludwigshafen, under his leadership the orchestra has been honoured with many accolades such as the ECHO award for Best Orchestra in 2015 for their recording of works by B.A. Zimmermann; 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 his orchestra, he is presently engaged in a Bruckner symphony cycle programmed across several seasons.

Steffens is also in great demand as a guest conductor. In recent seasons he has worked with ensembles such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Stockholm Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestras.  He has additionally visited the City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, and Hallé Orchestras in the UK and the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Stuttgart. The 2015/16 season saw debuts in Torino and Lisbon as well as with the orchestra of Maggio Musicale in Florence and reinvitations to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and that of Monte Carlo, while this season he returns to the Berlin Radio Symphony and the Dresden, Helsinki and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestras.  He is a frequent visitor to the Philharmonia in London; over this season and the next, he conducts the cycle of Brahms Symphonies and the Requiem with them.

Equally at home in the opera house, Steffens assumed the musical leadership of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet at the beginning of the 2016/17 season, during which he conducts productions including Cosi fan Tutte, Fidelio, Pelléas et Mélisande and Tosca. He has appeared several times at the Teatro alla Scala leading performances of Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Götterdämmerung and is invited regularly to the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, most recently in 2015/16 with Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as making his Zurich Opera debut last season 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: Alice Boulton



Steffens in Leipzig

May 3rd, 2017

He conducts Bruckner’s Third Symphony with the MDR Sinfonieorchester

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Karl-Heinz Steffens joins Hazard Chase

January 19th, 2017

We welcome the distinguished German conductor for general management.

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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

Assistant Artist Manager

Alice Boulton (London)
020 7636 5450