Called the “king of his instrument” by the New York City–based journal The New Criterion, Stefan Dohr is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest horn players. In addition to being principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic, Mr. Dohr has collaborated as a soloist with the world’s leading conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Bernhard Haitink, Christian Thielemann, Daniel Harding, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Dima Slobodeniouk, Gustavo Gimeno, John Storgårds, and Marc Albrecht. He’s performed with ensembles such as the Berlin, Los Angeles, Osaka, Oslo, and Shanghai philharmonic orchestras; Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Spanish National Orchestra; Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; and Orchestre de chambre de Paris.
As well as performing the great classical and romantic works for horn, Mr. Dohr is continually expanding his instrument’s repertoire by commissioning and premiering new pieces by today’s foremost composers. In recent years, this has included works by Herbert Willi, Jorge E. López, Johannes Wallmann, Dai Bo, Toshio Hosokawa, and Wolfgang Rihm.
A proliﬁc chamber musician, Mr. Dohr is a permanent member of the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Society, and Berlin Philharmonic Octet. He’s appeared at the Lucerne, Salzburg, Rheingau, and Baden-Baden festivals, and he’s performed alongside prominent artists such as pianists Maurizio Pollini, Lars Vogt, Markus Becker, and Kirill Gerstein; tenors Ian Bostridge and Mark Padmore; and violinists Kolja Blacher and Guy Braunstein.
In the 2019–20 season, Mr. Dohr gave the world premiere of a new horn concerto by Hans Abrahamsen (winner of the 2016 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition) with the Berlin Philharmonic and Paavo Järvi. The concerto was co-commissioned by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Mr. Dohr will perform the concerto in the current season with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Mikko Franck, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Mr. Slobodeniouk, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Kristiina Poska, and the Seattle Symphony and Thomas Dausgaard. Further highlights include appearances with the Dresden Philharmonic and Cornelius Meister and the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and Aziz Shokakimov.
Stefan Dohr’s extensive discography includes The Yellow Shark with Frank Zappa and Ensemble Modern (Barking Pumpkin Records), Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns and Orchestra with Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie (RCA Red Label), Toshio Hosokawa’s horn concerto Moment of Blossoming with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Naxos), Franz and Richard Strauss: Music for Horn and Piano with Markus Becker (Campanella Musica), and Mozart: The Complete Horn Concertos with Camerata Schulz and Weber’s Concertino for Horn and Orchestra with the Munich Radio Orchestra (both on the Camerata label).
Stefan Dohr studied in Essen and Cologne. He began his professional career at the age of 19 as principal horn of the Frankfurt Opera, during which time he also frequently appeared as a guest artist with Ensemble Modern. He held the position of principal horn in the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Bayreuth and Lucerne Festival Orchestras before taking up his current post with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1993. A passionate teacher, Mr. Dohr is a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music and the Sibelius Academy and a permanent faculty member at the Herbert von Karajan Academy and the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.