Photo: Susanne Diesner

Karl-Heinz Steffens

Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor: Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Representation: General Management

Now in his fourth season as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens is recognised as a conductor of great distinction in both the symphonic and operatic worlds.  He 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, Israel Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestras and with the Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Stuttgart. He is also a frequent visitor to the UK, making multiple appearances with the Philharmonia with whom he conducted a Brahms cycle in the Royal Festival Hall, as well as the BBC Scottish Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony and the Hallé Orchestra.

He recently relinquished his post as Music Director at the Prague State Opera, where productions included Der fliegende Holländer and Schreker’s Der ferne Klang, amongst others.  During his time there he initiated a four-year Musica non Grata series, dedicated to “unwelcome music” written by composers who fell victim to the despotism of the 20th-century totalitarian regimes; the series included a festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alexander Zemlinsky.

Elsewhere in the opera house, Steffens has appeared several times at the Teatro alla Scala leading performances of Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Götterdämmerung, and has been regularly invited to the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden. He led the Norwegian premiere of Pelléas et Mélisande at the Norwegian National Opera where he has also conducted Così fan tutte, Fidelio and Calixto Bieito’s production of Tosca.

In his previous position as Music Director of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, he and the orchestra were 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 were nominated prize-winners of the Best Concert Programme of the Season by the Deutsche Musikverlegerverband, the German Music Publishers’ Association.  Their recording of works by George Antheil, an addition to their extensive Modern Times series featuring an array of 20th century composers, was designated Concert Recording of the Year by the Opus Klassik awards.

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. Steffens has recently been awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz in Germany for his services to music.

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact James Brown Management to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Jessica Grime



Karl-Heinz Steffens receives glowing reviews after New Zealand debut

June 11th, 2024

This time last month, Karl-Heinz Steffens had just returned from his triumphant debut in New Zealand, after stepping in at short notice to conduct the Auckland Philharmonia in a programme of Bach and Bruckner. The performance on the 2nd of May at Auckland Town Hall opened with J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concertos No.5, BWV 1056 &Read more ›

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Karl-Heinz Steffens makes Southern Hemisphere debut with Auckland Philharmonia

April 24th, 2024

Following on from last week’s great news of his contract extension as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, German Conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens will now make his Southern Hemisphere debut with the Auckland Philharmonia. Following an invitation to step in at short notice, Steffens will now lead the Auckland Philharmonia in theirRead more ›

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Karl-Heinz Steffens renews as Principal Conductor of Norrköping Symphony Orchestra

April 18th, 2024

We are delighted to announce that Karl-Heinz Steffens’ contract as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra has been extended until the end of June 2027. Steffens started his position in Norrköping in August 2020 in the middle of the pandemic giving them a ‘special start’. Steffens comments that they have sinceRead more ›

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Karl-Heinz Steffens returns to Israeli Opera

March 17th, 2023

Karl-Heinz Steffens conducts a run of ten performances of Don Giovanni at the Israeli Opera, opening this Sunday 19 March. The Kasper Holten production stars German E. Alcantara and Oded Reich as the eponymous nobleman. In July, Steffens returns to Israeli Opera for more Mozart, conducting a unique staged version of the Mozart Requiem createdRead more ›

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Steffens performs Copland and Mahler in a double-role performance

December 8th, 2022

This Friday and Saturday (9 & 10 December) with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Steffens picks up his clarinet for Copland’s Clarinet Concerto before he draws breath to conduct Mahler 5. Prior to his conducting career, Steffens was a highly respected solo clarinettist who also held several orchestral positions culminating in the successive posts ofRead more ›

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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

James Brown
+44 (0) 1223 641750

Associate Artist Manager

Jessica Grime
+44 (0) 7599 107 892