STEFAN DOHR – FRENCH HORN

In by Alison Stewart

Proclaimed by the New York Chronicle as the “king of his instrument”, Stefan Dohr’s perfect technique, pure intonation and beautifully articulated artistry are steadily making him a talking point internationally.

Stefan Dohr studied in Essen and Cologne and started his professional career at the age of 19 as principal horn of the Frankfurt Opera. He occupied the same position with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice and the Deutschen-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. Stefan Dohr has been the principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic since 1993.

As a soloist Stefan Dohr has worked with many celebrated conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Bernhard Haitink, Christian Thielemann, Ingo Metzmacher and Daniel Harding as well as Claudio Abbado, who also invited him to appear as principal horn with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. His engagements as a sought after chamber musician include performances with his Philharmonic colleagues in various ensembles as well as with partners such as Maurizio Pollini, Lars Vogt, Kolja Blacher and Ian Bostridge. He is also a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet as well as the Ensemble Wien-Berlin. Stefan Dohr appears regularly in international chamber music festivals and is invited to give master classes throughout the world.

As well as the solo-repertoire of the classic and romantic period such as the horn concertos of Mozart, Haydn and Strauss, Stefan Dohr’s interest also lies in works by contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Knussen and Kirchner. He has had a number of pieces composed for him, such as the Montafon concerto by Herbert Willi which he premiered in 2008, and a horn concerto by Johannes Wallmann, premiered in 2010. The Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa created Moment of Blossoming for French horn and orchestra for him and in February 2011, Stefan Dohr very successfully performed its world premiere with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle. Another concert, dedicated to Stefan Dohr by German composer Wolfgang Rihm, had its world premiere at the Lucerne Festival 2014. In December 2015 Stefan Dohr performed the world premiere of Chinese composer Dai Bo’s horn concerto Voyski’s Horn Concerto in Warsaw. More commissioned pieces are already in planning stage.

Among his recordings are the CDs “Opera!” and “FOUR CORNERS!” which Stefan Dohr has recorded with his colleagues from the Berlin Philharmonic horn section as well as a solo recording, complete with all of Mozart’s horn concertos and which includes the arrangements and completions by Franz Xaver Süßmayer, Robert D. Levin and Nino Rota for Mozart’s Unfinished K 412/514 (386b). In 2014 a recording of Schumann’s Konzertstueck as well as one with Toshio Hosokawa’s Moment of Blossoming have been released.

In 2015 Stefan Dohr was appointed Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music in London, since 2016 he is also visiting professor at Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy.