Karl Leister

Biography

Born: June 15, 1937; Wilhelmshaven  
Karl Leister is one of the leading clarinetists of his generation, spreading his career across several fronts as a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for more than three decades; as a soloist strongly identified with Mozart, Weber, Spohr, and countless other composers; and as a chamber player who performed with many of the leading pianists, string players, and singers on the international scene. Leister has made more than 100 recordings Read more for a variety of labels, including Teldec, Sony Classical, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, BIS, Camerata, Orfeo, and others. He has also served as a teacher and founded the chamber ensemble Berlin Soloists.

Leister was born in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on June 15, 1937. His first musical instruction came from his father, also a clarinetist, who was a member of the RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. Young Karl studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin from 1953-1956. From 1957-1959 he served as clarinetist in the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin. In 1959 Leister became a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where he would remain, mostly as the principal clarinetist, until 1993. It is acknowledged that conductor Herbert von Karajan had exerted considerable influence on Leister's style and career.

Early on in his Berlin years Leister branched out into solo appearances and chamber music and also made a number of recordings. In 1986 he founded the chamber ensemble Berlin Soloists, a group whose members came from the Berlin Philharmonic and Berlin Radio Symphony orchestras, as well as from the faculties at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg and the Hochschule für Musik Köln.

Throughout the 1980s and '90s Leister turned out numerous recordings for many labels in varied repertory. 1993 saw the Teldec release of Prokofiev's Overture on Hebrew Themes and Quintet and the Hindemith Octet performed by the Berlin Soloists, while the following year brought Mozart nocturnes and divertimenti, with Fischer-Dieskau and other artists on Orfeo. These were but two in a continuous flow of recordings with various artists, orchestras, and chamber ensembles.

Leister accepted a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin in 1994 and departed that post in 2002. He remained active in the new century as a soloist and chamber musician. Among his later recordings is the the 2002 Camerata CD entitled Karl Leister Plays Romantic Clarinet Sonatas, which includes works by Mendelssohn, Reger, Rossini, Nielsen, and Danzi. Read less
Browse 26-50 of 66 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Beethoven: Septet;  Mozart: Horn Quintet / Berlin Soloists
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 389080 Release Date: 04/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jörg Baumann,  Radovan Vlatkovic,  Klaus Stoll,  Rainer Moog  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Soloists
    CD: $8.99
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  • 27.
    The Most Relaxing Mozart Album In The World... Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 53374 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Christian Tetzlaff,  Günter Pichler,  Valentin Erben,  Thomas Kakuska  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Tetzlaff,  Jeffrey Tate,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Alban Berg String Quartet  ... 
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 28.
    Ich War Ein Berliner / James Galway, Berlin PO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4776077 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Danzi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Anton Reicha,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Lothar Koch,  Gerd Seifert,  Günter Piesk  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Winds,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Reger: String Quartets, Clarinet Quintet / Leister, Drolc Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775518 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Max Reger
    Performer:  Karl Leister
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drolc String Quartet
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    On sale! $33.98
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  • 30.
    Mozart: Clarinet Chamber Music / Karl Leister
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 28022 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Luigi Magistrelli,  Laura Magistrelli,  Carlo Dell'acqua  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andriani String Quartet members,  Andriani String Quartet
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 31.
    Brahms: Complete String Quartets, Etc / Amadeus Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000120602 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Cecil Aronowitz,  William Pleeth,  Karl Leister,  Georg Donderer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 32.
    Mozart: Sinfonie Concertanti K 297b & K 364 / Bohm, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474424 Release Date: 03/10/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Giusto Cappone,  Karl Leister,  Günter Piesk  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 33.
    Meditations For All Seasons - Music For Spring, Summer, Etc
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1737 Release Date: 03/06/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Jacques Offenbach,  Michael Tippett,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Judith Hall,  Elinor Bennett,  John Anderson,  Martin Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski,  Michael Tippett,  Simon Wright,  Jaime Laredo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon,  English Northern Philharmonia,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 34.
    Meditations For Autumn - Brahms, Barber, Chopin, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7069 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gerald Finzi,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Samuel Barber,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Partington,  Robert Johnston,  Graham Ashton,  Colin Lawson  ... 
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra,  English Symphony Orchestra,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 35.
    Adagios For After Hours - The Relaxing Way To End Your Day
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 468066 Release Date: 10/10/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Erik Satie,  Pietro Mascagni,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Mitsuko Uchida,  Claudio Arrau,  Karl Leister  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Paray,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Ernest Ansermet,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Suisse Romande Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 36.
    Reger: String Quartet, Etc / Leister, Vogler Quartett Berlin
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5644 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Reger
    Performer:  Stephan Forck,  Karl Leister,  Frank Reinecke,  Tim Vogler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vogler String Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 37.
    Beethoven: Chamber Music for Winds
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439852 Release Date: 02/20/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Günter Piesk,  Jörg Demus,  Gerd Seifert,  Karl Leister  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Winds,  Berlin Philharmonic Octet members,  Drolc String Quartet
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    CD: $34.99
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  • 38.
    Brahms: Trio, Sonatas / Leister, Bognar, Boettcher
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5600 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Ferenc Bognár,  Wolfgang Boettcher
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  • 39.
    Poulenc: Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Le Bal Masque / Ozawa, Bonney
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456504 Release Date: 02/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Fumiaki Miyamoto,  Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi,  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Karl Leister  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Tokyo Opera Singers
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  • 40.
    Mozart For Morning Meditation
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462710 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Sabine Meyer,  Mitsuko Uchida,  Max Lesueur,  Eva Czako  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jeffrey Tate,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields members,  Hagen String Quartet,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 41.
    20th Century Wind Music / Wien-Berlin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 48052 Release Date: 02/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Samuel Barber,  Luciano Berio,  Helmut Eder  ... 
    Performer:  Günter Högner,  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Milan Turkovic,  Karl Leister  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    CD: $17.99
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  • 42.
    Concert A La Carte / Vienna Wind Quintet
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 42175 Release Date: 02/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Schubert,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Wolfgang Schulz,  Günter Högner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 43.
    Lachner, Rheinberger: Nonets / Ensemble Wien-berlin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58971 Release Date: 02/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lachner,  Joseph Rheinberger
    Performer:  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Wolfgang Schulz,  Karl Leister,  Milan Turkovic  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin members
    CD: $17.99
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  • 44.
    Nielsen, Taffanel: Wind Quintets / Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 45996 Release Date: 02/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Claude Paul Taffanel
    Performer:  Günter Högner,  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Milan Turkovic,  Wolfgang Schulz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    CD: $17.99
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  • 45.
    Opera Fantasies / Ensemble Wien Berlin, Stefan Vladar
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52564 Release Date: 02/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernande Le Borne,  Antonio Pasculli,  Roland Horvath,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Wolfgang Schulz,  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Günter Högner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 46.
    Rossini: Six Wind Quartets / Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52524 Release Date: 02/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Günter Högner,  Milan Turkovic,  Karl Leister,  Wolfgang Schulz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
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  • 47.
    Mozart: Oboe Quartet, Etc / Koch, Seifert, Leister, Brandis
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5487 Release Date: 02/17/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Gerd Seifert,  Lothar Koch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandis String Quartet,  Brandis String Quartet members
    CD: $18.99
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  • 48.
    Weber: Clarinet & Bassoon Concertos, Etc / Leister, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453990 Release Date: 09/08/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Alfred Prinz,  Milan Turkovic,  Karl Leister
    Conductor:  Hanns-Martin Schneidt,  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Ensemble,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Brahms: String Quintet, Clarinet Quintet / Brandis Quartett
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5515 Release Date: 08/26/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Brett Dean
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandis String Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 50.
    Nightmoods - Intimate Conversations
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453905 Release Date: 08/12/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Ottomar Borwitzky,  Wolfram Christ,  Thomas Brandis,  Tamás Vásáry  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Hagen String Quartet,  LaSalle String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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