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 51-66 of 66 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Schumann, Hindemith, Lutoslawski / Leister, Bognár
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 20044 Release Date: 05/13/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Paul Hindemith,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Ferenc Bognár
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  • 52.
    Brahms: Clarinet Quintet, String Quartet No 2 / Leipzig
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold   Catalog: 3070719 Release Date: 01/21/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Karl Leister
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 53.
    Par Excellence - French Music For Clarinet / Leister, Bognár
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 20042 Release Date: 01/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Charles-Marie Widor  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Ferenc Bognár
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  • 54.
    Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik, Etc / Ensemble Wien-berlin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64400 Release Date: 07/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith
    Performer:  Ferenc Bognár,  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Günter Högner,  Milan Turkovic  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin members,  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
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  • 55.
    Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte & Die Entführung - Harmoniemusiken
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 260931 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Stefan Jezierski,  Daniele Damiano,  Henning Trog,  HansJörg Schellenberger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Winds
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  • 56.
    Mendelssohn - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64595 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  André Previn,  Elly Ameling,  Rudolf Jansen,  Michie Koyama  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Eugene Ormandy,  Michael Tilson Thomas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Smithsonian Chamber Players,  L'Archibudelli  ... 
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  • 57.
    Mozart At Midnight
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442493 Release Date: 05/10/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Nobuko Imai,  Iona Brown,  Peter Damm,  Antony Pay  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Iona Brown,  Frans Brüggen,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Orchestra of the 18th Century members  ... 
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  • 58.
    Spohr: Clarinet Concertos 1 & 4 / Karl Leister
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 88101 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Spohr
    Performer:  Karl Leister
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Spohr: Clarinet Concertos Nos 2 & 3 / Karl Leister
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 88201 Release Date: 04/26/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Spohr
    Performer:  Karl Leister
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Brahms: Clarinet Quintet / Karl Leister, Vermeer Quartet
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 68831 Release Date: 01/05/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Karl Leister
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vermeer String Quartet
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  • 61.
    Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas / Karl Leister, Gerhard Oppitz
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 86841 Release Date: 01/05/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Gerhard Oppitz,  Karl Leister
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  • 62.
    Crusell: The Three Clarinet Concertos / Leister, Vanska
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 345 Release Date: 10/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bernhard Henrik Crusell
    Performer:  Karl Leister
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Debussy: Chansons De Bilitis, Etc;  Ravel: Pavane, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429738 Release Date: 01/18/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Catherine Deneuve,  Margit Anna Süss,  Adelheid Blovsky-Miller,  Rolf Koenen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    CD: $17.99
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  • 64.
    Brahms: Quintette, Sextette / Amadeus Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419875 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  William Pleeth,  Cecil Aronowitz,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Karl Leister
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet
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  • 65.
    Poulenc: Chamber Music / Levine, Ensemble Wien-Berlin
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427639 Release Date: 10/20/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  James Levine,  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Milan Turkovic,  Karl Leister  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Wien-Berlin
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  • 66.
    Mozart, Crusell: Clarinet Quartets / Leister, Prazák Quartet
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 141861 Release Date: 04/06/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Bernhard Henrik Crusell
    Performer:  Karl Leister
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prazák String Quartet
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