Benjamin Forster

Born in Vilsbiburg (Bavaria)

Member since 2019-09-01

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine becoming a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. I don’t know of any other orchestra in which the musicians are as interconnected as they are here. The timpani hold a key position and often a very responsible role: a timpanist is supposed to hold the orchestra together; he provides many climaxes and creates a beautiful timbre, which ideally often blends unnoticed into the sound of the orchestra.”

Benjamin Forster grew up with four older music-loving siblings. Because a drummer was still needed for the family jazz trio, he took on the task – with great success. Although he and his two brothers emulated their great role model, the Oscar Peterson Trio, for many years, Benjamin Forster later decided to pursue classical percussion studies. After his training at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium under Arnold Riedhammer and the Musikhochschule in Munich under Peter Sadlo, he became a scholarship holder of the orchestra academy of the Munich Philharmonic and the Bayerische Orchesterakademie.

Numerous temporary positions in several symphony orchestras and opera houses gave him the opportunity to work with outstanding artistic figures at a young age. Benjamin Forster began his career as an orchestral musician at the Opernhaus Zürich. In 2006, he joined the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich as principal timpanist. He held this position until he succeeded Rainer Seegers with the Berliner Philharmoniker in September 2019. Benjamin Forster has also been teaching at Zurich University of the Arts since 2018 and plays in a number of chamber music ensembles. He spends his free time cooking, hiking in the mountains and riding his motorbike – and occasionally playing drums with a variety of bands.