Stefan Dohr,

Principal Horn

Born in Münster

Member since 1993-09-01


Orchestra Board (2009-2012, since October 2020)

Official Website:

»I never imagined I’d some day be playing with the Berliner Philharmoniker. I only auditioned because I didn’t want to pass up this unique opportunity and later regret not having at least given it a try. This orchestra means a great deal to me: not only collaborating with the conductor in the preparation and performance of a piece but also the special role of the principal horn. He is, on the one hand, a sort of intermediary between the instrumental sections, on the other hand, for example in Mahler and Bruckner symphonies, a great soloist.«

Originally Stefan Dohr learned to play the viola. One day he was given a hunting horn, and, after hearing a concert by the famous horn player Hermann Baumann, he came to the conclusion: »That horn sounds better than my viola!« After studying in Essen and Cologne he became principal horn of the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, and engagements followed with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin before, in 1993, he finally became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. As a soloist he has collaborated with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado and Sir Simon Rattle.

Along with the Classical and Romantic horn repertoire, he is also interested in contemporary works by Ligeti, Knussen and Kirchner. Stefan Dohr has premièred many horn concertos dedicated to him, including those by Herbert Willi (2008), Jorge E. López (2009), Johannes Wallmann (2010), Toshio Hosokawa (2011) and Wolfgang Rihm (2014). Another focus is chamber music which he performs not only with his Philharmoniker colleagues in a variety of ensembles but also together with Maurizio Pollini, Lars Vogt, Kolja Blacher and Ian Bostridge. He is also a member of the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, the Philharmonic Octet, and the Horns of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Stefan Dohr, who prefers to spend his free time with his family, has taught as a visiting professor at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin and at the Orchestra Academy.