Biography

Celebrated soloist, dedicated ensemble musician: Thorsten Johanns performs as a solo clarinettist and as part of numerous chamber music formations in renowned concert halls and at festivals and events all over the world. In more than twenty years of professional music career, he has worked with conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, Semyon Bychkov, Eivind Aadland, Yutaka Sado, Howard Griffiths, Jonathan Stockhammer, Christian Vásquez, Dan Ettinger, Pablo Rus Broseta and Constantin Trinks. Since the winter semester 2014/2015 he is working as a professor for clarinet at the conservatory 'Franz Liszt' in Weimar.

Thorsten Johanns was the first and to date the only German clarinettist to be repeatedly and personally invited to New York by former chief conductor Alan Gilbert to play there as principal clarinet with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also frequently appeared as a solo clarinettist with the SWO (SuperWorldOrchestra) in Tokyo, Japan. Regular engagements as principal clarinet with the Berliner Philharmoniker are just as much a part of his work as guest appearances at the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the NDR-Elbphilharmonieorchester and the WDR Sinfonieorchester in Cologne.

In addition to the world-famous oboist and conductor Heinz Holliger, his chamber music partners include the renowned Auryn Quartet, the Quatuor Danel from Paris, the Quartetto di Cremona, the Minetti Quartet from Vienna, the Aris Quartet from Frankfurt, The Elias Quartet from London and the Minguet Quartet from Cologne. Thorsten Johanns is a member of the globally renowned ensemble Raro, with which he has played concerts all over Europe, the USA and Japan.

Thorsten Johanns has been a guest at numerous festivals worldwide (Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lucerne Festival, Music Triennale Cologne, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Budapest Festival Academy, Tyrolean Festival, Kammermusikfestival Kloster Kamp, Fredener Musiktage, SoNoRo-Festival Bucharest and others) and participated in many successful CD productions. For his recording of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" with the ensemble `opera senza´ he received the ECHO CLASSIC in 2008. In addition, Thorsten Johanns has given several international masterclasses in China (Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai), the United States (New England Conservatory Boston), Australia (Melbourne / ANAM, Brisbane, Sydney), at the Villa Musica, the Antwerp Conservatory, the Folkwang University of the Arts and many other places around the world.

Born and raised in Krefeld, Thorsten Johanns enjoyed many years of clarinet and saxophone lessons with his Hungarian teacher László Dömötör. During this time, he was able to win numerous first prizes at the national competition "Jugend musiziert". This was followed by a clarinet study with Prof. Ralph Manno at the University of Music Cologne, which he completed with a diploma ('with honors'). During his studies, Thorsten Johann was a scholar of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.

Before becoming principal clarinet of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne at the age of 25 in 2002, he had been substitute principal of the Essen Philharmonic for three years.
From 2010-2014 Thorsten Johanns was professor for clarinet at the Conservatory in Maastricht (NL).

In the 2016/17 season, Thorsten Johanns premiered the clarinet concerto "Passages" by Philippe Manoury, which has been dedicated to him, with the WDR Symphony Orchestra. Invitations to solo concerts with the Radio Orchestra Bucharest followed. In addition, he accepted many invitations to renowned festivals such as the Budapest Festival Academy (Hungary), the Mozart Festival Würzburg, the Stift Festival (Netherlands), the SoNoRo Festival Bucharest (Romania), the Chiemgau Music Spring and the Kammermusikfest Kloster Kamp. Recitals with Thorsten Johanns' duo partner Moritz Eggert and the brothers Teichmann (DJs) were among the more exotic performances of the season. The clarinettist also played numerous concerts with the ARIS Quartet, the Ensemble Raro, the Quintetto Amadeo and the Deutsche Bläsersolisten. One of the most special events was the re-invitation from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM, Melbourne) for concerts and masterclasses in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

The 2017/18 season started with an invitation to solo concerts with the Orchester de Chambre de Paris (Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Philippe Manoury's "Passages"), a concert project with the singer Christoph Pregardien (Ensemble Chaarts) and concert tours with the ARIS Quartet and the Deutsche Bläsersolisten. Special highlights of the season were concerts in the Gasteig München (duo with Moritz Eggert), an invitation by Spectrum Concerts Berlin (Brahms clarinet quartet in the Berlin Philharmonic), solo concerts with the dogma chamber orchestra (Weber), CD recordings with the Minguet Quartet for Deutschlandfunk in Cologne and a concert invitation from the Alte Oper Frankfurt with the ARIS Quartet. Thorsten Johanns also accepted invitations to the Kuhmo International Chamber Music Festival (Kuhmo, Finland), Festival Lille Norge (Berlin), and a re-invitation to the Chiemgau Music Spring (Traunstein).

The following season 2018/19 starts with a highlight: At the Stift Festival (Netherlands), Thorsten Johanns is going to premiere a work dedicated to him. The piece by Greek composer Dimitri Terzakis bears the name "Flüchtige Gedanken". At the beginning of the season, there will also be a performance at the Beethovenfest Bonn. This is followed by concerts with the Ensemble Raro in Paris and the music festival at Usedom, duo recitals and master classes at the University of Pécs (Hungary), concerts by the Deutsche Bläsersolisten, CD recordings of the clarinet quintet by Max Reger for the label cpo with the Diogenes Quartet Munich, a tour with the ARIS Quartet and duo recitals with Moritz Eggert. In addition, Thorsten Johanns has been invited to solo concerts with the Radio Orchestra Bucharest (Mozart Clarinet Concerto) and the dogma chamber orchestra (Weber). A solo concert in Marvao (Portugal) at a festival organized by the conductor Christoph Poppen as well as a renewed appearance at the Chiemgau Music Spring are also planned.