Ulf Schirmer

Ulf Schirmer (born 1959) is a German conductor and opera house administrator.

Born in Eschenhausen, Lower Saxony, Schirmer studied at the Bremen Conservatory, and also at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, with György Ligeti, Christoph von Dohnányi and Horst Stein. He worked as an assistant to Lorin Maazel and conducted at the Wiener Staatsoper productions of Luciano Berio's Un re in ascolto, Arnold Schoenberg's Erwartung, and Alexander Glazunov's Raymonda.

From 1988 to 1991, Schirmer was Generalmusikdirektor (GMD) of the city of Wiesbaden, serving as artistic director of symphonic concerts and opera and ballet at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. He conducted Hans Werner Henze's Das verratene Meer in 1990. In 1999, he conducted the premiere of Gerd Kühr's opera Tod und Teufel at the Grazer Oper. His other work in opera has included conducting the first staged production of Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna by Walter Braunfels, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2008.[1]

Schirmer was appointed Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg in 2000, teaching musical analysis and musical dramaturgy. From 2006 to 2017, he was chief conductor of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester (Munich Radio Orchestra).[2]

Since 2009, Schirmer has been General Music Director of the Oper Leipzig.[3] On 23 March 2011, Schirmer was elected Intendant of the Oper Leipzig, with an initial five-year term beginning in August 2011, in addition to his title as GMD.[4] He conducted the first Bayreuth staging of Wagner's early opera Die Feen in 2013.[5] In June 2017, Oper Leipzig announced the extension of Schirmer's contract as Intendant through the 2021-2022 season.[6]

Outside of Germany, Schirmer was Principal Conductor of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra[7] from 1995 to 1998.


Schirmer's commercial recordings include the following:

His recording of Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Des Simplicius Simplicissimus Jugend[10] was awarded the ECHO Klassik [de] in 2010 in the category opera of the 20th/21st century. The work, commissioned by the Bayerischer Rundfunk, was performed in its reconstructed first version, with soloists Camilla Nylund and Christian Gerhaher. Other recordings include the violin concerto by Max Reger with soloist Ulf Wallin.


  1. ^ Wolfgang Fuhrmann (29 April 2008). "Die Wunderkerzen des Scheiterhaufens". Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Ulf Schirmer verlässt 2017 den Bayerischen Rundfunk". Abendzeitung München. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  3. ^ Korfmacher, Peter (20 December 2009). Da unterhalten sich Menschen. Leipziger Volkszeitung.
  4. ^ Thiel, Markus (3 April 2011). "Vom Dirigent zum Intendant - Ulf Schirmer im Porträt". Münchner Merkur (in German). Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  5. ^ Kevin Clarke (9 July 2013). "Das 'Feen'-Fiasko von Bayreuth". Klassik.com. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  6. ^ Evelyn ter Vehn (22 June 2017). "Ulf Schirmer bleibt Intendant der Oper Leipzig – 'Außerordentlich erfolgreich'". Leipziger Volksleitung. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b Krabbe, Niels (15 February 2010). Carl Nielsen Studies. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-4094-0522-1.
  8. ^ Tim Ashley (12 March 2015). "Strauss: Feuersnot CD review – low-key and thoughtful". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  9. ^ Tim Ashley (9 October 2014). "Strauss: Intermezzo CD review – darker than ever before". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  10. ^ Andrew Clements (5 November 2009). "Hartmann: Des Simplicius Simplicissimus Jugend: Nylund/Hartmann/Gerhaher/Volle/Munich Radio O/Schirmer". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2015.

External linksEdit

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Leif Segerstam
Principal Conductor, Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Gerd Albrecht
Preceded by
Marcello Viotti
Chief Conductor, Münchner Rundfunkorchester
Succeeded by
Ivan Repušić
Preceded by
Leif Segerstam
Generalmusikdirektor, Oper Leipzig
Succeeded by