Klaus Burger, tubist, trombonist, cimbasso, didgeridoo Klaus Burger, tubist, trombonist, cimbasso, didgeridoo
tuba . cimbasso . didgeridoo






/ biography / details


  • From 1968 piano studies
  • From 1975 self-taught tuba studies
  • From 1976 guest tuba student at the Konservatorium Nürnberg in the class of Hans-Joachim Sordel
  • From 1977 tuba studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with Manfred Hoppert
  • 1982 tuba examination
  • 1985 Meisterklassendiplom "with distinction" at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich
  • From 1988 experiments with the didgeridoo, an indigenous Australian wind instrument
  • 1987-88 lessons in overtone singing

Career Summary

• Since 1977, I have worked as a tuba-player with orchestras and ensembles of international rank and have made solo appearances at important European music festivals. I work often as a soloist in modern pieces which are particularly difficult to play. Since 1984 I have developed a unique, characteristic way of playing with instruments such as the didgeridoo, mussels, bottles, etc.

• Since this time I have devoted much of my attention to my own compositions for theatre, TV movies and radio plays, as well as for fringe areas such as performances, sound installations and improvisation projects. Since 1988 I have worked on the uniting of speech and sound on one plain, on which the ascribings of semantics will be preserved and alternative ways of perception will both be given room.

• Since 1995 I have written the scores for 30 radio plays (SWR,WDR, BR, MDR).

• Since 1999 I have composed scores for TV documentaries - as of now, for more than 30 films.

I was nominated for the Rolf-Ernst-Müller-Fernsehmusikpreis and composed the music for the Grimme-Preis-winning documentary by Markus Vetter, "Wo das Geld wächst. Die EM-TV Story".

In 1998 and 2001 I earned an Arbeitsstipendium to work at the Experimentalstudio of the Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung at SWR.

In 1993, SWF made a TV-portrait about my career, which was later distributed by Arte und 3Sat.

On SWR 2 Kultur I have often moderated broadcasts of my own music.

2004 I had been invited to the MARIPOSA-Project at Teneriffa

since 2007I am regular member of GEMA

2 . S o l o R e p e r t o i r e (concerti)

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Sonate E-Dur BWV 1016
arranged by Klaus Burger for tuba and piano
Munich 2000, SWR 2000

Jean Françaix:
" petite valse européenne"
for double wind quintet and solo tuba
Schwetzinger Festspiele - FP: SDR 1980, TV productions by BR 1981, RAI (Italy) 1981-82

Joachim Gruner:
"Munich version" for two pianists and four percussionists,
Munich 1985 (Live recording by BR),
bayerisches Landesjugendorchester 2000
für Tuba, Kontrabaßklarinette und Orchester
Köln - FP: with the Philharmonia Hungarica 1991, Orchester Baden-Baden 1993,
Stadttheater Gießen 1997

Georg Friedrich Haas:
" aus freier Lust..."
for solo tuba
Konzerthaus Wien - FP: 1994, ORF, Mülheim 1994, Baden-Baden 1995

Mauricio Kagel:
" Finale", "Kantrimiusik"
1987 Ensemble Modern, Austria, Germany, the UK, various broadcasts
for solo tuba
Rheinisches Musikfestival/WDR 1988, Wintermusik Karlsruhe, Aalto-Theater Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Mülheim, Cologne, Baden-Baden, Prague, Basel, Vienna, Erfurt, Munich (SWR) 1989-2000
"Orchestrion Straat"
Musikfabrik NRW - FP: 1996, Klangforum Wien 1997,
ORF 1997
"Rrrr...", arranged by Klaus Burger for cimbasso, tuba and piano - FP: Straubing 1988, Munich 2000

Helmut Lachenmann:
music for large orchestra and solo tuba
Vaduz/Freiburg with the SWR-Sinfonieorchester and conductor Hans Zender, 1999/SWR 2000

Luigi Nono:
" Prometeo"
tuba and euphonium soloist
Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels 1997,
Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Venice, Turin, Schwaz 2000, Valencia, Madrid 2003, Paris, London 2008, various broadcasts
for tuba and live electronics
Salzburg/ORF 1997, Schwaz/ORF 2000, Greifswald, Freiburg 2001, SWR 2001, Madrid 2003, Kortrijk 2006, Vienna 2008
"Omaggio a Kurtág"
ensemble recherche with conductor André Richard, Salzburger Festspiele 1994, Zürich, CD production 1995, Cologne 1996, Rheingau Musikfest 1997
ensemble recherche with conductor André Richard, Salzburger Festspiele 1995, Cologne 1996, Antwerp 1998, Parma 1999, ensemble varianti with conductor Manfred Schreier, Stuttgart 2000, Karlsruhe 2006,  
CD 5.1 Production 2008

Peter Eötvös:
" As I crossed a bridge of dreams",
sousaphone soloist
FP: Donaueschingen 1999 SWR

Gerhard Stäbler:
" HAI!"
for solo tuba
Essen - FP: 1990, Dortmund 1991, Essen 1992,
Munich 2000, SWR 2000
"fallen, fallen..."
for accordion, tuba, soprano, and tape, New York, Dresden, Essen 1989, Gelsenkirchen, Bonn 1990, various broadcasts

Ralph Vaughan Williams:
Tuba Concerto
with the Orchester der Staatlichen Hochschule für Musik Munich 1979, TV production by BR, 1979

3 . O r c h e s t r a l W o r k

. Bamberger Symphoniker, Beethovenorchester Bonn, Haydn Orchestra Bolzano, Staatsoper München, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker, Volgograd Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Oper Frankfurt, Orchestra della Teatro "la fenice" Venice, La Scala Milan, Orchestre de "La Monnaie" Brussels, Salonorchester Köln, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Saarländischen Rundfunks, Hessischen Rundfunks, Südwestfunks, Westdeutschen Rundfunks, RAI Symphony Orchestra Torino.

. With conductors including Ozawa, Solti, Kubelík, Leitner, Gielen, Zender, Inbal, Eötvös, Bour, Abbado, Frühbeck de Burgos.

. 1975-78 Tuba-player in the Bayerischen Landesjugendorchester
. 1979-83 Tuba-player in the Sinfonieorchester des Saarländischen Rundfunks
. 1985-91 Tuba-player in the "teatro la fenice"
. 1985-95 Tuba-player in the RAI Symphony Orchestra Torino, c. 100 programs

4 . E n s e m b l e W o r k

  • 1979-83 Tuba-player in the Hofer Blechbläserquintett (now called Rekkenze Brass)
  • 1984-89 Ensemble Modern
  • 1986-88 Tuba quartet with H. Triebener, D. Glidden and F. Rosini
  • 1989-91 Brass quintet "teatro la fenice" Venice
  • From 1991 ensemble recherche
  • From 1992 Klangforum Wien
  • 1994-96 Brass septet "Wiener Clusterschafe"
  • From 1995 ensemble varianti, Stuttgart
  • 1986-94 ensemble 13
  • 1989-91 Musikfabrik NRW (co-founder)

Collaborations with:
Django Bates, David Byrne, Bill Dobbins, Vridolin Enxing, Wolfgang Hamm, Mike Herting, Frank Köllges, Michael Riessler, John Surman, Michael Svoboda, John Taylor, Manos Tsangaris, Robert Wilson, Thomas Witzmann, Peter Zwetkoff, Franz Alt, Balduin Baas, John von Düffel Eugen Egner, Eckhart Henscheid, Elfriede Jelinek, Ernst Konarek, Steffen Kopetzky, Otto Sander, Elisabeth Trissenahr, Tomi Ungerer, Urs Widmer, Ulrich Wildgruber, Michael Verhoeven.

5 . M y O w n W o r k s

. "Baden in Klang"
A 70-minute program with the focus on sonic beauty and meditative
characteristics, either with tape or live electronics. Instruments: bass and contrabass tuba, cimbasso, didgeridoo, mussels, bottles.

1997 in Baden-Baden, Spitalkirche
1998 in Brüssel "Theatre St. Michel" 3x
1998 in Baden-Baden, Spitalkirche
1999 in Baden-Baden, Spitalkirche

. "Bläsermusik aus 33 Jahrtausenden"
A journey through the history of brass music, also from other cultures.

An 80-minute program with definitions of the instruments, their playing techniques and their histories. Components of this program are always a Bach cello suite played on tuba and "Mirum" for solo tuba by Mauricio Kagel

1995 in Cologne, Diözesanmuseum
1995 in Baden-Baden, Spitalkirche
2001 in the Brenners Park-Hotel, Baden-Baden

. "Engel - hinter den Spiegeln, jenseits der Worte."
Oratorio for contralto, four brass, live electronics, and speaker. Duration: 65 minutes.

Angels, mirrors of creation, without blemishes, close to matter itself and yet its nemesis. Unlimited by walls and towers, bolts and seals, they appear to humans as anyone else they can see. Portrait of the human soul, the connecing link between the materialistic world and the nameable. From Kafka's journal entry of 25 June 1914 on the encounter with an angel we proceed to the world of angels.

Angels, winged essence, metaphors of human intuition and spiritual agility. Texts and symbols open themselves in fourteen scenes, ranging from the pre-Babylonian era and expanding to the writings of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, the doorway to imagination, the world of thoughts and sounds, music, the space beneath mirrors, beyond words. FP: 2000 Bamberg, St. Stephanskirche

. "Brugge - European Capital of Culture 2002"
Sound installation

For the Antwerpen-based ensemble "champ d'action". Duration: 1 day at six different localities in Bruges. We prepare six concert events. Four concerts will be recorded and the recorded material will be used for the "finale" at the Japanese Pavilion. To put the materials together in a useful way, all of them belong to a basic tonal and rhythmic structure. The basic tone will be decided by the sisters in the monastery. If they do not wish to participate, I will decide what we use as the basic tone. The rhythm (if necessary) is about 60 beats per minute. Hopefully we can make an interesting mixture of recordings for the finale in the Japanese Pavilion.

. "Missa Santa Barbara" - tunnel in sound, tunnel sound installation for 8 brass and live electronics. Duration: c. 60 minutes. Première in the Stadttunnel Dresden, Bramschstrasse, August 2002.

This composition works with the architectural and acoustic characteristics of this tunnel and uses them as its sound space. The musicians (trombones, cimbassi, tubas) distribute themselves and move around the inner half (Nordröhre) of the tunnel in a manner suitable to the score.

6 . F r e e P r o d u c t i o n s / J a z z

  • 1982-84 Member of the Hannes-Zerbe-Blechband (DDR)
  • 1984-85 "An die Wand" Intermedia performance with ballerina, painter, percussion, and tuba.
  • 1984-88 "The Blech" Cooperation on 2 CD productions
  • 1986 "Amok und Psyche" ballerina/tuba
  • 1988 "Stilleben mit Waldteufel" for ensemble by Thomas Witzmann WDR live recording
  • 1987-90 "Danses des bouffons" Jazz quartet, numerous performances, including at the Jazzfest Moers, Berliner Jazztage, Paris, Rennes, Brussels, etc.
  • 1989 CD production 1984-95 "ad fontes", collaboration with Hubl Greiner, studio work and concerts
  • 1988 "The forest" CD production with David Byrne (Talking Heads)
  • 1990 "Sechs Enten für zwei Zungen" with Horst Grabosch,
    reunification-happening on 3 October 1989 in the Rathaus von Dresden
  • 1992 "Ereignisfeld" for ensemble by Thomas Witzmann, Dortmund WDR live recording
  • 1992 "The little cosmic dance orchestra" new age CD production
  • 1992-96 WDR-Rundfunkorchester, numerous concerts and productions, including Django Bates, John Surman, John Taylor, Yusuf Lateef, etc.
  • 1996 "Haywire" Exhibition opening for Robert Rauschenbach, Munich
  • 1997 "Internationaler Designpreis NRW", Performance
  • 1999 "Mein Elsaß" Exhibition opening for Tomi Ungerer, Baden-Baden
  • 1999 "Aus dem Tagebuch eines Trinkers", reading with music for a cimbasso-player, 10 performances in Bamberg, 2000, 2 performances in Baden-Baden, SWR production 2000, sound performance, Hannover, World Expo 2000 at the Swiss Pavilion
  • 2000 "Mr. Buk and a little bit of dirty music" lyrics by Charles Bukowski and jazz, CD production, 2002 SWR
  • 2001 "TROIA" Exhibition opening, Stuttgart, Landesbank-Baden-Württemberg, with the actor Ernst Konarek
  • 2001 Exhibition opening in Jockrim/Baden-Württemberg, the patroness was the culture minister of Rheinland-Pfalz
  • 2002 "ich bin so sehr in Sehnsucht eingehüllt." Lyrics by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger (1924-42), with the actress Miriam Heller
  • 2002 "Und alle Welt will Wiederholung" baroque music in dialogue with improvisation, with the baroque ensemble "parnassi musici 12"

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Mauricio Kagel:

"Klaus Burger does an honor for the guild of tuba-players: He untiringly examines the future of the tuba and blows his way through all


© Klaus Burger / Tuba / Cimbasso / Didgeridoo
E-Mail: info@klaus-burger.com