“Magical, enchanting!” wrote La Provence about Ulrich Kern’s interpretation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Ulrich Kern is distinguished by his stylistically confident interpretations on opera and concert stages and is besides passionately committed to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Born in Stuttgart, the now internationally acclaimed conductor studied at the music academies in Stuttgart and Weimar. He received further decisive impulses from Bernhard Haitink, Jorma Panula and, in the USA, from David Zinman. With support within the framework of the conductor forum of the German Music Council, he has conducted, for example, at the State Theatre of Mainz and at the Kiel Opera.
In the meantime, Ulrich Kern has conducted more than 50 stage productions. His repertoire extends from Mozart's late operas to Wagner's "Tannhäuser", Stravinsky's "Le sacre du printemps", right up to Henze's last opera, "Gisela!", the production of which he took over for in 2012 at the Semper Opera in Dresden.
As a guest conductor Ulrich Kern appears with renowned orchestras, including the German Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken, MDR-Sinfonieorchester, Dresdner Philharmonie, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Brandenburgischen Staatsorchester Frankfurt and Ensemble Resonanz Hamburg. He made his debut in the USA in 2009 with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 he guested with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in France. Ulrich Kern has conducted at the theatres in Bremen, Bielefeld, Osnabrück and at the State Theatre in Salvador/Brazil. The conductor is a welcome guest at internationally acclaimed festivals. He has conducted, for example, at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, the Nargen Festival in Tallinn, the Ruhrtriennale, the Impuls-Festival Sachsen-Anhalt and the "International Festival for New Music Darmstadt", in the renowned concert halls of South America such as the Teatro Solis in Montevideo and the new concert hall CCK in Buenos Aires.
In the season 2019/20 Ulrich Kern will celebrate his debut with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and conduct Beethoven’s 6th Symphony and his 1st Piano Concerto with the pianist Martin Stadtfeld. The conductor will also make his debut at the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. The MDR-Sinfonieorchester once again invited Ulrich Kern to premiere the specially composed works as the musical highlight of the Bauhaus anniversary year. Further invitations will take Ulrich Kern to the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, the Philharmonie Baden-Baden, the Leipziger Sinfonieorchester and Camerata Rheingau. At the podium with the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie, he will conduct, among others, the 2nd Philharmonic Concert with works by Hector Berlioz, Darius Milhaud and Camille Saint-Säens.
Ulrich Kern works with outstanding soloists, most recently, for example with Harriet Krijgh and Daniel Müller-Schott at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern music festival and with the harpist, Anneleen Lenaerts in Ghent.
Ulrich Kern is especially interested in collaborating with contemporary composers. With the "Ensemble Resonanz Hamburg", for example, he opened the "Flanders Festival Ghent" with a premiere by Kalevi Aho. In Hamburg's Laeiszhalle the conductor premiered works by Rebecca Saunders and Sven-Ingo Koch. This year he released a recording of the symphonic poem "Die Regentrude" by Klaus Wüsthoff on CD with Martina Gedeck as the speaker.
Radio recordings with Saarländischer Rundfunk, several concerts broadcasted by Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk and by the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, lately in October 2017, round off his far-reaching artistic activity.
Ulrich Kern was given numerous awards: Recently his CD „French Trombone Concertos“ with the trombonist Fabrice Millischer and Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken received the German Music Award „ECHO Klassik 2014“ in the category „Concert Recording of the Year – 20th century“. In 2006, he won the “German Music Universities Conductor competition”, which was sponsored by the Herbert-von-Karajan Foundation Berlin, and furthermore received the competition’s special prize for Best Interpretation in the field of Opera.
At present Ulrich Kern is engaged as first conductor and deputy music director at Görlitz Theatre. In 2013 he was awarded with the special prize of the Theaterverein and with the Public's Prize in honor of his successful work.