Sabine Meyer

Last updated

Sabine Meyer
Sabine Meyer 3w.jpg
Photo 2019
Background information
Born (1959-03-30) March 30, 1959 (age 63)
Crailsheim, Germany
Genres Classical music, contemporary music
Occupation(s)Solo clarinetist and Professor for Clarinet
Instruments Clarinet (German system)
Years active1983–present
LabelsEMI Classics, Warner Classis, Avi-music, Deutsche Grammophon
Associated acts
Teachers while studying:
Otto Hermann, Stuttgart and Hans Deinzer, Hannover

Well-known former students
Shirley Brill (Israel), Annelien Van Wauwe (Belgium)


Performances per year:
approximately 60
ECHO Klassik Prize, eight-time winner, Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Cross of Merit 1st Class, Order of Merit of Baden-Württemberg, several art and music awards

numerous CDs, one DVD, several YouTube Videos, sound recordings also on Spotify and Deezer

Konzertdirektion Hans Ulrich Schmid, Hannover
Personal / Private

Spouse, children:
Reiner Wehle, Clarinetist and Professor;
2 children
riding and horse breeding

Lübeck, Flag of Germany.svg  Germany

Sabine Meyer (born 30 March 1959) [1] is a German classical clarinetist.


Born in Crailsheim, Baden-Württemberg, Meyer began playing the clarinet at an early age. Her first teacher was her father, also a clarinetist. She studied with Otto Hermann in Stuttgart and then with Hans Deinzer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover, along with her brother, clarinetist Wolfgang Meyer, and husband, clarinetist Reiner Wehle, who played later in the Munich Philharmonic. [2] She began her career as a member of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, where her appointment as one of the orchestra's first female members caused controversy. [3] Herbert von Karajan, the orchestra's music director, hired Meyer in September 1982, but the players voted against her at the conclusion of her probation period by a vote of 73 to 4. [4] The orchestra insisted the reason was that her tone did not blend with the other members of the section, but some observers, including Karajan, believed that the true reason was her gender. In 1983, after nine months, Meyer left the orchestra to become a full-time solo clarinetist. [5]

In addition to her work as a soloist, and a band member in general, Sabine Meyer is a committed player of chamber music and plays all styles of classical music. She was a member of the Trio di Clarone along with her brother and husband who have recorded many CDs. [6] [7] Meyer and her wind quintet have worked as members of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra with Claudio Abbado. [8]

By the 1990s, Meyer had become a prominent solo clarinetist, recording regularly and exclusively for the EMI label. [9] These EMI recordings include a CD of French music for Clarinet and Piano with Oleg Maisenberg, entitled French Recital. A disc of clarinet concertos by Ludwig Spohr and Franz Krommer was released in July 2007, for which she collaborated with her student Julian Bliss.

Meyer and her husband have two children. From 1993 to the winter semester 2019/2020 she shared with her husband a professorship at Musikhochschule Lübeck, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and live in Lübeck. [2] Her husband's successor is his former student Jens Thoben. Her clarinet students have also included Shirley Brill, Shelly Ezra, Boglárka Pecze, Annelien Van Wauwe, Sebastian Manz and Taira Kaneko.


Basset horn, basset clarinet and standard clarinet 3 cl sm.jpg
Basset horn, basset clarinet and standard clarinet

Sabine Meyer plays the clarinet and basset clarinet in B and A, as well as a basset horn in F, all made of grenadilla by Herbert Wurlitzer, and clarinets in B and in A made of boxwood, manufactured by Schwenk & Seggelke (now: Seggelke Klarinetten), which she mainly uses in chamber music. In 1984, Meyer had commissioned Wurlitzer to build a basset clarinet (in A) for her, not a historical replica, but a modern hitherto only occasionally built instrument. Since then, she has been playing the clarinet concerto by Mozart (and his clarinet quintet) in a reconstructed version.


Selected recordings

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  1. Kunz, Roland (28 March 2019). "Die Klarinettistin Sabine Meyer wird 60". (in German). Stuttgart: Südwestrundfunk. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  2. 1 2 Hannemann, Matthias (29 May 2007). "Solo für Klarinette". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Frankfurt. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  3. UPI (8 January 1983). "Karajan and orchestra clash over clarinetist". The New York Times . New York City. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  4. "Schlag ins Konto". Der Spiegel (in German). Hamburg. 10 January 1983. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  5. Schwarz, Elisabeth (28 May 2018). ""Daneben verblasst erstmal alles": Sabine Meyer über Mozarts Bassettklarinettenkonzert". Bachtrack Ltd. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  6. Zimmerlin, Alfred (4 October 2013). "Avantgarde der Romantik". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). Zürch. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  7. Obiera, Pedro (7 March 2017). "Kammermusik voller Poesie und Leidenschaft". Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Essen. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  8. Service, Tom (22 August 2007). "The maestro". The Guardian . Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  9. Andrew Clements (6 September 2007). "Nielsen: Flute Concerto; Clarinet Concerto; Wind Quintet, Pahud/ Meyer/ Berlin Philharmoniker/ Rattle". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  10. "Niedersächsischer Staatspreis". Portal Niedersachsen (in German). 15 September 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  11. "Sabine Meyer". Salzburger Festspiele (in German). Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  12. "Past winners". Website of the Brahms Society Schleswig-Holstein. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  13. "Kunst aus dem Norden für den Norden". Landesportal Schleswig-Holstein (in German). 18 June 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  14. Reservix, Sabine Meyer
  15. Staatsministerium Baden-Württemberg. "Verdienstorden des Landes Baden-Württemberg Liste der Ordensträger 1975 – 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  16. Communication from the Office of the President of Germany, Retrieved 4 October 2013
  17. "Sabine Meyer". Rudolf-Oetker-Halle.

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