Ralf Forster completed his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with Gerd Starke and was principal clarinettist of the BR Orchestra Academy Ingolstadt for several years. After two years as principal E-flat clarinettist of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, he became its principal clarinettist in 1998. Since 2008, he has held a professorship for clarinet at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin.
It’s a very versatile instrument. As a principal clarinettist, you can lean into the lyrical parts so beautifully with the large A and B clarinet. If you play the E-flat clarinet, it is more of a percussion instrument – allowing you to play in a lively manner. It’s as agile as a racing bike, whereas with a bass clarinet you’re more exalted, as if on a roadster. Here you take a deep breath, let the sound oscillate and ground the entire clarinet family.
Maybe I would have become a photographer. I’m interested in architecture and travel photography. Before I had a family, I took off with a diving mask, two T-shirts and a Leica in my backpack. I also developed my photos myself. That gave me a wonderful sense of serenity. Photography serves as a point of reflection in my life.