Prof. Claus Unzen

Dramaturg, Director of music theater

was born in Düsseldorf. He was a preparatory student at the Academy of Music in Detmold, and studied double bass at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg and the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, as well as composition at the Hamburg conservatory. He studied direction for musical theatre in the course founded by Professor August Everding and Professor Götz Friedrich at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Hamburg. He completed his studies in 1985/ 86. From 1979-84, he was a member of the European Community Youth Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado including concert tours in Europe with, among others, Herbert von Karajan and Daniel Barenboim. Unzen was a founding member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Between 1980-1990, he worked as a musician in the orchestra of the Staatsoper Hamburg, where he also acted as assistant director and, after finishing his studies, as a dramaturg and director, cooperating, among others, with Christoph von Dohnányi, Hans Zender and Rolf Liebermann.

Unzen has worked intensively on the performance of New Music. Later, he worked as a director and lead dramaturg of musical theatre at the Städtische Bühnen Lübeck. In addition to this, he has been a freelance director at various theatres and festivals as well as one-off events, staging works of opera, operetta, musicals and related projects, in particular works of Mozart and Rossini. 1990-1993: director in the management team of the Festivales à Loudenvielle, Hautes-Pyrénées France and, in 1999, co-founder and scenographical manager of the Potsdamer Schlössernacht, where he also worked as artistic director in 2000 and 2001. He has been an active teacher since 1986, among other things as an assistant lecturer in direction in the course on musical theatre at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater/ Hamburg, the Fachhochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung Hamburg and the Musikhochschule Lübeck. Since 1994, he has worked as a member of the teaching staff (Künstlerische Lehrkraft) and, since 2003, as a guest professor at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin. He is teaching history of the opera as a part of the master’s course Bühnenbild_Szenischer Raum TU Berlin since 2008.