Who is Felix Klieser?

We introduce you to the extraordinary talents of French horn player Felix Klieser, who, having been born with no arms, plays his instrument with his toes

Artist-in-Residence Felix Klieser (c)Maike Helbig (1)

Felix Klieser might have been born with no arms, but it’s not stopped him developing an international career as a horn player. Instead of using his hands to press the valves, he uses his toes.

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His French horn sits on a stand, and he uses his right foot to move in and out of hte bell of the instrument and his left foot to press the valves and change the notes.

Who is Felix Klieser?

Felix Klieser was born in Göttingen in Germany in 1991.

Having trained at the Hochschule für Music und Theater in Hannover, Klieser went on to win the 2014 ECHO Klassik award for young artist of the year.

He has performed with Simon Rattle and has taken part in Sting’s world tour.

Klieser is the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s artist in residence for the 2021/22 concert season, having made his debut with the orchestra in November in a performance of Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4, conducted by Kirill Karabits.

Felix Klieser’s recording history

Klieser’s first recording was released in 2013 when he was just 22 on the Berlin Classics label. Reveries featured Romantic music for horn and piano, with Klieser performing alongside his regular chamber music partner, pianist Christof Keymer.

Two years later, he joined the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra of Heilbronn for a recording of horn concertos by Joseph and Michael Haydn.

In the interim years before Klieser released another major solo recording, he appeared on several chamber recordings. In 2014, he featured on soprano Christiane Karg and pianist Malcolm Martineau’s album, playing Strauss’s Ein Alphorn hor’ ich schallen. He later joined violinist Andrej Bielow and pianist Herbert Schuch on a recording of horn trios by Duvernoy, Koechlin, Kahn and Brahms.

Artist-in-Residence Felix Klieser (c)Maike Helbig (2)

In 2019, he released an album of Mozart horn concertos with Camerata Salzburg, also on the Berlin Classics label.

His most recent recording was Beyond Words, released in March 2021 with CHAARTS Chamber Artists. The album featured works by JS Bach, Vivaldi and Gluck.

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Read all our reviews of Felix Klieser’s recordings here.

Felix Klieser_portrait(c)Gregor Hohenberg