The German pianist, composer, festival and concert promoter, Steffen Schleiermacher, studied piano (Gerhard Erber), composition (Siegfried Thiele, Friedrich Schenker) and conducting (Günter Blumhagen) at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy of Music in Leipzig from 1980 until 1985. He was master pupil for composition with Friedrich Goldmann at the Academy of Arts in Berlin during 1986-1987 and for piano with Aloys Kontarsky at the Cologne Academy of Music during 1989-1990.
Steffen Schleiermacher has concertized as a soloist with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and other orchestras under Vladimir Ashkenazy, Friedrich Goldmann, Ingo Metzmacher, Vladimir Jurowski and Fabio Luisi. Schleiermacher's recordings amount to more than 60 CDs (e.g. the first recording of the complete piano works by John Cage) with different labels such as Hat Art, Wergo, MDG.
Concert tours have taken Steffen Schleiermacher throughout numerous European, South American and Far Eastern countries. Since 1988 he is in charge of the “musica nova” series at the Gewandhaus Leipzig, in 1989 he founded the Ensemble Avantgarde. He led the January Festival at the Museum of the Fine Arts in Leipzig from 1993 until 2000 and the annual festival “KlangRausch“ at the Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk from 2000 until 2010.
Recent commissions include Kokain for the Oper Bonn (2004), the orchestral works Gegen Bild (2006) and Das Leuchten der singenden Kristalle (2009) for the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Die Beschwörung der trunkenen Oase (2009) for the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Das Tosen des staunenden Echos (2009) for the musikFabrik, Ataraxia (2009) for the RIAS-Kammerchor and Four Pieces to interpolate the Bach-Mass (2008) for the Kirchenmusikfestival Oslo. At present Steffen Schleiermacher is working on compositions for Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestre Français des Jeunes, Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the Festival “pélegrinage“ Weimar.
Steffen Schleiermacher's numerous prizes and fellowship awards include the Gaudeamus Competition (1985), Eisler Prize (1986), Kranichstein Music Prize (1986), Christoph and Stephan Kaske Foundation Prize, Munich (1991), Fellowship of the German Academy at the Villa Massimo in Rome (1992), Japan Foundation Fellowship (1997), Fellowship of the Cité des Arts in Paris (1999) and Chevalier des artes et letters (2010).