Christian Loferer: Der Hornist musiziert in den Isarauen vor der Kirche St. Maximilian
Bavarian heavy metal

Christian Loferer is a horn player at the Bavarian State Opera. In his leisure time, he artfully blends Bavarian brass band tradition with classic and modern music

Horn Player Christian Loferer

A huge chandelier hangs from the ceiling of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. The box seats are elaborately decorated with stucco, and the magnificent royal box stands in the centre. The Bavarian State Operaat the Nationaltheater on Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich isthe largest opera house in Germany. This is where Christian Loferer works, horn player in the Bavarian State Orchestra.

Music with Bavarian soul

When Christian Loferer plays, he allows the soul of Bavaria to rise to the fore in his music – it is a feeling that the man from the Chiemgau has carried with him since he was a boy. He began playing the horn when he was just nine years old. His path led him to Grassau Music School, then to the Chiemgau Youth Orchestra, and, of course, to the traditional brass bands, which he played with for years.

Christian Loferer: Alphorn spielen bei schönstem Ausblick auf die Chiemgauer Berge
Christian Loferer: Der Hornist auf dem Weg in das Nationaltheater am Max-Joseph-Platz

“I still keep this up now, when I can fit it in”, he says. “I played at a concert with the band in Schleching in the summer of 2015. I think it is important not to forget your roots.” He began at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater. In 2005, he was given the permanent position of horn player in the State Opera – and he brought the Bavarian brass band tradition with him into the concert hall. He describes it as the “Bavarian soul”.

"Nature is so full of life and diverse here"

“I notice it when I am playing music by composers like Richard Strauss. He wrote his pieces in the alpine uplands, in Garmisch. His pieces were influenced by the surroundings. From the ringing of cow bells that he heard, or the view of the Alps.” Fellow musicians, who didn’t grow up with it, have to work this out. For Loferer, the Bavarian soul is drawn from nature: “Nature is so full of life and diverse here. This splendour means that Bavarians tend to be humorous types.”

Christian Loferer: Der Alphornbläser an einem Gipfelkreuz in den Chiemgauer Berge

Musicians with a great love of life

Fittingly, the horn players are known to be an especially fun-loving group. They form their own group within the orchestra and are positioned away from the rest of the brass musicians because they fulfil a different function: “We are in dialogue with the woodwind musicians”, explains Loferer. As the Munich Opera Horns, they have been playing pieces that have been especially arranged for large horn ensembles since 2007.

Christian Loferer: Der Musiker wechselt zwischen klassischer Musik und Blasmusik

Young talents for brass music

Loferer is also involved in modern brass music. He has appeared with the Banana Fishbones and the band Sommersault, and has played with the Munich Brass Connection, which he co-founded, for 14 years now. He thinks that the new brass music trend with brass bands like Kellerkommando or Moop Mama is great, and even has a personal connection with it: “I know Stefan Dettl, the frontman of LaBrassBanda, well. We were at music school together and played together in various bands. He was in our brass quintet for a while.”

Christian Loferer: Der Musiker verbindet bayerische Blaskapellentradition mit klassischer und moderner Musik

Does he have a sense of this enthusiasm for brass music amongst youngsters back home in the Chiemgau? “Yes, Stefan Dettl is like a flagship musician for us, as he learned his craft in Grassau.” He doesn’t see himself as a role model, he says; but adds, grinning: “But it is clear that Grassau produces great horn players.”

Christian Loferer: Blasmusik ist für den Musiker ein Stück bayerischer Identität

... from Christian

Gasthof Zellerwand
The "Gasthof Zellerwand" pub in Schleching is always worth a stop. Whether in the beautiful beer garden under the chestnut trees in summer or, when it gets colder, in the charming parlour of the listed building from 1853: here you can enjoy Alpine cuisine with many products from the surrounding area, for which the innkeepers have received several awards.
gasthof-zellerwand.de (only in German)

A walk along the Schmugglerweg
For walking, I would recommend the so-called Schmugglerweg, or Smuggler’s Trail, towards Kössen as far as the suspension bridge over the Entenlochklamm Gorge. The trail starts from the Geigelstein car park in Ettenhausen.
chiemsee-chiemgau.info (only in German)

Christian at the opera house in Munich

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