Detlef Bensmann

studied saxophone with Prof. Omar Lamparter and double bass with Prof. Heinz Jablonski in Berlin, Germany. After playing double bass in the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (1979/80), he started his career as a saxophone soloist with a debut concert in the Berlin Philharmonie with the Radio Symphonie Orchestra Berlin (DSO) and a first recording of concertos for saxophone and orchestra (1980).

Among Mr. Bensmann’s twenty commercial recordings of important works are pieces composed for Detlef Bensmann and others composed by Detlef Bensmann.   He reguarly performs internationally with world-class orchestras and conductors of renown, such as Dmitrij Kitajenko with the Berner Symphoniker, with Radio Symphonie Orchestra Frankfurt (HR), and Kazushi Ono, Sian Edwards, Eiji Oue, Tetsuro Ban, David Shallon, Michael Dixon, Golo Berg, Neil Thompson, Jorge Lopez Marìn (Cuba), Olaf Koch and others.

More than 25 concertos for saxophone and orchestra have been composed especially for Detlef Bensmann (mostly recorded) and he has premiered more than 100 compositions for chamber ensembles or solo pieces; most of those are documented on nearly 50 cds.
 In 1983, Mr. Bensmann founded the Berlin Saxophone Quartet where, until July 2007, he performed as the primarius (principal) of this ensemble.  He has continued playing saxophone quartets with the “Bensmann-Saxophone-Quartet”, which he founded 2006  with students of his master-class. In 2017 Mr. Bensmann founded in Shenzhen (China) the Nova Berlin Saxophone Quartet together with Pei Yin, Lilly Paddags and Ninoslav Dimov. In 2018 he refounded the Bensmann Saxophone Quartet in Berlin with Tianhong Wu, Pai Liu and Ninoslav Dimov.
 In 1984, Mr. Bensmann  started teaching at the University of the Arts, Berlin. Since 1992, he is also teaching at the “Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin” and, from summer 2010 to summer 2016, he was teaching at the HMT Rostock. Since Winter 2016 he is also teaching in Akademie for Arts Berlin and since October 2018 in Akademie for Music Berlin (Kaleidos Universtiy).
 Since 1987, Mr. Bensmann has also performed at concerts and recorded with the piano soloist Michael Rische (2 cds published). In that time he also started the cooperation with Christian Roderburg (percussion, 1 cd together). For both duos compositions were created.
 In 2004, Mr. Bensmann founded the BENSMANN-TRIO with Waltraut Wächter (Violin – first Konzertmeister of MDR SO) and the pianist Dmitrij Befeler. (first commercial CD “Poèmes”). This trio is still working with different partners.
 In the last 20 years, Mr. Bensmann has also pursued a career as conductor and composer.
The most important works composed by Detlef Bensmann are:
“Spirale“ for saxophone alto and full orchestra (1)
“Fantasia cubana” for saxophone alto/soprano (1 player) and chamber orchestra (1)
„Hallo Mr. SaxOphon“ for 5 saxophones (one player) and orchestra (for family programs) (1)
“Hot-Sonata” by Erwin Schulhoff / Detlef Bensmann (orchestration 1993 (2), 2014 (1))
“Maurische Rhapsodie” by Claude Debussy / Detlef Bensmann (reconstruction, arrangement, orchestration, in small parts new composed) for Alto-/ Sopranosaxophone and Orchestra (1)
“An American Songbook” for singer and orchestra (1)
“Traumsequenzen” for violin and saxophone alto (1)
“Wo das Licht die Saite kreuzt – Poème nach Claude Debussy“ for viol., alto sax., piano (1)
„Psalm and Meditation“ for soprano, vcello, sax., perc. and organ (manuscript)
“Magischer Gesang” for alto saxophone and organ or wind orchestra.

Detlef Bensmann is officially supported by the Geothe-Institut


Foto: Karo Kraemer

1 = Ed. Ries & Erler Berlin      2 = Ed. Schott