Renate Rusche-Staudinger was born in Würzburg in 1959. She had already started studying the bass clarinet before taking her Abitur school-leaving exams, and its warm, sonorous and magical sound continues to enthral her. "I sang in the Koblenz Stadttheater’s additional chorus in their production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser. In the third act, there is Elizabeth’s Prayer , a heartfelt antiphon between a soprano and the bass clarinet. For me, this has always been one of the most beautiful solos in the bass clarinet repertoire, and it was the beginning of a lasting love affair with this instrument."
Rusche-Staudinger studied under Professor Hans Pfeifer at the Heidelberg-Mannheim University of Music, and participated in complementary master courses with Karl Leister in Assisi and Riva. Her guiding light for the bass clarinet has always been the Czech virtuoso Josef Horák (1931-2005).
Following her first engagement at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, she joined the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1984 as a bass clarinettist. Since 1988, she has held the same position as a member of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg. She has also held visiting positions with the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and various ARD public service broadcasters and opera houses.
In addition to her orchestral work, she has distinguished herself as a soloist of bass clarinet concertos and performed works by Dietrich Erdmann (world premiere), Thea Musgrave (German premiere) and Stefan Heucke. Renowned composers have responded to her suggestions and have written works for unaccompanied bass clarinet and for bass clarinet and piano duets, which she has also premiered. Many of these commissions are dedicated to her and have now been published, enriching the instrument’s repertoire.
Renate Rusche-Staudinger regularly accepts invitations to give master courses in Germany and abroad. Focusing on the theme of The Classical Bass Clarinet, she works with her students to examine the instrument’s sound culture and the interpretation of works. This focus distinguishes her course profile considerably from programmes that concentrate more on an avant-garde approach.
She makes her reeds herself, using untreated wood that she selects from the growers in the Var region of the south of France.