Cellist Clemens Hagen comes from a Salzburg family of musicians and received his first lessons at the age of six. Two years later he began studying at the Mozarteum University in his hometown and later moved to the University of Music in Basel. His teachers included Wilfried Tachezi and Heinrich Schiff. In addition to numerous first prizes, Clemens Hagen was awarded the special prize of the Vienna Philharmonic in 1983, as well as the Karl Böhm Prize.
Clemens Hagen has performed as a soloist with internationally renowned orchestras such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Camerata Salzburg, the German Chamber Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra under conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Claudio Abbado, Franz Welser-Möst, Ingo Metzmacher, Sándor Végh, Daniel Harding, Zoltán Kocsis, and Sylvain Cambreling.
Clemens Hagen’s extensive discography includes live recordings of Brahms’s Double Concerto with Gidon Kremer and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, also under Harnoncourt. He has also recorded Beethoven and Schumann’s complete works for cello and piano with Paul Gulda and Stefan Vladar and his latest recording features Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major.
Chamber music is an essential complement to Clemens Hagen’s solo career, including first and foremost the Hagen Quartet, with whom he has performed worldwide for over 35 years and recorded over 45 CDs for Deutsche Grammophon. Other chamber music partners include Gidon Kremer, Renaud Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, Christian Tetzlaff, Yuja Wang, Evgeny Kissin, Mitsuko Uchida, Martha Argerich, Hélène Grimaud, Kirill Gerstein, Stefan Vladar, Leif Ove Andsnes and Sabine Meyer.
Clemens Hagen was invited by the late Claudio Abbado to join the newly founded Lucerne Festival Orchestra in 2003 and continues to be a member of the Orchestra. From the 2018/19 season on he has been the cellist of the Vienna Piano Trio. Clemens Hagen has taught the cello, as well as chamber music, at the Mozarteum University since 1988 and has held a professorship there since 2003.
He plays a cello by Antonio Stradivari from 1698.