Walter Seyfarth was born in Düsseldorf in 1953. At the age of 16 he won the 1st prize of the German Tonkünstlerverband. After studying with Peter Rieckhoff at the Freiburg Musikhochschule and as a scholarship student of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Orchestra Academy with Karl Leister, he was engaged in the Saarland Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1975, as 3rd deputy 1st clarinetist with a commitment to high clarinets. Since 1985 he has been a member of the Berlin Philharmonic as solo E-flat clarinetist. From this time on he played under Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko among others.
In 1988 he founded the “Philharmonic Wind Quintet Berlin” with which he tours worldwide and has released numerous CD recordings. He is also a member of the ensemble “Bläser der Berliner Philharmoniker”. As a lecturer he teaches at the Orchestra Academy of the Herbert von Karajan Foundation. He has worked as a woodwind mentor for the Young Philharmonic Orchestra of Venezuela “El Sistema”, among others. He also gives master classes in Europe, Asia, North and South America. At the festival “Música em Trancoso” (Brazil), he met the Brazilian pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano with his Bossa Nova Quartet in 2012. Together with him he recorded a DVD entitled “Joined” This was nominated for the Latin Grammy Award in 2017.
Among his ancestors are the composers Albert Lortzing and Ferdinand Ries.
Since 2020, Walter Seyfarth has been a lecturer for clarinet at the Anton Rubinstein International Music Academy in Berlin. Since April 2021 he teaches clarinet at the Beethoven Conservatory in Tegelen.