Otto Kronthaler was born in Bavarian Schroben-hausen. At the age of 15 he started clarinet lessons with Georg Lechner, former principal clarinettist of the Augsburg Philharmonics. Lechner was heavily influenced by the Viennese clarinet school, which shaped Otto's entire career as a musician.
After leaving school he spent a year in military service and played in the Air Force Music Corp Band in Munich. He then moved to Augsburg to become a teacher of religion and music. After his state exams, he decided to take private clarinet lessons, which led to his appointment as clarinettist with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra six months later. Otto had to give up playing the clarinet, after [what was essentially] a paralysis of his embouchure. He decided to become an instrument maker, which he did 18 months later.
This career change led him to meet Johanna, who would later become his wife. Together they founded a company where they developed a completely new line of clarinets, which made it possible for Otto to play again. In 1989 the vocational college for music in Bad Koenigshofen created a post for him as clarinet and saxophone teacher. This led to freelance work as an orchestra and chamber musician and to solo performances. In parallel he worked for 10 years on his doctoral dissertation which he completed in 2000.
His first teaching post at the conservatory in Karlsruhe as an acting professor led to teaching positions at the conservatories in Mannheim and Wuerzburg.
Particularly important musical collaborations include his performances with specialist ensemb-les Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble and Concentus Musicus Wien where he regularly worked with the conductors Nicolaus Harnoncourt and Thomas Hengelbrock.
In 2005 he and his wife moved the entire clarinet making company from Bad Neustadt to Karlsruhe-Durlach.
At the age of 50 Otto retired as a performing clarinettist and teacher, to invest his time and energy in the further development of the clarinet.
His widespread knowledge and experience has made it possible to assist and advise many clarinetists who come to him. In his free time you might find him hiking in Alsace or on one of the pilgrim's paths to Santiago de Compostela.