Clarinet studies in Lübeck (Professors Reiner Wehle and Sabine Meyer) and Munich (Akademie des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Lorin Maazel). International masterclasses with Professors Eduard Brunner, Johannes Peitz and Wolfgang Meyer. 2011 – 2014 Teacher Training at the Lichtenberger® Institute for Applied Physiology of the Voice. Additional private singing studies, since 2015 in Berlin with Regina Jakobi.

Member of the German Federal Youth Orchestra and Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, scholarships from Possehl Foundation and Marie-Luise Imbusch Foundation (Lübeck), Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation (Hamburg) and Villa Musica (Koblenz). 

In 2001, he was awarded 3rd Prize at the prestigious International Carl Nielsen Competition (Odense) and won 1st Prize, Orchestra Award and Audience Award at the International Carl Maria von Weber Competition (European Classics Festival Ruhr). This led to appearances as soloist with several orchestras in Denmark and Germany (clarinet concertos by Mozart, Stamitz, Nielsen, Weber, Rosetti). 

2002 – 2015 First Principal Clarinetist with Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra / Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg. Appearances as soloist and chamber musician at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, Weilburger Schlossfestspiele and Ruhrtriennale. Regular guest of Bläserensemble Sabine Meyer and Trio di Clarone. Radio and television productions for BR, NDR, WDR, Arte and ARTHAUS Film, concert trips through Europe, USA and Asia. 

2014 also on stage as actor, clarinetist and singer in sweet.milk´s 4-person adaptation of Henry Purcell’s ‘King Arthur’ at the National Theatre Hannover.

In 2014, he gave up his permanent position in the orchestra to live and work in Berlin as a freelance clarinetist and teacher of the Lichtenberger® Method. He appears as soloist and chamber musician, and as Principal Clarinetist for orchestras such as Bavarian State Orchestra (National Opera Munich), Frankfurter Museumsorchester or Hamburger Symphoniker.

Intensive teaching activities, in his own studio in Berlin as well as for diverse institutions (see Teacher). Courses and masterclasses. 2015 Guest Professorship (Clarinet) at Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen, 2015-2020 teaching assignment (Clarinet and Lichtenberger® Method) as assistant of Professor Martin Spangenberg at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin.

From April 2020 on, Jens Thoben will be Professor for Clarinet at Musikhochschule Lübeck.


Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Staatskapelle Dresden
WDR-Sinfonieorchester Köln
Oper Frankfurt
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
Hamburger Symphoniker
Modern Art Ensemble Berlin
Zafraan Ensemble
Bläserensemble Sabine Meyer
Trio di Clarone
Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn
Ensemble Resonanz
and others