Ulf Bästlein studied Classics and German at the University of Freiburg, passing the state exams in these subjects and completing a doctorate which was funded by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. He then went on to study singing in Freiburg, passing his graduate recital exam with distinction.
His stage career began at the Stadttheater in Heidelberg. Since then, he has performed in Augsburg, Hannover, Lübeck, and Hamburg among other locations. Bästlein has won many awards (including second prize in the German Music Competition).
He has performed in many countries across Europe as well as China, the United States, and Turkey and is a frequent guest at international music festivals, including the Festival of Flanders (Belgium), the Stresa Festival (Italy), the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and Rheingau Music Festival (Germany), Styriarte (Austria), the Ludwigsburg Palace Festival and the Herrenchiemsee Festival (Germany). He has given song and Lieder recitals with Charles Spencer, Michael Gees, James Tocco, Julius Drake, Axel Bauni, Detlef Kraus and Sascha El Mouissi.
Bästlein has recorded a large number of CDs, including settings of Heine, Goethe, Storm, Hebbel, Voß, Trakl-, Geibel- and Leitner. His recordings include Winterreise, Dichterliebe, and drinking songs. He has recorded oratorios and operas for Sony Classical, CPO, Orfeo and Hänssler among others.
He is Professor of Singing at Lübeck Academy of Music, Germany, and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. At present he is also Director of the Artistic Doctoral School at the University of Music, Graz.
He regularly holds masterclasses in China, Russia, Turkey and Italy.
In 2000, he founded “Liedkunst” in Husum (Schleswig-Holstein, in cooperation with the pianist Charles Spencer). As part of this Lied festival, Bästlein is involved in the promotion of rising talent (masterclasses and a competition with an awards ceremony) and in concerts which have garnered international acclaim.
Bästlein is the editor of Anselm Hüttenbrenner’s Lieder and the author of publications on the early 19th-century German Lied and on artistic and academic research.
Bästlein has developed new and innovative concert formats: panel discussions on literary and music history, alternating readings and Lied performances.