Iris Siegfried earned her musical laurels early in life when she won the prestigious “Jugend musiziert” competition. She later proved her talent as a singer with performances in various choirs and a-cappella groups. Along with music, Iris studied law and completed her final qualifying exam in 2000. She has worked as a lawyer since this time. Since 2006, she has been practicing as a lawyer specialising in industrial property rights law and is an associate at a Hamburg law firm. She completed her second degree, this time as a cultural and media manager, at the Hamburger Hochschule für Musik und Theater and has been lecturing at this university since 2008. Iris has been a professor of industrial property rights and copyright law since July 2018.
But the greatest thing in the world for Iris is making music: together with Angelika Bachmann, she formed the quartet Salut Salon in 2002. Since 1992, the two violinists have also led the children’s orchestra “Die Coolen Streicher” (The Cool Strings) which they co-founded – an undertaking that won an award in 2004 from the then German Federal President Johannes Rau for the most innovative music project in Germany.
For over 15 years, Iris has been committed to the Escuela Popular de Artes, a music school in Achupallas, a disadvantaged area in the Chilean town Viña del Mar. Iris is the artistic director of the music initiative “The Young ClassX,” founded in 2008 by Salut Salon and the Otto Group, and which has since reached out to over 13,000 children in Hamburg, enabling them to sing in choirs, play in orchestras or travel on the “MusikMobil” to symphony rehearsals, concerts and instrument makers. Since 2013, Iris Siegfried and Angelika Bachmann have been the artistic directors of the prestigious Hamburg Instrumental Competition, which organizes the annual children’s concert “Konzert der Kinder” in the Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle. Beside this Iris gives university lectures on stage performance to music majors.
In 2011, Iris Siegfried received the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) from the German Federal President in Berlin as acknowledgement of her voluntary service to music education for children. In 2015 she was named honorary guard of the canal locks in the Alster lake - an award for sons and daughters of Hamburg who have earned the privilege to serve as ambassadors for their city throughout the world. Together with Salut Salon, she received the ECHO Klassik in the category „Classic Without Borders“. In 2019, the project ›The Young ClassX‹ initiated by Salut Salon and the otto group was awarded the German Culture Promotion Prize.