Klaus Tennstedt (6th. June, 1926-11th. January, 1998) was a German conductor from Merseburg. He studied violin and piano at the Leipzig Conservatory. He became concertmaster of the orchestra at the Halle Municipal Theatre in 1948. However, a finger injury stopped his career as a violinist and afterwards he worked as a coach to singers at the same theatre. Tennstedt then directed his talents towards conducting. In 1958 he became music director of the Dresden Opera and, in 1962, music director of the Schwerin State Orchestra and Theatre.