Axel Dörner was born in 1964 in Köln, Germany. At the age of nine he started playing piano, at the age of eleven playing trumpet. Later he studied piano at the conservatory in Arnhem, The Netherlands, then piano and trumpet at the Musikhochschule in Köln. In 1993 he recorded his ﬁrst CD in a trio called The Remedy. In 1994 Dörner moved to Berlin. With Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet, Joachim Dette (bass) and Uli Jennessen (drums) he started the band Die Enttäuschung playing exclusively compositions of Thelonious Monk.
In 1995 he started visiting London which led to longtime collaborations with many musicians from the English scene. At the same time he also took part in performances all over Europe (and later at Carnegie Hall, New York) of Requiem für einen jungen Dichter by Bernd Alois Zimmermann with SWR Symphony orchestra conducted by Michael Gielen. Parallel he continued his research on extended trumpet techniques and musical structures. Before he recorded his ﬁrst ofﬁcially released solo CD named Trumpet (A Bruit Secret, 2001), he made a number of trumpet solo releases in the late 1990s, only published as CD–Rs with self-made covers. Since 2000 extended concert tours on all ﬁve continents which led to a worldwide genre- comprehensive musical network with most distinguished musicians of our time. His discography consists at this time of more than 150 CDs / LPs.
Axel Dörner is one of the most unique voices in free improvisation. He developed a completely different language for the trumpet.