Kai Roehrig was born in Oberhausen/Germany. He got his musical education at the Musikhochschule in Köln and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where he studied orchestra-conducting with Michael Gielen and Dennis Russell Davies. He attended masterclasses with Rolf Liebermann. In 1998 Kai Röhrig was first prizewinner of the Bernhard-Paumgartner-Medaille by the International Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg. As musical assistant he worked for some of the most important conductors of today like Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Pierre Boulez, for orchestras like the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker or the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and for festivals in Bayreuth, Luzern, London, Baden-Baden and Salzburg. As a protégé of Bernard Haitink he worked for several years with orchestras like the Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam and the European Union Youth Orchestra.
His first conducting appointment was as first Kapellmeister of the Salzburger Landestheater before being chosen for the position of Music Director. During a decade at this theatre he let more than 400 performances with the world-renowned Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and conducted a broad operatic repertoire, encompassing not only major German and Italian operas, but also important contemporary works. He also conducted many performances of operas like La Boheme, Carmen, Ariadne auf Naxos and Tristan and Isolde in the Salzburger Großes Festspielhaus. He also held the position as resident conductor and first Kapellmeister with the Philharmonie Niederbayern and the State-Theater of Passau and conducted many successful premieres of many operas. He received international attention for the worldwide first premiere of Mstislav Weinbergs The Golden Key. His last premiere in Passau was the first stage-production after 300 years of Johann Georg Conradis rediscovered masterpiece, the opera Ariadne.
In October 2014 Kai Roehrig was appointed as professor and music director of the opera department of the University Mozarteum in Salzburg. Beside that position he keeps a busy life as guest-conductor with several different opera companies and orchestras.
Beside his permanent positions in Passau and Salzburg Kai Roehrig appeared as guest-conductor in major Opera-theatres like the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, the Staatsoper Hannover and the Royal Operahouse of Cairo. For the Festival of the Cultural City of Europe RUHR2010 he conducted a staged production of Hans Werner Henzes opera Das Wundertheater together with Mozarts Der Schauspieldirektor.
Conducting a huge concert-repertoire he appears regularly with many symphony-orchestras, including the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, the swiss orchestra I Sinfonietti 01 in Zurich, the Slowenian Radio-Symphony Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra. He conducted in famous concerthalls like the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Tonhalle Zurich and the Brucknerhaus in Linz and appeared in Festivals like the Wagner-Tage in Leipzig, the Rheingau-Musikfestival and the Wiener Festwochen. He gave his acclaimed debut-concert in the Berliner Philharmonie with the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
In May 2013 Kai Roehrig conducted a Wagner-Gala with the Korean KBS-Symphony-Orchestra Wagner in the Seoul Arts Center including the first act of Die Walküre with Catharine Naglestad and Marco Jentzsch as soloists. In August 2013 he gave his opera-debut at the Salzburger Festspiele, conducting a co-production with Zurich Operahouse of Mozarts Die Zauberflöte as part of the Young Singers Project and returned to the festival in the following years with a successful new production of Mozarts Die Entführung aus dem Serail and several performances of Rossinis La Cenerentola.
Kai Roehrigs big passion is the field of contemporary music. He appeared with ensembles like the OENM, the Aspekte New Music Ensemble and the Ensemble of the Paul-Hofhaymer-Society and he appeared in festivals like the Munich Biennale, the TransArt-Festival in Italy or the Ruhrtriennale. He conducted first performances of new works by composers like Wolfgang Rihm, Manfred Trojahn, Adriana Hölzky, Herbert Grassl and many others.