Hans-Dieter Karras was born in 1959 in Jena (Thüringen). He began his musical training in Dresden, majoring in conducting, piano and composition. He pursued organ studies at the same time with Herbert Collum and others. From 1978 to 1982, he studied religious music at the Westfalian State School of Church Music in Herford and conducting at the Music Academy of Detmold. Since finishing his studies, he has been cantor and organist of the Brüdernkirche St. Ulrici church in Braunschweig.
He has worked with such renowned teachers as Gaston Litaize, Marie-Claire Alain, Jean Guillou and Jean Langlais, privately and in master classes.
Hans-Dieter Karras performs world-wide as an organist and improviser. He is a guest professor at several universities and conservatories (for example in Riga and at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge). He has made numerous recordings for radio and television, several CDs and one LP. Hans-Dieter Karras' compositions cover the entire range of musical genres.