Karl Kamper was born in Vienna.
He completed his studies in conducting, choral and ensemble conducting at the Vienna Conservatory with distinction. He soon enjoyed remarkable success as the youngest chorus master in Germany.
In 1981 he returned to his home country and took up an appointment at the Salzburg Landestheater as chorus master and conductor. Under his baton the choir achieved international renown and in Salzburg worked together intensively with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Karl Kamper has repeatedly participated in the Salzburg Festival, the Salzburg Easter Festival (under Herbert von Karajan) and in the Salzburg Mozart Week.
In 1983 Karl Kamper founded the Salzburg Concert Choir.
In 1986 he was appointed chorus master at the Vienna State Opera where he entered into a fruitful collaboration with Claudio Abbado. In 1989 Karl Kamper prepared the Vienna State Opera Chorus for the traditional Concert for All Saints`Day which was broadcast worldwide.
In 1987 Karl Kamper was awarded the Clemens Krauss Medal.
In the season 1990/91 Karl Kamper was appointed chorus master at Zurich Opera House and after spending three years there he went to the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Karl Kamper has made recordings with Claudio Abbado, James Levine and Lorin Maazel.
In 1996 Karl Kamper was appointed professor for choral conducting at the Mozarteum University. In 2001 he again became chorus master of the choir of the Salzburg Landestheater.