Karl Leister (born 15 June 1937) is a classical clarinet player from Wilhelmshaven, Germany. At a very young age, he learned to play the clarinet from his father, also a clarinetist, and later studied at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin. As a teenager, he was accepted into the Komische Oper Berlin under Václav Neumann and Walter Felsenstein as clarinet soloist.
The creation of the Herbert von Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has permitted Leister to teach music to a whole new generation of musicians. Leister currently holds the position of Professor at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler, Berlin.