Ulrich Haider was born in 1971 in Erding and received his first horn instruction at the age of 11. While still in school he became a junior student of Otto Schmitz at the Munich Music Academy in 1987, continuing his studies with him after completing his secondary education. He won several prizes from "Jugend Musiziert" and has played in the Bavarian State Youth Orchestra. Starting in the autumn of 1991, Wolfgang Gaag was his Academy instructor. At the same time he assumed his first orchestral post as utility hornist in the Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Nuremberg. At the beginning of the 1993/94 season he moved on to a position as deputy first hornist with the Munich Philharmonic.