Diemut Poppen (born in Münster, Germany) began violin lessons at the age of seven, but changed to the viola having been exposed to it through playing chamber music. She has been taught by leading players such as Kim Kashkashian, Bruno Giuranna, Yuri Bashmet, Hariolf Schlichtig, Georges Janzer and the Amadeus Quartet. She has also studied with Frans Brüggen, Heinz Holliger and Claudio Abbado.
She succeeded Nobuko Imai in her position at the Detmold School of Music. She has been a member of the jury at several international competitions such as the ARD International Music Competition in Munich. She is also director of the Chamber Music Summer Academy in Turingen and she founded the Osnabrück Chamber Music Series.
Poppen has recorded for different labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, Live Classics, Cappricio, Ondine, Ars Musici, Tudor and EMI. Her wide repertory includes the new Mijail Pletnev and Kancheli Styx concertos for viola and orchestra.