Martin Menking

Born in Münster

Member since 1996-09-01


First prize in three »Jugend musiziert« (German national youth) competitions, grant recipient of the German Music Competition

»To belong to the Berliner Philharmoniker is a very great gift and privilege, something of which one should remind oneself every day. That’s not always easy, but the realization is still always there. To play in an orchestra in which one has the feeling that everyone is pulling together and aiming for the best possible result is not something you can normally take for granted. But in the Berliner Philharmoniker, fortunately, you can. You’re making music with like-minded people – that’s something you know and can sense, and, I think, the audience can as well. Nevertheless, it’s most fun of all to be appreciated also as an individual in smaller ensembles and chamber activities, for example the ›12 Cellists‹.«

Because he came into the world with big hands, declared a great-uncle, the boy must learn the cello. This encouragement was gladly seized upon by his parents: that was the very instrument lacking for a family string quartet. And so Martin Menking began playing the cello at the age of nine, becoming a pupil of Heinrich Schiff and David Geringas and going on to win numerous prizes and distinctions. Master classes brought him into contact with, among others, Yo-Yo Ma, Boris Pergamenschikow, Janos Starker, Siegfried Palm and Isaac Stern as well as the Beaux Arts Trio and Alban Berg Quartet. In 1994 he became assistant principal cellist of the Hamburg Radio (NDR) Symphony Orchestra, and two years later joined the Berliner Philharmoniker. Menking is involved in making chamber music with his colleagues in a number of different formations, most notably the »12 Cellists«, of whom he is managing director. He finds a balance with his professional activity in nature and in sport, of which his favourite forms are swimming, jogging, badminton, windsurfing and cycling.