2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, horn
The Berlin Philharmonic Octet was founded more than 70 years ago and was the first chamber association of the Berliner Philharmoniker to appear in all major European cities. Since then the ensemble has continually renewed itself, drawing again and again from the Berliner Philharmoniker’s membership: its chronicle features such great names and world-famous musicians as the former concertmasters Spivakovsky, Rohn and Borries; the cellists Piatigorsky, Graudan and de Machula; the clarinettist Bürkner and the bassoonist Rothensteiner.
After World War II, the ensemble expanded its already vigorous touring activities within Europe to take in other continents, visiting the USA, Canada, Africa, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia. In 1978 the Philharmonic Octet gave its first concerts in Israel and the Soviet Union. It has appeared regularly at the festivals of Salzburg, Lucerne, Edinburgh and Berlin. Paul Hindemith dedicated his Octet to the ensemble in 1958 and played first viola when they gave the premiere in Berlin. Other composers who have written for them include Hans Werner Henze, Boris Blacher, Werner Thärichen, Karl Heinz Wahren, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Isang Yun.