Death of Dietrich Gerhardt

09 Nov 2022

The Berliner Philharmoniker mourn the death of Dietrich Gerhardt, who played viola with the orchestra from 1955 to 1993. Born in Berlin in 1928, he received his training at the Musikhochschule Freiburg im Breisgau from 1948 to 1951. He was a musician with Südwestfunk, the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester and the orchestra of Radio Bremen before becoming a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker in the first year of the Karajan era. Among the many musical experiences of the following decades, the concert under Daniel Barenboim marking the fall of the Berlin Wall left a lasting impression on him, calling it “the most wonderful, most moving concert of my life”.

Dietrich Gerhardt was particularly committed to the democratic independence of the Berliner Philharmoniker, on whose committees he was active for many years: from 1969 to 1972 and from 1981 to 1990 on the Council of Five and from 1972 to 1976 on the orchestra board. As a chamber musician, he played with colleagues from the orchestra in the Philharmonic Octet Berlin from 1960 to 1965 and in the Westphal Quartet from 1965 to 1987. He was also involved in the training of young musicians, such as in the founding of the Karajan Academy in 1972, and as a teacher at the Berlin University of the Arts from 1988 to 1995. Dietrich Gerhardt died on 7 November at the age of 94.

Dietrich Gerhardt
(Photo: Archiv Berliner Philharmoniker)