Death of Eberhard Finke

30 Aug 2016

Eberhard Finke was one of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s most influential musicians of the postwar period. Now he died at the age of 96. Born in Bremen, he studied at the Staatliche akademische Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. Following an engagement as first principal cellist in Rio De Janeiro, he took over the same position with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1950. Until his retirement in 1985, he could be heard as a soloist with the orchestra in many concert performances. In 1972, he was one of the founding members of the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker. From 1969, Eberhard Finke taught as a professor at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. Until a few years ago, he held masterclasses and was a judge at competitions.

Knut Weber, member of the orchestra board and cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker: “Eberhard Finke set standards as a musician and cellist. Even in old age, his interest in music and the Berliner Philharmoniker was as keen as when he joined the orchestra. Many sound recordings with Eberhard Finke as the soloist in orchestral concerts and as a chamber musician demonstrate an intensive examination of the work, including unknown repertoire which was something close to his heart. He was passionately devoted to young musicians, and as a teacher over several decades, he influenced generations of cellists. Eberhard Finke’s humanity also had a profound effect on others. Colleagues and soloists of his acquaintance held in esteem not only the fineness of his cello playing, but also his personality.”

(Photo: Gustav Zimmermann)