Death of Hans Priem

28 Mar 2022

The Berliner Philharmoniker mourn the loss of Hans Priem, who was a violist with the orchestra from 1950 to 1988. He was the last Berliner Philharmoniker to have played under Wilhelm Furtwängler. Born in Eschweiler-Bergrath in 1925, he received his training at the conservatory in Aachen. After his wartime service, Hans Priem became first violinist in the Städtisches Orchester Aachen at the age of 20 and then concertmaster at the Stadttheater in Mönchengladbach/Rheydt.  With the Berliner Philharmoniker, he was first principal violist and from 1952 to 1980 deputy principal violist.  

Hans Priem also trained as a conductor, drawing major inspiration from Sir John Barbirolli and Herbert von Karajan. After his conducting debut in 1967, he led orchestral concerts in Europe, Russia, America and China. Hans Priem also conducted ensembles of the Berliner Philharmoniker on a number of occasions. Recordings of marches by Ludwig van Beethoven with wind players of the Berliner Philharmoniker in particular found a wide audience.  

Hans Priem passed away on 25 March 2022 at the age of 96.

Hans Priem
(Photo: Archiv Berliner Philharmoniker)