The Berliner Philharmoniker mourn the death of Rainer Kussmaul, 1st concertmaster of the orchestra from 1993 to 1998. Born in Schriesheim near Heidelberg in 1946, Kussmaul studied in Stuttgart under Ricardo Odnoposoff, and in 1977 became a professor himself at the University of Music Freiburg. He took leave from this position to become a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker, succeeding Leon Spierer. In 1995, he founded the Berlin Baroque Soloists with colleagues from the orchestra. He remained associated with the ensemble as artistic director for many years, even after he had resumed his teaching in Freiburg.
Ulrich Knörzer, member of the orchestra board: “Rainer Kussmaul was one of the most influential musicians of the Abbado era with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He impressed us not only with his warm but clear sound, but also with his inexhaustible curiosity for the new. His status as one of the pioneers and masters of the Baroque violin is testimony to his wide artistic horizons. As a teacher he had a great impact on outstanding violinists of the younger generation, including our present 1st concertmaster Daishin Kashimoto. We will remember Rainer Kussmaul as a great musician and as a witty, humorous colleague.”