Death of Reinhard Friedrich

12 Nov 2014

The photographer Reinhard Friedrich died in Berlin on 26 October at the age of 85. For more than 40 years, he accompanied the Berliner Philharmoniker with his camera, from the construction of the Philharmonie and its opening in 1963 to the inauguration of Sir Simon Rattle as the orchestra's chief conductor. He regularly attended rehearsals, observing and documenting how the conductor and soloists work with the Philharmoniker, and how performances and interpretations come together. He was integrated more or less as a partner in the orchestra's day to day activities, documenting not only the spectacular, often moving moments, but also the life of the orchestra, fully and comprehensively in around 30,000 photos. In the summer of 2014, he donated his collection to the archive of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Concert goers encounter his photographs on an almost daily basis: in programmes, books and documents, on the website and of course in newspapers and magazines – most recently for the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall: the legendary “Wall concert” with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Daniel Barenboim on 12 November 1989 was vividly captured by Reinhard Friedrich and his camera.

Helge Grünewald

(Photo: (Foto: R. Friedrich))