Death of Thomas Brandis

03 Apr 2017

The violinist Thomas Brandis earned the highest of reputations as 1st concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker, a soloist and as a chamber musician. On 30 March, he died at the age of 81. Born in Hamburg, Thomas Brandis was a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker between 1962–1983. In 1976, he founded the Brandis Quartet, which was celebrated at festivals both in Germany and beyond for its more than 25 years of existence. As a teacher, he worked at, among others, Berlin University of Arts, the University of Music Lübeck, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Many violinists in the Berliner Philharmoniker today were his pupils.

Knut Weber, member of the orchestra board, “Thomas Brandis’s extraordinary musicality has been documented in many recordings, from Mozart’s Haffner Serenade to Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra. His playing gives a condensed account of the qualities of the Karajan era: a rich, singing tone and an unerring sense of musical dramaturgy. Even after his retirement, he maintained a close friendship with the orchestra. Just recently, he visited us at the concert with Kirill Petrenko and shared our excitement about the coming era. We will miss him.”

Thomas Brandis
(Photo: Archiv Berliner Philharmoniker)