The former principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker Wolfgang Boettcher passed away in Berlin on 24 February 2021 at the age of 86. Born in Berlin, he joined the orchestra in 1958 as a member of the cello section. From 1963, he was principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker and held this position until his retirement from the orchestra in 1976. In the same year, he took up a cello professorship at the Hochschule der Künste (now the Berlin University of the Arts).
Wolfgang Boettcher was one of the founding members of the 12 Cellists and the Brandis Quartet. He was also in demand as a soloist and chamber music partner and had many compositions for his instrument dedicated to him. The training of young musicians was a particular priority for him. No fewer than seven members of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s cello section were his pupils, six of whom still play in the orchestra today.
Knut Weber, cellist and member of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s orchestra board: “The music world has lost a great artist and teacher in Wolfgang Boettcher. The Berliner Philharmoniker mourn not only a former colleague, but also a close friend. He shaped the sound of our cello section, both as an active member and through his students. In this way, Wolfgang Boettcher made his mark on the musical memory of the Berliner Philharmoniker like few others. Our condolences go out to his family.”