Günter Piesk obituary

07 Aug 2018

The Berliner Philharmoniker mourn the death of Günter Piesk. He was a member of the orchestra for forty years: from 1947 as 2nd bassoon, from 1956 additionally as contrabassoon, and from 1962 as principal bassoonist. Günter Piesk was born in Görlitz in 1921 and initially studied cello at the Berlin Conservatoire before changing to the bassoon. While with the Berliner Philharmoniker, he sat on various committees, including from 1970 the “Fünferrat” (council of five), which he belonged to until his retirement in 1987. He was also committed to the training of young musicians, including as a teacher of the Orchestra Academy (now the Karajan Academy) and as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Alexander Bader, clarinetist and member of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s orchestra board: “Günter Piesk was an important member of the woodwind section of the Karajan period which enjoys a legendary reputation to this day. He passed on his knowledge with great commitment, both as an editor of study editions of orchestral works and as a teacher of countless bassoonists from all over the world. We mourn the loss of a great musician, one of the last Philharmoniker of the Furtwängler era.”

Günter Piesk
(Photo: Reinhard Friedrich)