The cellist and pedagogue Gerhard Mantel has died at the age of
82. A longtime professor at the Hochschule in Frankfurt, he wrote
books about cello technique and string topics such as intonation,
as well as a cello method for children and a set of 25 cello
Born in Karlsruhe in 1930, Mantel studied with August Eichhorn, and also with such cello greats as Fournier, Tortelier, Navarra, Casals and Gendron. At the age of 21 he became principal cellist of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway. Two years later he joined the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, again as principal cellist.
In 1973 he was appointed professor at the Hochschule in Frankfurt, and combined his teaching activities with an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. He gave masterclasses in Los Angeles, Montreal, Seoul, Warsaw, Utrecht, Bern, and in cities across Germany. His first book, Cello Technique, was published in German in 1973 – an English translation followed in 1975. Mantel's other publications include Cello Practice (1987), Intonation (2005) and Interpretation (2007).
His recordings include the Bach Cello Suites, sonatas by Reger, Rachmaninoff and Strauss, and works by Grieg, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Pfitzner.
Mantel served as president of the German branch of the European String Teachers Association from 1993 to 2000, and was honorary president at the time of his death.