Cellist Franz Bartolomey has died aged 76


Cellist Franz Bartolomey © Terry Linke | Wiener Philharmoniker

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Cellist Franz Bartolomey has died at the age of 76. He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1946 to a musical family; both his violinist father and clarinettist grandfather were performers with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He began the cello at the age of six, later studying privately with professor Emanuel Brabec, and at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with professor Richard Krotschak.

Bartolomey became a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra in 1967, and the Vienna Philharmonic in 1973, for which he was the principal cellist until 2012. He also performed as the principal cellist of the Luzern Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado. Well-respected as a soloist, he worked with many notable conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, and Sir Simon Rattle, among many others.

Bartolomey also was an active chamber musician, performing with Wiener Solistenensemble, the Wiener Solistentrio, the Wiener Virtuosen, the ensemble DO YOU KNOW, and was a founding member of the Küchl Quartet.

He was awarded the large silver medal of honour for services to the Republic of Austria, and the ‘Ehrenring’ of the of the Vienna State Opera House in 2012.

‘Franz Bartolomey was one of the Vienna Philharmonic’s most influential personalities,’ The Vienna Philharmonic released in a statement. ‘His musical activities in the orchestra as well as in chamber music have profoundly enriched Vienna’s musical life. Our thoughts are with his family.’

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