Thomas Brandis, Former 1st Concertmaster of Berlin Philharmonic

Beethoven Mass in D (Missa Solemnis) – Watch on YouTube

Between the years 1962-1983 and under the direction of Herbert von Karajan, Thomas Brandis was 1st concertmaster for the BerlinPhilharmonic. In noting Brandis’s death on the orchestra’s website, board member Knut Weber said: “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.”

In 1976 Brandis founded the Brandis Quartet, an ensemble that lasted for 25 years. He taught at Berlin University of Arts, the University of Music Lübeck and at the Royal Academy of Music, to name a few.

“The concertmaster must prepare bowings for everyone, and then they all shout at you, ‘This down bow is terrible.’ Orchestras are not easy…” –Thomas Brandis

Thomas Brandis,  1935-March 30, 2017

Schubert String Quartet No. 10 in E-Flat Major on Spotify