Rainer Kussmaul, first concertmaster of the orchestra from 1993 to 1998, has died at the age of 70.
One of the leading players of the Abbado era, he founded Berlin Baroque Soloists and did much to move the orchestra towards greater diversity.
Before joining the Berlin Phil, he was violin professor for 16 years in Freiburg, returning to his teaching post when he left the Philharmonic frontline.
Ulrich Knörzer, member of the orchestra board, writes:: ‘Rainer Kussmaul was one of the most influential musicians of the Abbado era with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He impressed us not only with his warm but clear sound, but also with his inexhaustible curiosity for the new. His status as one of the pioneers and masters of the Baroque violin is testimony to his wide artistic horizons. As a teacher he had a great impact on outstanding violinists of the younger generation, including our present 1st concertmaster Daishin Kashimoto.’