The Titanic violinist dies, a day after he turns 70

Thomas Füri’s moment of fame arrived as the band played ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ when the Titanic sank on screen in James Cameron’s film.

He’s in the picture, third from left, with his I Salonisti ensemble.

A Max Rostal student from Berne, he directed the city’s Camerata for 14 years and enjoyed an international solo and string quartet career. He played a 1761 Guadagnini.

Thomas died yesterday, just after his 70th birthday.

Film clip here.


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  • The violinist on the left is Jonathan Evans-Jones who played the bandleader on the Titanic, Wallace Hartley; he was not actually a member of I Salonisti.

  • Thomas was a wonderful musician. For him and his wife, the soprano Ursula Bernhard-Füri, I once arranged Mussorgsky’s “Nursery” (bassflute/piccolo and string trio) – and they performed magnificently! Watching them in rehearsals was a great experience; they had an intoxicating sense of humour.

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