Death of a noted trombonist, 79

Death of a noted trombonist, 79


norman lebrecht

August 27, 2019

The death has been announced of Heinz Fadle, principal trombone of Hamburg’s Philharmonisches Staatsorchester, professor in Detmold and an occasional player in the Berlin Philharmonic and Bavarian State Opera.

He was a past president of the International Trombone Association.



  • Max Grimm says:


    Heinz Fadle was Principal Trombonist in Dortmund (not Detmold) for a short time at the very beginning of his orchestra career. That appointment however pales in comparison to the 20 years he spent as Principal Trombonist of the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg.

  • From my wife’s Facebook page:

    I just received word that Heinz Fadle died last night. He was the professor emeritus of trombone at the State Conservatory in Detmold, and was principal trombone at Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg from 1968 to 1986.

    He was incredibly important in my life. After a long search, and a long list of conductors afraid to do it, he was appointed by the German courts to evaluate my ability to play first trombone in the Munich Phil. I had to stand alone on the stage in a large hall and play all the hardest excerpts over and over for 45 minutes without pause. Since a group of men in the orchestra said I didn’t have the strength to play first trombone, he wanted to test not only my playing, but also my endurance. All was recorded and also witnessed by another professor the city of Munich sent to watch over the proceedings. The only criticism Heinz could make was “one not quite centered tone.” By certifying to the court that I was qualified to play first trombone in the Munich Phil, he incurred the intense wrath of some, and he knew he would. I will always be indebted to his courage and integrity.

    He founded the Internationale Posaunevereinigung (the German ITA,) hosted the ITF in 1992, and went on to become President of the International Trombone Association. A true North German, he had a large sail boat and was an avid sailor. I think he even made trips sailing from the North Sea down to the Mediterranean. He will always have a special place in my heart. I’m sure he is sailing among the angels now, and he is without any doubt a patron saint of all women trombonists.

    (Note from William: He in fact once sailed from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, and then up to the Chesapeake Bay where he visited with American colleagues.)

  • Ehemaliger Student says:

    I’m saddened to hear of Professor Fadle’s passing.

    He was very generous in helping me establish myself in Germany after moving there with nothing but a suitcase many moons ago. I will always fondly remember lessons and trombone choir in his studio on top of the hill in Detmold, the snow falling gently and squirrels playing outside while his class tore into some Wagner inside with great gusto.

    RIP Professor, I hope you are sailing peacefully somewhere on a great ocean.