Cancer claims a popular London cellist, 52

Cancer claims a popular London cellist, 52


norman lebrecht

December 30, 2019

Friends have informed us of the death of Susanne Beer, co-principal cellist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra for 18 years and a partocular favourite of Sir Georg Solti, who saved her the best solo in Don Giovanni.

Suffering from melanoma, Susanne attended her last LPO concert in a wheelchair three weeks ago.

Originally from Passau, Bavaria, she came to London to study with William Pleeth and worked closely with the composer Berthold Goldschmidt, playing the world premiere of his ‘Duo with Cordelia’ for clarinet and cello. Susanne served as the continuo cellist at Glyndebourne for 15 years. She played trio concerts internationally with flautist Gisela Mashayekhi and pianist Mika Mori and was principal cellist in the contemporary ensemble ‘Ensemble Wien 2001’. She also recorded chamber music for the BBC, EMI, Opera Rara, Chandos, the London Philharmonic label and Radio Milano.

She loved life.

A fund to help young musicians has been set up in Susanne’s memory. You can donate here.


  • Alexander Radziewski says:

    So sad to hear her death is caused by melanoma as the current immunotherapy is helping many stage IV patients to survive many years.

  • David Heyes says:

    So very sad to read of Susanne’s death. She was a wonderful person and musician and it was a pleasure and privilege to have known her.

  • David Cowell says:

    Take this article down immediately. Members of Susi’s family, including her son do not know of the death.
    You should have had the decency to contact her husband first.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    How absolutely dreadful!! So very sorry to learn about this.

  • Glazunov Fan says:

    My condolences to the Beer family & friends….what a loss of a tremendous musician (see the Cello Corner on Youtube) and person….cancer is so cruel at any age…