A horn player is laid to rest at 33

A horn player is laid to rest at 33


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2021

The death is reported of the Austrian horn player Birgit Eibisberger at the age of 33.

She was widely known and well liked across the orchestras and brass bands of Austria and southern Germany, where friends attribute her death to suicide. Birgit had been a student in Weimar of the Munich Philharmonic principal horn, Jörg Bruckner.

Her funeral takes place tomorrow.


  • Sharon says:

    What a shame! I urge everyone to take any verbalization of a desire for suicide by anybody seriously even if you have heard it many times before.

    Also please remember that suicide is NOT committed at the nadir (lowest point) of depression. At that point people don’t have the energy to commit suicide. A suicidal person may frequently appear happier than previously because he/she has more energy to plan and then kill him/herself and also be happy that he/she will soon be rid of his/her problems.

    Therefore PLEASE pay special attention when a depressed person appears to be climbing out of depression or for the first few weeks after he/she starts on a new anti depressant medication. That is when the risk for suicide is highest.

    • Survivor says:

      Thank you, Sharon. I’d also like to add that we change the words we use when discussing the tragedy of suicide. When we say a person “commits” or “committed” suicide, our language seems to judge the person the way we judge someone who commits a crime or commits adultery, etc. This reinforces the stigma of suicide and makes it even more difficult for people to seek help. Instead of saying a person “attempted to commit suicide” or “committed suicide,” we can say “attempted suicide” or “died by suicide.” Also, when confronted, I have found that people contemplating suicide see it as the only way to end their pain.

      • Minnesota says:

        I disagree about the various associations you itemize. If you “die by suicide” the “commit” part is understood. The essence of suicide is that it is self-inflicted. Otherwise it is murder or some other category relating to action by someone else. After a person commits suicide or dies by suicide, that person no longer cares what you call it. I’ve seen in some obituaries the person’s action as “died after struggles with mental illness” or something similar, but that also creates the mental image of the word “suicide.”

        • Maria says:

          You commit suicide. That is what it is, or else you take your own life. Amounts to the very sad outcome, but it also leaves families left behind absolutely heartbroken, helpless, wondering what they did wrong, and then more lives broken that rarely recover. Her parents and family will be distraught.

      • Norbert says:

        The word “commit” actually derives from statutory law. That is why it remains authoritative.

      • Sharon says:

        Thank you for that comment. It is important to remember. Language is very important.

        Not so long ago attempted suicide was considered a punishable crime, unfortunately, and I suppose that the word “commit” is a hold over from that time

  • Jeff says:

    Do we know for a fact that she committed suicide because of covid?

  • What a tragic loss. It’s sad.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    My son lost a work colleague just before last Christmas. A 26y/o gorgeous-looking female with lots of friends. She spoke to my son the day before as he had his 2 boys at work with him. She engaged them entertainingly for about 20 minutes before saying to my son “see you at the party tomorrow night”.
    Next morning her mother cut her down from the ceiling in her bedroom. She had cut the plaster board and slung a rope around a rafter.

    You just never know. Nobody has any idea.

  • Fredric Kroll says:

    In my own case, I SHALL COMMIT suicide – or, as Hamlet puts it very succintly: self-slaughter – out of conviction that it is my life’s only logical and in fact aesthetic conclusion!

    • Sharon says:

      Please do not joke about this; even if you are referring to end of life euthanasia, which I very strongly oppose but that’s a topic for another day. Suicide is no joking matter.

  • Dr Tonreihe says:

    Anecdotally increased suicide rate in UK wickedly hidden from sight due to delays in the coronial system before suicide cause of death may be issued. Some indications that data on increased rate of suicide attempts may be being officially suppressed.

    Protect the elderly, protect the NHS, bla bla bla, but indiscriminate extended/uncurtailed and pseudo-prophylactic lockdown kills.

    Suicide causes life-long trauma to more relatives colleagues and friends than anyone can ever imagine and is one of life’s greatest tragedies – always give and seek support. Samaritans free number is 116 123.

    • Saxon says:

      Er..I think you are saying the incidence of suicide has increased as a result of the lockdown. This is well known; nobody is trying to suppress this information. Some people don’t care, or believe this is an acceptable policy trade-off.