Austrian Cellist Franz Bartolomey has Died, Aged 77
Bartolomey was principal cello of the Vienna Philharmonic and a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Born in Vienna in 1946, Franz Bartolomey began learning the cello at age six. He studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts and his teachers included Ewald Winkler, Richard Krotschak, and Emanuel Brabec.
He won the Casals Medal in Budapest in 1963, and the Tchaikovsky Diploma in 1966. He became a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra in 1967.
Joining the Vienna Philharmonic as principal cellist in 1973, Bartolomey was a third-generation member of the orchestra — his grandfather was principal clarinet and his father a violinist.
In 1997, he became a member of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle, and joined other chamber music groups, including the Vienna Soloists Ensemble and the Vienna Virtuosi.
As a soloist, he played at the Salzburg Festival, Vienna Festival Weeks, Vienna Modern, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Carinthian Summer, and Salzburg Mozart Weeks, appearing with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, André Previn, Roger Norrington, Simon Rattle, and more.
Among his collaborators were Igor Oistrakh, Christian Altenburger, Pierre Amoyal, Gil Shaham, Sylvia McNair, Barbara Bonney, Kathleen Battle, and Jessye Norman.
He also taught masterclasses at the Attergau International Orchestral Institute and the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival, plus recorded for TV broadcasts and labels including NAXOS Records. Bartolomey played on a 1727 cello made by David Tecchler in Rome.
“With great sorrow we have received the news of the sudden passing of our retired colleague and principal cellist, Professor Franz Bartolomey,” the Vienna Philharmonic posted on Facebook. “[He] was one of the Vienna Philharmonic's most influential personalities and his musical activities in the orchestra as well as in chamber music have profoundly enriched Vienna's musical life. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Our condolences to Mr. Bartolomey’s family, friends, students, and colleagues.