Rhinegold Photo credit: Wilfried Hedenborg

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Ernst Ottensamer (5 October 1955 – 22 July 2017)

12:11, 25th July 2017

Ernst Ottensamer, principal clarinettist of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera, has died of a heart attack aged 62.

The news was confirmed by a statement on the Vienna State Opera website, which said that Ottensamer’s loss had left ‘a deep personal and artistic void.’

Born in Upper Austria, Ottensamer studied clarinet at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz and the Vienna Hochschule. In 1979 he joined the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and became principal clarinettist of the Vienna Philharmonic in 1983.

Ottensamer began his teaching career at the Vienna Hochschule in 1986, becoming a professor in 2000. He also formed several chamber music ensembles, including the Wiener Virtuosen, the Wiener Bläserensemble and the Wiener Solisten Trio.

Ottensamer’s sons are also successful clarinettists: his eldest son, Daniel, is co-principal clarinet with the Vienna Philharmonic, and his youngest son, Andreas, is principal clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic. Father and sons performed and recorded as The Clarinotts.

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