Arturo Bennedetti Michelangeli, chamber music, Classical music blog, Friedrich Edelmann, Munich Philharmonic, piano, Rebecca Rust-Edelmann, San Francisco Munich Trio

Poignant recollections about pianists, Michelangeli and Barenboim from the Munich Philharmonic’s principal bassoonist

Friedrich and Rebecca crop

As early Spring weather rolled into Berkeley last Sunday afternoon, I set out for Piedmont Pianos in Oakland to try out various grands, and to partake of the San Francisco Munich Trio. Friedrich Edelmann, bassoonist, and Rebecca Rust, cellist are a couple joined in marriage and music. They sometimes perform as a duo, or with pianist, Dmitriy Cogan.

On March 1, they were part of a trio in an appetizing program that offered the works of Classical, Romantic and Contemporary composers. As icing on the cake, their finale was Max Stern’s moving composition, “Prayer” from Laudations, composed for and dedicated to Friedrich and Rebecca in 2013.

While the concert was a feast of fine playing, the true dessert following, was meeting Friedrich and Rebecca at Bacheesos Persian restaurant in Berkeley. They’d been invited by a Classical Music Meet-up Organizer, Alana Shindler, who staged the gathering.

To my immense delight, the couple shared many colorful experiences that spanned decades. It was an oral music history that I was determined to memorialize on video.

My wish came true when the pair graced my apartment and filled the air with even more poignant reminiscences.

Friedrich who was perched beside my iMac, in full screen image, recalled his 17 years playing in the Munich Philharmonic as Principal Bassoonist under the legendary baton of Rumanian born Sergiu Celibidache. Subsequently he’d worked with James Levine and other notable guest conductors: Giulini, Ozawa, Boehm, Solti and many others. His service to the orchestra totaled 27 years!

With a little prompting, Edelmann recounted stories about pianists, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Daniel Barenboim who had been engaged by the Munich orchestra as concerto soloists. What was revealed was compelling and colorful, providing an enticing entree to Friedrich’s book, Memories of Maestro Sergiu Celibidache, published in Japan in 2009.

Interview with Friedrich Edelmann


The Edelmanns are now headed to Germany briefly, but plan to come back to the Bay area where they previously enjoyed the patronage of a music-loving grand dame.

“Gladys Perez-Mendez” adopted the couple and gave them beautiful quarters (gratis) in her Berkeley Hills home. Sadly, she passed away the day before their chamber concert last Sunday, so the duo is in need of sanctuary, or a HOST, to put them up several times a year when they come to California to play concerts, and give master classes.

If there’s a chance this writing will fulfill their wish for housing, then it will be the perfect outcome.

About Friedrich and Rebecca:

E-mail Address: Friedrich Edelmann
(Those interested in purchasing Edelmann’s book in English translation can contact him at the above address)

Article by Tony Sauro about the musical duo:

8 thoughts on “Poignant recollections about pianists, Michelangeli and Barenboim from the Munich Philharmonic’s principal bassoonist”

  1. What an interesting first meeting and all that followed. My wife and I have known Friedrich and Rebecca for many years and always look forward to their trips to California, for the music and their company.


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