bassoon, cello, Friedrich Edelmann, pianist, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, Rebecca Rust, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press,, you tube, you tube video

Dining with musician friends at Bacheesos in Berkeley, CA

Friedrich and Rebecca crop

This was a happy reunion after many long months. The last I caught up with Friedrich Edelmann and Rebecca Rust they were returning from one of their European tours only to land one in Japan, playing for the Emperor and Empress. The happily married bassoon and cello duo, who sometimes add a pianist to the mix were in esteemed royal company.

The latest musical updates were imparted by Friedrich as Rebecca, Alana (a mutual companion) and I dove into our plates filled with salads, artichokes, salmon, seasoned chicken, pilaf, hummus, and infinite ambrosian delights:

“On our tour to Japan in July-August 2015 we played 15 concerts in Tokyo, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Oita, Tsukuba and others. The concerts were organized and supported by Mercedes-Benz, Japan, by Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation, Nagoya, and by the German-Japan Society, Kobe.

“On July 13th we were invited privately to the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, playing for the Emperor and the Empress of Japan, and Empress Michiko also played on the piano together with Rebecca on the cello.”

Rebecca and Friedrich touring Japan

What a unique musical journey among many this couple has taken around the world.

I took my own sojourn to the house piano, a satisfying Kawai studio upright with a lovely resonant tone.

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As an encore to this get together, note the riveting interview I’d convened with Friedrich that tied his 27-year Munich Philharmonic tenure to various adventures with piano soloists, Michelangeli and Barenboim.

And finally, not to overlook a fine dining Bacheesos hostess who made our musician family reunion a memorable one.



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: