Helmut Winschermann

Helmut Winschermann (German: [ˈhɛlmuːt ˈvɪnʃɐman]; 22 March 1920 – 4 March 2021[1]) was a German classical oboist, conductor and academic teacher. He founded the Deutsche Bachsolisten ensemble for historically informed performances, and was their conductor from 1960 until his death. They made many recordings and toured internationally, especially to Japan.

Helmut Winschermann
Born(1920-03-22)22 March 1920
Died4 March 2021(2021-03-04) (aged 100)
  • Oboist
  • Conductor
  • Academic teacher

Life and careerEdit

Winschermann was born in Mülheim an der Ruhr in 1920.[2] He first studied violin at the Folkwangschule where he was pointed at the oboe which he studied with Johann Baptist Schlee [de].[3] He studied also at the Conservatoire de Paris.[2] After only one year of oboe studies, he was engaged at the Witten municipal orchestra, followed by Bad Homburg and Oberhausen.[3] He served in the military in World War II.[3] After the war, he was principal oboe with the Rundfunkorchester Frankfurt.[3][4]

With the flautist Kurt Redel and harpsichordist Irmgard Lechner, he was a co-founder of the chamber music ensemble Collegium Pro Arte, later called the Collegium Instrumentale Detmold.[5][2]

In 1956 he was appointed principal chair of the oboe department at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, having taught there since 1948[4][6] when the institution was founded.[3] His students include Hansjörg Schellenberger, Fumiaki Miyamoto, Ingo Goritzki, Günther Passin and Gernot Schmalfuß.[7] He held the professorship until his retirement in 1985.[3]

He recorded Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F major (K.370) with the Kehr Trio, issued in 1957 on Telefunken LGX 66065 in the UK.[8] He maintained a touring schedule as a soloist, and frequently collaborated with the Cappella Coloniensis, the Chamber Orchestra of the Saar [de] conducted by Karl Ristenpart, and Karl Münchinger's Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.[9]

Winschermann founded the instrumental ensemble Deutsche Bachsolisten in 1960,[10] in order to provide historically informed performances of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his baroque contemporaries. He initially divided his time between playing the oboe and conducting the group, but later focussed on conducting solely.[4] Under his direction they have made a multitude of recordings and toured widely internationally. They are particularly popular in Japan, having visited there at least 14 times.[4]

In 2010 the group celebrated its 50th anniversary in a concert at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, with the 90-year-old Winschermann conducting his own orchestration of Bach's Goldberg Variations. He turned 100 in March 2020.[11] He was found dead at his home in Bonn on 4 March 2021, eighteen days short of his 101st birthday.[12]



  1. ^ Helmut Winschermann (in German)
  2. ^ a b c Asow, E. H. (2019). Kürschners Deutscher Musiker-Kalender 1954 (in German). Berlin Boston: De Gruyter. p. 1488. ISBN 978-3-11-172167-5. OCLC 1091664405.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mittmann, Jörg-Peter (2016). "Winschermann, Helmut". In Lütteken, Laurenz (ed.). MGG Online. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.
  4. ^ a b c d e Biography AllMusic by Robert Cummings. Retrieved 27 August 2013
  5. ^ "Der Dirigent Kurt Redel". ZEITBLATT Magazin (in German). 11 August 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  6. ^ "100. Geburtstag des Oboisten und Bearbeiters Helmut Winschermann". Internationale Musikverlage Hans Sikorski (in German). 23 July 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  7. ^ Bojanowski, Renate (4 March 2013). "Bonner Musikexperte mit Telemann-Preis geehrt". Volksstimme.de (in German). Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  8. ^ OCLC 949940796
  9. ^ "Wegweisend als Interpret und Lehrer". Deutschlandfunk (in German). 26 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  10. ^ Deutsches Musikinformationszentrum (17 November 2016). "Deutsche Bachsolisten / MIZ". miz.org (in German). Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  11. ^ Vollmer, Dennis (23 March 2020). "Mülheims großer Oboist Helmut Winschermann ist 100 Jahre alt". waz.de. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Famed German conductor Winschermann dies at 100". The Asahi Shimbun. 5 March 2021. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Ministerialblatt für das Land NRW vom 1. Oktober 1970 (pdf)".
  14. ^ "Helmut Winschermann (Conductor, Oboe) – Short Biography". Bach Cantatas Website. 2001. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Telemann-Preis geht an Helmut Winschermann – neue musikzeitung". nmz (in German). Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Helmut Winschermann mit Telemann-Preis ausgezeichnet". Volksstimme.de (in German). 3 March 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2021.

External linksEdit