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In memory of Susanne Beer


Tonight’s concert is dedicated to the memory of Susanne Beer, former LPO Co-Principal Cellist, who passed away on 29 December 2019 following a long battle with melanoma. Our thoughts go out to Susi’s family and friends, many of whom we warmly welcome to the concert this evening.

Susi was born into a family of musicians in Bavaria. After studies in Salzburg, and with William Pleeth in London, she joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1995 as Co-Principal Cello.

During her time with us, she served as the principal continuo cellist at Glyndebourne – to this day if I hear Mozart’s Figaro, not only do I immediately recall Susi’s characterful, stylish playing, but also I picture her, beautifully immersed in the music. Similarly, she could draw an intensity of expression out of her cello in the solo of Strauss’s opera Capriccio.

Early on in her career Susi impressed the 84-year-old Sir Georg Solti so much with her playing of the solo in Don Giovanni that he subsequently invited her to guest in his World Orchestra for Peace.

After 18 years with the LPO, Susi found her ultimate calling as a teacher, specialising in encouraging children to play the cello. She loved teaching them; they loved being taught by her. This led to her founding her own school, The Cello Corner. Susi coped valiantly with her tragic illness, surprising her many friends with her innate positivity and realism. I recall asking her how this attitude was possible. She replied that she was incredibly lucky to have found total fulfilment in her professional and personal life. On 11 December 2019 Susi came to a London Philharmonic Orchestra concert, where she effectively said goodbye to her colleagues. She had shown us how to live, and how to embrace life to the very end.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to her husband Glen, her son Jan and the Beer family.

Thomas Eisner, LPO First Violin

The Susanne Beer Cello Corner Foundation Towards the end of her life Susi decided to create The Susanne Beer Cello Corner Foundation, so that she could continue to support young musicians well into the future. The Foundation supports young musicians in attaining excellence in performance through fine stringed instrument loans, competition prizes and assistance with tuition costs.

To donate, please visit virginmoneygiving.com/fund/LPO/SusanneBeer

To find out more about The Susanne Beer Cello Corner Foundation, please visit 60minconcerts.com/foundation