Walter Fink

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Walter Fink
Born (1930-08-16) 16 August 1930 (age 86)
  • Entrepreneur
  • Patron of music
Awards Federal Cross of Merit

Walter Fink (born 16 August 1930) is a German retired executive and a patron of contemporary music. He is mostly known for being a founding member, Executive Committee member and sponsor of the Rheingau Musik Festival.


Walter Fink received piano instructions from age seven. In Frankfurt he took organ lessons with Helmut Walcha and learned conducting with Kurt Thomas.[1]

Walter Fink joined the company of his father in 1930 and expanded it.[1] He was Managing director of the Firmengruppe Fink (FINK Schuhe + Sport GmbH) in Wiesbaden until his retirement in 2002.[2]

He founded a church choir at the Christuskirche in Wiesbaden and served there for 25 years as organist.[1]

In 1987 he was one of the founding members of the Rheingau Musik Festival, together with Michael Herrmann, Tatiana von Metternich-Winneburg, Michael Bolenius, Hans-Clemens Lucht, Ulrich Rosin and Claus Wisser.[3] He has been on the board of the Rheingau Musik Festival Förderverein, an association to support the festival.[4] He has been on the Jury of the Rheingau Musikpreis, together with Rolf Beck, (Artistic Director of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival), Leo-Karl Gerhartz (retired Music Programme Director of the state broadcast Hessischer Rundfunk and Peter Hanser-Strecker (Board Chairperson, Schott Music).[5][6]

Walter Fink received the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 2007. [7] He is Grand Officier of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.[8] On 19 October 2011 the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe granted him an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy.[9]

Engagement for contemporary music[edit]

Fink's interest in contemporary music was instilled in 1947 by Hindemith's opera Mathis der Maler.[1] He supported the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. He was interested in premieres and a personal friend of composers, Wolfgang Rihm was his Best man. Several composers dedicated music to him, such as Volker David Kirchner his clarinet quartet Exil in 1995 and Toshio Hosokawa Temple Bells Voice from the last movement of his oratorio Voiceless Voice in Hiroshima in 2001.[2]

For the Rheingau Musik Festival he initiated in 1990 the annual Komponistenporträt, the presentation of a living composer and his or her work, music of György Ligeti, Mauricio Kagel, Volker David Kirchner, Wilhelm Killmayer, Wolfgang Rihm, Dieter Schnebel, Aribert Reimann, Helmut Lachenmann, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Hans Werner Henze, Krzysztof Penderecki, Steve Reich, Sofia Gubaidulina, György Kurtág, Arvo Pärt, Henri Dutilleux, Heinz Holliger, Toshio Hosokawa, Rodion Shchedrin, Kaija Saariaho, Hans Zender and Péter Eötvös. He has been the personal contact to the composers and a sponsor of the concert series.

His 80th birthday was celebrated in a concert of the Rheingau Musik Festival on 16 August 2010, in Schloss Johannisberg with compositions of five composers including three premieres, works of Kirchner, Rihm, Hosokawa, Lachenmann and Jörg Widmann for clarinet, percussion, piano and saxophone.[10][11] The title of Hosokawa's composition for soprano saxophone and piano, percussion ad libitum, is Für Walter.


Walter Fink created in collaboration with the Institut für Musik und Akustik of the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe the Walter-Fink-Award for electroacoustic music, dance and media.[12] The prize (Euro 10,000,) was awarded for the first time in 2009 to rosalie, Humberto Teixeira and Matthias Ockert.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Milch, Volker (13 August 2010). "Ein Mäzen für die Moderne (pictured)" (in German). Wiesbadener Kurier. 
  2. ^ a b Hoesch, Christian (20 June 2010). "Mäzen im besten Sinne". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 
  3. ^ "Vor 20 Jahren wurde Rheingau-Musik-Festival gegründet" (in German). Blasmusik. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Der Rheingau Musik Festival Förderverein" (in German). Rheingau Musik Festival. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "About the Music Prize". Rheingau Musik Festival. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Christian Gerhaher awarded Rheingau Musikpreis 2009" (in German). European Festivals Association. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  7. ^ Mitteilung im Wiesbadener Kurier, 3 November 2007 (in German)
  8. ^ Chaîne-Journal d'Allemagne, Nr. 20, November 2007 (PDF; 6,79 MB)
  9. ^ "Feierliche Eröffnung des WS 2011/12 an der HfG" (in German). Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Toshio Hosokawa Für Walter für Saxophon, Klavier und Schlagzeug (2010)" (PDF). Schott. 2010. p. 4. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Komponistenwerkstatt: Walter Fink zum 80. Geburtstag" (in German). Rheingau Musik Festival. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Walter-Fink-Award". Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe. 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Preisträger" (in German). Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe. 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 

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