Walter Fink

Walter Fink
Born(1930-08-16)16 August 1930
Died13 April 2018(2018-04-13) (aged 87)
AwardsFederal Cross of Merit

Walter Fink (16 August 1930 – 13 April 2018)[1] was a German entrepreneur and a patron of contemporary classical music. He is known for being a founding member, executive committee member and sponsor of the Rheingau Musik Festival, where he initiated a series of annual portraits of international composers of contemporary classical music.


Fink was taught piano from the age of seven. In Frankfurt he took organ lessons with Helmut Walcha and learned conducting with Kurt Thomas.[2] He joined the company of his father in 1930 and expanded it.[2] He was Managing director of the Firmengruppe Fink (FINK Schuhe + Sport GmbH) in Wiesbaden until his retirement in 2002.[3] He founded a church choir at the Christuskirche in Wiesbaden and served there for 25 years as organist.[2]

In 1987 he was one of the founding members of the Rheingau Musik Festival,[1][4] together with Michael Herrmann, Tatiana von Metternich-Winneburg, Claus Wisser, Michael Bolenius, Hans-Clemens Lucht and Ulrich Rosin.[5] The advertising department of his company designed the logo for the festival.[1] Fink was on the board of the Rheingau Musik Festival Förderverein, an association to support the festival, and was its president during the first years.[6][7] He was a member the jury of the Rheingau Musik Preis, together with Rolf Beck (Artistic Director of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival), Leo-Karl Gerhartz (retired Music Programme Director of the state broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk and Peter Hanser-Strecker (Board Chairperson of Schott Music).[8][9]

Fink received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2007.[10] He was Grand Officier of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.[11] On 19 October 2011 the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe granted him an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy.[12][4]

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