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Friedrich Gauwerky was born in Hamburg in1951, and gave his debut there at the age of twelve. At seventeen he won the Preis des Philharmonischen Orchesters Hamburg. In 1974 he came to Cologne to become the principal cellist of the Rheinisches Kammerorchester and later joined the class of Siegfried Palm, then becoming his assistant, taught at the Cologne Conservatorium from 1978 onwards, and coached regularly at the Darmstadt Courses for New Music between 1985 and 1989. He was the principal cellist in Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt. For seven years he was Lecturer in Violoncello at the University of Adelaide, and was very active in Australia in the field of contemporary music as a member of the Elision Ensemble.
Since 1996 he has been living in Cologne once more. From there, he travels all over the world to give masterclasses: in Australia, New Zealand, Holland and Cambridge, as well as at the Royal Academy of Music in London.