Prof. Dr Rolf Budde, owner and managing director of Budde Music, has sadly passed away, aged 61.
His family confirmed that he died early on Friday 13 April, following a long illness.
The family-run independent publishing business has been going for over 70 years, and operates from bases in Berlin, London, Paris, Warszawa and Los Angeles.
It owns a classic catalogue of copyrights including Summer Wind, made famous by Frank Sinatra, and Forever Young, which was sampled by Jay-Z. It also represents works by international legends such as Joan Baez, Elvis Presley, the Sugarhill Gang and George Kranz.
The company will now be run by his son Benjamin, who has already been chief executive of the organisation for many years.
Rolf Budde was made president and chairman of the German Music Publishers’ Association in 2014 and was a member of the board of collecting society GEMA.
He is survived by his wife Madeleine and their four children.
Dr. Florian Drucke, chairman and chief executive of the German music industry association said: ‘With deep mourning we have learnt about the sudden death of Prof. Dr. Rolf Budde. One of the great music-publishers of our time has left us so suddenly. In the name of our board, the members and employees of our association the sympathy is with his wife and his children.
‘As president of the German music publishers association he shaped in debates the interests of his branch of industry nationally and internationally. He has always fought in the interest of his fellow colleagues, put the reciprocally understanding in front and lived in every moment for art and the culture. He will be missed very much.’
Photo credit: Christian Kielmann / Budde Music