Manfred Hecking
born on June 13, 1973 in Wiesbaden, grew up in Mainz and Bochum, where he was given his first piano and contrabass lessons. At the age of 14, he won the first prize in "Jugend musiziert", and became an exchange student to the USA in 1989. He received a high school diploma there and went on to study for two years at the University of California at San Diego, where he was a contrabass pupil of Bertram Turetzky, in addition to studying microbiology and French literature. In 1992, he continued his music study at the Hochschule der Künst in Berlin under Paul-Rainer Zepperitz and Klaus Stoll, and was awarded his diploma in contrabass in 1998.  In addition to this, Hecking gained orchestral experience through his membership in the Jung Deutsche Philharmonie and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. In 1999, he was awarded the Ferenc Fricsay stipend of the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester, and in the fall of 2004 finished post-graduate study under Alois Posch at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. After a successful audition, he received an engagement with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra beginning September 1, 2001.

Concurrent with his continuing musical education and busy chamber music   schedule, with such groups as the Wiener Instrumental-Vocal-Solisten and Philharmonia Ensemble, Hecking undertook the study of medicine in Berlin beginning in 1993, and passed his examinations "summa cum laude" at the Berlin Charité with an experimental doctoral thesis on cell adhesion molecules in 2001. He finished his internship in 2003/04 at the General Hospital (AKH) in Vienna, and passed his third state examination in Berlin in December 2004 - an entirely unique feat in the history of our orchestra.