Olaf Maninger was born in Recklinghausen, completing his studies in Essen with Janos Starker and Maria Kliegel. Subsequently, he studied in Cologne with Armin Fromm, António Menèses, and Boris Pergamenschikov, as well as with the Amadeus Quartet. He has followed a busy schedule of both soloistic and chamber music activities, one taking him throughout the world. In 1994, Maninger became for a brief interval principal cellist with the Hessischen Rundfunk, until he was engaged a few months later by the Berlin Philharmonic. Since 1996, he has been a principal cellist with the Berlin Philharmonic.