A statement released by the opera company did not specify when Palm died, but only said that he died in western Germany after a long illness.
Palm was principal cellist of orchestras in L‹beck, Hamburg, and Cologne, and played with the Hamman Quartet.
In 1976, he took up the general-director post at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and remained there until 1981. His legacy at the opera company includes adding new operas—such as Hindemith's Cardillac and Offenbach's The Brigands—to its repertoire.
After he left the company, he returned to playing music and teaching in Cologne.