Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

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Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich

(dē`trĭkh fĭsh`ər-dēs`kou), 1925–2012, German baritone. Possessed of a sensitive voice capable of a wide variety of range and expression, Fischer-Dieskau was the 20th cent.'s finest interpreter of art songs, or lieder. He was particularly noted for his interpretations of the songs and song cycles of Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, and Wolf. He also performed in German and Italian opera. He made his concert debut in Berlin in 1943, singing Schubert's Winterreise, won sudden fame with his performance of Brahms's German Requiem in 1947, and made his operatic debut at the State Opera in Berlin in 1948, singing Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo. He gave his farewell concert in 1992. Fischer-Dieskau was also a conductor and a longtime teacher. In addition, he wrote a number of books, including studies of Wagner and Nietzsche, and was a widely exhibited painter.


See his memoirs, Reverberations (tr. 1989); biography by H. A. Neunzig (1995, tr. 1998); study by K. S. Whitton (1981).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich


Born May 28, 1925, in Berlin. German (Federal Republic of Germany) baritone.

Fischer-Dieskau graduated from the Higher Music School in Berlin. He was a student of G. Walter and H. Weissenborn. Fischer-Dieskau’s highly expressive voice has an exceptionally wide range. His masterly technique, excellent musicianship, and sense of style allow him, with an equal degree of perfection, to perform roles from classical and contemporary operas; many contemporary works owed their success to his interpretation. Fischer-Dieskau is a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Fischer-Dieskau has performed at many important European music festivals. His superb recordings, including his collection of songs by F. Schubert, have received popular acclaim.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.