Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

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Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth

(shwärts`kôpf), 1915–2006, German lyric soprano. After studying music in Berlin she was trained by Maria Ivogün. She sang with the Berlin State Opera (1938–42) and became (1944) principal soprano at the Vienna State Opera. Schwarzkopf, who gained a reputation for subtlety and versatility in recitals, oratorios, and opera, also performed at Covent Garden, London, and La Scala, Milan. She first sang in the United States in 1953 and made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1964. She was especially known for roles in operas by MozartMozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
, 1756–91, Austrian composer, b. Salzburg. Mozart represents one of the great peaks in the history of music. His works, written in almost every conceivable genre, combine luminous beauty of sound with classical grace and technical perfection.
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 and Richard StraussStrauss, Richard
, 1864–1949, German composer. Strauss brought to a culmination the development of the 19th-century symphonic poem, and was a leading composer of romantic opera in the early 20th cent.
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 and for her lieder singing, most notably her interpretations of Hugo WolfWolf, Hugo
, 1860–1903, Austrian composer; studied at the Vienna Conservatory. From 1883 to 1887 he wrote musical criticism for the Vienna Salonblatt. As a composer he first gained attention when his songs began to be published in 1889.
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. In 1951, Schwarzkopf sang the leading role in the premiere of The Rake's Progress by Igor StravinskyStravinsky, Igor Fedorovich
, 1882–1971, Russian-American composer. Considered by many the greatest and most versatile composer of the 20th cent., Stravinsky helped to revolutionize modern music.

Stravinsky's father, an actor and singer in St.
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See biography by A. Jefferson (1997).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth


Born Dec. 9, 1915, in Jarotschin, near Poznań. German singer (soprano).

Schwarzkopf received her musical education at the Higher Music School in Berlin and studied voice under M. Ivagün. She made her debut in 1938 at the Berlin Municipal Opera, and from 1942 to 1951 she was a leading soloist at the Vienna State Opera. In 1948 she began to perform on the major operatic stages of Europe and America and regularly took part in the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals. She moved to London in 1951, and for a number of years she was a soloist at Covent Garden. She left the stage in the mid-1970’s, continuing to perform in concert and to make records.

Schwarzkopf has an exceptionally versatile and pure voice of great beauty. She is also known for her sense of style and uncommon dramatic skills. She is an outstanding performer of the works of Mozart and R. Strauss.


Rubin, M. “Tri portreta.” In Sovetskaia muzyka, 1962, no. 4.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It will be no surprise to anyone who knew Neil that the final strains were those of Elizabeth Schwarzkopf singing the last of the Four Last Songs by his beloved Richard Strauss.--Wayne Gooding
In which artistic field was Elizabeth Schwarzkopf noted?
Stephan Genz - whose tutors included such greats as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf - is something of a Brahms specialist and has won awards for performances of lieder at international competitions in Hamburg and Stuttgart.
I grew up on the Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and George Szell LP, and it remains the favourite of many who love these songs (EMI).
Last month's top five: Strauss: Four last songs to "Death and Transfiguration" (Vienna Philharmonic); Bach, oboe concerti; "Kill Bill" soundtrack (great trumpet number: "Flight of the Bumblebee'); "Rosenkavalier," Elizabeth Schwarzkopf; "Vaughn-Williams: Music for Strings" (Academy of St.
The soprano Elizabeth Schwarzkopf went one better and only selected her own performances.
Naturally Mr Robbins Landon's scholarship brought him into contact with many of the great musicians of his lifetime and this book abounds with anecdotes of great conductors such as George Szell, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein as well as great performers like Dame Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. He describes amusing encounters such as that with Hans Keller, the dictatorial Austrian musicologist who dominated the BBC's Third Programme for many years.
Among the careers Kater scrutinizes are those of Richard Strauss, Herbert von Karajan, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, and Carl Orff; he also examines the lives of scores of lesser-known musicians.
Her "Zueignung," for example, is much less aristocratic, perhaps less pompous, than Elizabeth Schwarzkopf's famous recording with George Szell.
"People are so snooty about operetta but singers like Lotti Lehmann and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf sang Rosalinde and if Bruno Walter (the great German conductor) took it seriously, you have to."
She's still growing into the part and perhaps doesn't have the natural proclivity for the role that Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland or Elizabeth Schwarzkopf possessed.
And Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, the renowned and elegant German-born soprano, 'looked like a cleaning woman' when she was out of costume.
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