Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich

Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich dē´trĭkh fĭsh´ər-dēs´kou [key], 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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