The German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has died, aged 86. He became a celebrated vocalist across the international stage.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was born in Berlin in May 1925. He began singing as a child and began formal voice lessons at the age of 16. His formative years were interrupted by the rise of Nazism and global war.
After the end of the Second World War, Fischer-Dieskau started to perform on the international stage and became a celebrated vocalist, particularly of German art songs written for solo voice and piano. He performed frequently at New York's Carnegie Hall, and the opera houses of London, Vienna and Berlin.
Fischer-Dieskau was also a prolific performer of Schubert and he performed and recorded more than 400 of the composer’s songs. Other common recitals included the works of Schumann, Brahms and Wolf. The Guardian describes his long recording career as a " truly incredible output."
Fischer-Dieskau held honorary doctorates from Oxford, Yale, Heidelberg and the Sorbonne, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal, awarded in 1988. His last recording was in 1990 (with a celebrated solo pianist Murray Perahia) and he retired from performing in 1992.
Dame Janet Baker is quoted by the BBC as saying "To my generation, he was something so special that one was always awestruck. One just bows before the artistry and the sheer beauty of the sound he made."
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died at his home in Berg, Upper Bavaria, ten days before his 87th birthday.