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Tom Krause (b1934)


Tom Krause, whose father was the manager of an insurance company, initially studied to become a psychiatrist. He graduated in medicine from Helsinki University, but played piano and guitar in a jazz group while a student and his interest in music, especially singing, moved him gradually towards a musical career. Formal vocal studies began in 1956, in Hamburg and at the Vienna Academy of Music: Krause’s teachers included Margot Skoda, Sergio Nazor and Rudolf Bautz. Under the name Tomas Krause he made his debut as a lieder singer in Helsinki in 1957 and his operatic stage debut in 1959 at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin as Escamillo / Carmen.

After singing Kurwenal in Decca’s 1960 recording of Tristan und Isolde, conducted by Georg Solti, Krause quickly gained an international profile. In 1962 (the year in which he also became a member of the Hamburg State Opera) he first appeared at the Bayreuth Festival as the Herald in Lohengrin and at the Glyndebourne Festival during the following year as the Count in Capriccio.

Hamburg was Krause’s musical base until 1975. Significant premieres in which he sang here included Ernst Krenek’s Der goldene Bock (1964), Gunther Schuller’s Die Heimsuchung (The Visitation) (1966) and Humphrey Searle’s Hamlet (1968, the year in which he was made a Kammersänger).

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