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Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925 - 2012)

Christened Albert Dietrich Fischer (it was his father who conjoined his own mother’s maiden name of Dieskau to his own in 1934), he was born in the Zehlendorf district of Berlin on 28th May 1925, his parents being teachers. His introduction to music came early with piano lessons from the age of six. When he first saw Wagner’s Lohengrin, the impression was so marked that he was determined to become a heroic tenor. His voice later broke and settled on a high baritone one. His first recital occurred when he was only fifteen while still at school in January 1942. He then studied with the tenor Georg Walter, himself a renowned Lieder singer in his day. Before he could make his real debut he was called up into the German army at the age of eighteen, serving in Italy before becoming a prisoner of war of the American forces in May 1945. Returning to Germany two years later he worked with Hermann Weissenborn and made his concert début in a performance of Brahms’s German Requiem in Badenweiler in 1947 as a very late replacement and without rehearsal, to be followed by a successful recital in Leipzig later that year. The turning-point in his career came in a new production by Heinz Tietjen of Verdi’s Don Carlos when he sang Posa at the Städtische Oper in Berlin under Fricsay to marked acclaim. He would appear at this house for over 35 years.



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