Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Berlin and grew up in Nazi Germany. He was scheduled to be drafted when World War II ended. He studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and won the prize of the Frankfurt contest of the Hessischer Rundfunk in 1952.
He began to sing in song recitals and made his operatic debut the next year in Wiesbaden. He joined the Hamburger Staatsoper, where he sang until 1960. The last years in Hamburg, he also made frequent guest appearances elsewhere, including the Salzburg Festival.
He sang frequently at the Metropolitan Opera between 1960 and 1970 and made his Bayreuth debut in 1965. Although he often sang Verdi early in his career, he later concentrated more on Mozart and Richard Strauss. He also sang operetta and performed on German television, becoming extremely popular with television audiences.
He is best remembered for his recitals, his first American recital having been given in 1956. He was a gifted interpreter of Schubert, as well as other Lieder. He also appeared frequently in concert, particularly in the Bach Passions and Brahms' A German Requiem.
He recorded a multi-volume set for Phillips, tracing the history of the Lied from the Minnesänger to the twentieth century. In addition, he released numerous recordings of opera and song.
He died in Krailling, Bavaria.
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