German baritone singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, hailed as one of the greatest lyrical vocalists in post-war Europe, has died at the age of 86.
Described by The Guardian in 2005 as “the most influential singer of the 20th century,” Fischer-Dieskau – a music teacher, opera singer and playwright – was famed for his interpretation of Franz Schubert’s “Winter’s Journey,” the Agence France reports.
Born in 1925 in Berlin, his career began in 1947 after spending two years as an American prisoner of war. He became a regular fixture at the German capital’s Opera House, as well at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Covent Garden.
One of the major highlights in his career was his participation in the 1962 world premier of Bejamin Britten’s “War Requiem,” performed for the reconsecration of the UK’s Coventry Cathedral, which had been destroyed during WWII, according to Deutsche Welle.
Fischer-Dieskau was most famous for his interpretations of lieder – songs written in German for solo voice and piano – and played a major role in invigorating the Salzburg Festival before retiring in 1992, according to the BBC.