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His career is legendary, and he has appeared in all of the great music festivals around the world, as well as having sung on most of the world's great opera stages. Among the composers who have written works for him are Britten, Dallapiccola, Lutoslawski and Reimann. Time Magazine dubbed him the world's greatest Lieder singer, but despite his international appeal his focal points always remained the opera houses of Berlin and Munich, with guest appearances elsewhere. It was also in Munich that he bid his official farewell to the stage, on 31 December 1992. Since then, he has kept an active hand as a conductor, writer, lecturer and with recitals, not to mention his active interest and obvious talent in painting.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Photo © Foto Schaffler
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Photo © Foto Schaffler

He has written many books, starting in 1968, the subjects including Schubert, Schumann, Reichardt, Debussy, Wagner and Nietzsche. As a painter, he is good enough to have made it as a professional. In fact, the father of his piano teacher was the painter Friedrich Seyer, who predicted that Fischer-Dieskau would become a great painter one day, if he put his mind to it. Luckily for us, he chose music as a career, but whenever he was on tour as a singer, he would use his spare time to visit art galleries and he often drew when he wasn't singing. Of great interest is his painting titled Bruckner (1988), where he cleverly mixes colors and image in the style of Gustave Moreau. In fact, he has exhibited his paintings often and to critical acclaim. The first exhibition took place in 1980 in Bamberg/Germany, the latest one in 2004 in Polling/Bavaria.

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Copyright © 28 May 2005 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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