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<<  -- 4 --  Tess Crebbin    MANY HAPPY RETURNS

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As a singer, the German multi-talent won more awards than can be mentioned, including all the big ones, and he holds honorary doctorates from Oxford, Sorbonne and Yale, to mention just a few. Among his most important awards are the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society (1988), Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, the Gramophone Life Achievement Award (1994), and Commandeur des Arts et Lettres. He is a multiple Grammy award winner, and the recipient of countless other recording awards, including ten of them for his complete edition of Schubert Lieder for male voice (1969-1971). He is also an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to name just some.

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

As a person, those who have met him seem to agree that he is very professional in his approach to music, precise, even perfectionist, but very kind and open to his fellow performers. He continues to be an inspiration to many young singers throughout the world and even some of the most famous baritones of our time cite him as their main influence and role model. Inspiring is also his attitude to old age: far from letting it slow him down, the singer continues to be as active as ever and this year alone, he is booked at several European summer festivals, including Salzburg where, on 19 August 2005, he will conduct a gala concert to celebrate his birthday. At age 80, slowing down is nowhere in sight and Fischer-Dieskau has still a lot to give to the classical music world and beyond. So to someone equipped with such an active mind and spirit, who seems both age-and-timeless, one can only say: Many Happy Returns, and let's hope that he stays around for a long time yet.

Copyright © 28 May 2005 Tess Crebbin, Germany

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Deutsche Grammophon has re-released three Fischer-Dieskau CD sets on the occasion of the artist's 80th birthday:

An die Musik (To Music): Lieder by Brahms, Schubert, Mozart etc (2 CDs), plus a bonus DVD of Schubert Lieder (DG 000289 477 5556)

Early Recordings Edition with opera excerpts (Verdi, Gluck), Lieder (including Wolf, Brahms, Schumann) and baroque music (Handel, Bach) (9 CDs) (DG 00289 477 5270)

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau recitals (2 CDs) (DG 00289 477 5320)

AN INTERVIEW WITH FISCHER-DIESKAU

MONIKA WOLF'S FISCHER-DIESKAU SITE

SALZBURG FESTIVAL

MARTIN FISCHER-DIESKAU

HENSCHEL PRESS

THE FISCHER-DIESKAU BOOK OF LIEDER

REVERBERATIONS: THE MEMOIRS OF DIETRICH FISCHER-DIESKAU

DIETRICH FISCHER-DIESKAU - A BIOGRAPHY BY HANS NEUNZIG

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