MARTIN FISCHER-DIESKAU is the son of baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and cellist Irmgard Poppen.
In 1974 he started his career leading a production of Haydn's "Il mondo della luna" in his native Berlin at the age of nineteen. He thereafter studied violin, piano and conducting at the "Universität der Künste" Berlin as well as Italian Literature and Musicology at the "Freie Universität" Berlin. He was the German Music Council's top prize winner twice in 1976 and 1977 which led to some first invitations to leading orchestras in Germany and brought him into contact with Seiji Ozawa who invited him as a recipient of the much sought after Leonard Bernstein fellowship program in Tanglewood, USA in 1978 and again in 1988. Back in 1978 it was Antal Dorati who engaged him as Assistant Conductor with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and advised him to return to Europe after two seasons in order to follow the steps of so many illustrious conductors of the past: becoming a repetiteur and "Kapellmeister" in various opera houses. His positions included Augsburg, Aachen, Hagen and finally Stuttgart and Bern, where he served as Principal Conductor from 1990 till 1994 conducting a wide range of Contemporary, Russian and Italian repertoire. He also led productions at the "San Carlo" in Naples and the "Regio" in Torino and became a frequent guest at international festivals such as the Helsinki, Granada and Berlin Festivals.