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Musical World

Thomas Quasthoff

  • Bass-Baritone

Biography

Thomas Quasthoff: Since making his US debut at the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony under the batons of Daniel Barenboim, Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Loren Maazel, Ricardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa and Franz Welser-Moest. In recital, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center and on the major recital series in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto and Atlanta and made appearances at the Ravinia, Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart festivals and the Hollywood Bowl.
In Europe, Mr. Quasthoff regularly appears with the leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra under such eminent conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink and Daniel Barenboim.
Much in demand as a recitalist, he frequently sings in the major recital halls in Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Amsterdam and London. A frequent guest at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Quasthoff’s appearances there include the opening concert of the 2001/02 season with the Berlin Philharmonic led by Claudio Abbado, lieder recitals with Daniel Barenboim, Ian Bostridge, Dorothea Röschmann and Justus Zeyen, an evening of popular song with five well known jazz musicians, a performance of Damnation of Faust with Sir Simon Rattle and the Philadelphia Orchestra and two appearances with the Berlin Staatskappelle led by Daniel Barenboim singing Mahler song cycles. In April, 2003 Thomas Quasthoff made his first staged opera appearance as Don Fernando in Fidelio with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in Salzburg.
Since then he has sung the role of Amfortas in a highly acclaimed production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Vienna State Opera. Thomas Quasthoff has amassed an impressive discography which includes recordings for BMG, Haenssler, EMI-Electrola, Philips and the Bayer labels.
An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artist since 1999, three of his CD’s have received Grammy awards: Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Anne Sophie von Otter and Claudio Abbado; Schubert’s Lieder with orchestra, also with von Otter and Abbado; and Bach cantatas with the Berlin Baroque Soloists. Other recordings on Deutsche Grammophon include Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, Schubert’s Schwanengesang, and Brahms’ Vier ernste Gesänge with pianist Justus Zeyen; a DVD of Winterreise with Daniel Barenboim; Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with Pierre Boulez and the Vienna Philharmonic; and Watch What Happens, The Jazz Album, which was awarded the prestigious Echo prize.
Mr. Quasthoff’s most recent release is Haydn’s Italian Arias. The subject of numerous articles in the national press including Time, People and Esquire magazines, Mr. Quasthoff has been profiled on the CBS news programs 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes Two as well as on the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. A German television documentary about Mr. Quasthoff was awarded “The Golden Camera”, the equivalent of an American Emmy Award. Mr. Quasthoff’s autobiography was recently published in Europe and a translated version was published in the US by Pantheon Books in June 2008.
Thomas Quasthoff began his vocal studies with Professor Charlotte Lehmann and Professor Huber-Contwig (musicology) in Hannover, Germany and his international career was launched when he was awarded First Prize in the 1988 ARD International Music Competition in Munich. As of 2003 he holds the patronage of the foundation “Children of Chernobyl of Lower Saxony”. Mr. Quasthoff received the Order of Merit from the President of the German Republic in October 2005 and in 2006 was awarded the European Culture Prize for Music at the Dresden Frauenkirche.
Most recently, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal in recognition of his most outstanding musicianship. A dedicated teacher and advocate for young vocalists, Mr. Quasthoff was a professor at the Music Academy in Detmold, Germany from 1996-2004.
He has been a Professor of Music at the Hanns Eisler School for Music in Berlin since October 2004.