German classical singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau dies
German baritone singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, hailed as one of the greatest lyrical vocalists of the last century, has died at the age of 86, the Germany DPA news agency said on Friday.
Fischer-Dieskau, a music teacher, opera singer and playwright, was famed for his interpretation of Schubert's "Winter's Journey".
DPA cited his wife Julia Varady who confirmed his death shortly before his 87th birthday.
Fischer-Dieskau, whose career started in 1947, was a regular fixture at the Opera House in Berlin, as well as in Vienna, London's Covent Garden and New York's Carnegie Hall.
One of the highlights of his career was his participation in the first performance of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem", commissioned for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral, destroyed during World War II.
He played a major role in invigorating the Salzburg festival before ending his career at the end of 1992.
News weekly Spiegel said: "His interpretation of Schubert's Winter's Journey is still now considered the standard. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was one of the greatest classical singers of the 20th Century."
© 2012 AFP