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Baritone Franz Grundheber was born in Trier and studied voice with Margaret Harshaw in the United States at Indiana University in Bloomington. In 1966 Rolf Liebermann engaged him as a member of the Hamburg Staatsoper, where he maintains an ongoing relationship as a guest artist. He has performed some 150 different roles there and participated in 10 operatic world premieres. A second focus of his artistic work is the Vienna Staatsoper, where he has appeared in new productions of Strauss’s Elektra (Orest), Pfitzner’s Palestrina (Borromeo), and Berg’s Lulu (Doctor Schön) and has also sung the title roles in Hindemith’s Cardillac and Berg’s Wozzeck. Grundheber has performed the heroic baritone repertoire—from Wagner, Verdi, and Puccini to Strauss—on all the leading international stages, including Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. At the Salzburg Festival he has appeared in such roles as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca under Herbert von Karajan and has also sung in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten, Der Rosenkavalier, Capriccio, and Die Liebe der Danae. Plans for the 2012-13 season include appearances as the Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos at Hamburg Staatsoper and as Riedinger in Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler at the Theater an der Wien. In the field of concert music, oratorio, and lieder, Grundheber has collaborated with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa, Giuseppe Sinopoli, and Herbert von Karajan. Highlights of his numerous recordings include two accounts of Berg’s Wozzeck conducted by Claudio Abbado and Daniel Barenboim, which garnered multiple awards. Franz Grundheber holds the titles Austrian Kammersänger and Kammersänger of Hamburg; the Vienna and Hamburg Staatsoper companies have both appointed him an honorary member.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 22 August 1990 in a concert with the SWF Symphony Orchestra under Michael Gielen featuring Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Sinfonie.