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Independent Classical Music

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Mary-Louise Aitken

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Robert Holl


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Hugo Wolf – the complete songs – vol.9: Michelangelo Lieder & early songs

Robert Holl was born in Rotterdam where he studied with Jan Veth and David Hollestelle. In 1971 he won the First Prize at the “International Vocal Competition” in s’-Hertogenbosch, followed by studies with Hans Hotter in Munich. In 1972 he won the First Prize at the “International Music Competition of the German Broadcasting Association” (ARD) in Munich which resulted in TV/Radio engagements and orchestral concerts. Between 1973 and 1975 he was a member of the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. After numerous years as a sought-after concert singer and Lieder recitalist Robert Holl has acquired a renewed interest in singing opera in the Eighties. He has appeared at the Staatsoper Wien, at the Brussels and the Zurich Opera as Sprecher and Sarastro / Die Zauberflöte, Amfortas / Parsifal,Gremin / Eugene Onegin (sung in Russian), Basilio / Il barbiere di Siviglia, Assur / Semiramide, lfonso / Così fan tutte, La Roche / Capriccio, Wassermann / Rusalka (sung in Czech), Robert / Des Teufels Lustschloss with conductors like Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Franz Welser-Möst. From 1999 to 2002 Robert Holl has appeared as Landgraf Hermann / Tannhäuser, Commendatore / Don Gionvanni, Hans Sachs / Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Daland / Der fliegende Holländer at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. In 2005 he sang again Hans Sachs under Barenboim. He will be heard in this role again in a revival under Peter Schneider at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2008. In a new Meistersinger production of the Köln Opera staged by Uwe-Eric Laufenberg he was again Hans Sachs.At the Wiener Staatsoper he has been heard in different productions of Wagner Operas as Landgraf Hermann / Tannhäuser, König Marke / Tristan und Isolde (conductors: Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst and Peter Schneider),Gurnemanz / Parsifal (conductor: Donald Runnicles), and as Pimen / Boris Godunov (new production under Daniele Gatti, May 2007). He has consecutively appeared as Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Bayreuth from 1996 to 2002 with great success (conductors: Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann). From 2004-2007 he was Bayreuth´s Gurnemanz in Christoph Schlingensief´s production of Parsifal (conductors: Pierre Boulez and Adam Fischer). In the Festival summers of 2008 and 2009 he sang König Marke in a Tristan production of Christoph Marthaler and returned to Bayreuth in the same role in 2011 and 2012. For many years Robert Holl has been a much sought-after concert singer, which enabled him to acquire a wide range of concert repertoire. He has appeared with the most renowned conductors and orchestras in Europe, America, and Japan. Robert Holl is one of the most important Lieder singers of our time, having a particular preference for the German (especially Schubert) and Russian repertoire. He sings regularly with constant high acclaim in all the great music centres in Europe, Israel, the USA, Russia, and Japan. He is artistic director of Schubertiads in Austria and Holland as well as artistic advisor of the “Poetry and Music” series in the Brahmssaal of the Vienna Musikverein. In 1990 Robert Holl was awarded the prestigious Austrian title of “Kammersänger”, in 1997 he was named an “Honourable Member” of the “Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien” and of the Festival “Carinthischer Sommer” as well. In 1998 he became a Professor for Lied and Oratory at the “Uni-versität für Musik und darstellende Kunst” in Vienna. In 2005 he was awarded the “Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst I. Klasse”. In 2007 he received the high Dutch award of „Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw” in his home town of Rotterdam.