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Hartmut Höll


Characteristics of Hartmut Höll's pianism include sensitivity to sound and an ability to think beyond the notes, creating atmospheric lyrical emotions. For decades, he has been one of the most sought-after pianists on the international scene. He knows the value of chamber music collaboration and astutely cultivates long-term partnerships.

From 1982 to 1992, he was the performance partner of the baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Evenings of lieder at festivals in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Florence, Munich, Berlin and Toyko, as well as New York's Carnegie Hall were much acclaimed. For almost two decades he has accompanied the soprano Renée Fleming at concerts in Europe, Australia, Asia, and the United States. Höll sees Fleming as a genuinely universal singer. He has watched with admiration how global audiences are enthused by her wise choice of repertory across four centuries and many different cultures. For over four decades he has been associated in a song duo with the mezzo-soprano Mitsuko Shirai. The Shirai-Höll-duo has set standards for song interpretation in worldwide concerts and on CD (“Peter Pears - Benjamin Britten, Pierre Bernac - Francis Poulenc: In our own day, Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll have achieved a comparable artistry.“THE AUDİOPHİLE VOİCE, USA).

Höll has worked with many other singers, including Thomas Hampson, Christoph Prégardien, Wolfgang Holzmair, Changyong Liao, Josef Protschka, Zheng Zhou, Roman Trekel, Urszula Kryger, Yvonne Naef, Jochen Kowalski, Hermann Prey, Jadwiga Rappé, Peter Schreier, Ilker Arcayürek, and Äneas Humm. Other chamber music partners were Tabea Zimmermann, Eduard Brunner, Jörg Widmann, Gervase de Peyer, Sabine Meyer and others.

He has recorded more than sixty CDs on the Capriccio, Decca, EMI, Erato, Claves, MDG, and Bayer Records labels, many of them honored with international awards such as the Diapason d'Or and the German Record Critics' Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik).

As a professor at the University of Music Karlsruhe (Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe), Hartmut Höll is closely connected to educating a new generation of artists. Graduates of his courses have continued this educational tradition by teaching as professors in Freiburg, Salzburg, Vienna, Paris, Manila, Montevideo and other cities. In 1998/1999 he was guest professor in Helsinki, and from 1994 to 2003 guest professor at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. For almost a decade he also taught at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Since October 2007, Hartmut Höll has served as Rector of the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe.

He gave annual lieder masterclasses in Savonlinna, Finland as well as the Weimar International Music Seminar, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, and the International Summer Academy of the Mozarteum Salzburg, as well as in Jerusalem, Cairo, and the USA. Each year Hartmut Höll teaches at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In January 2019 he was invited to the SongStudio of New York’s Carnegie Hall.

In 1990, Hartmut Höll received the Robert Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau. He has been appointed an honorary member of the Robert Schumann Society Zwickau.

As a juror or jury chairperson, he was invited to the Naumburg International Piano Competition; the Robert Schumann Competition Zwickau; the Nadia and Lili Boulanger international Voice-Piano Competition, Paris; and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.

From 1985 to 2007, Hartmut Höll was Artistic Director of the International Hugo Wolf Academy for Singing, Poetry and Art Song in Stuttgart, which performed exemplary cultural achievements under his direction. Among them, an International Art Song Competition was launched, and major concert series devoted to Eduard Mörike(1988); Germanies(1990); and Europe on the Move: People • Metropolises • Migrations (1992/93) under the patronage of Simone Veil. Other highlights were a complete performance of the 108 works planned for publication by Schubert (1997); Nature Sounds/ Human Sounds (1998); and a musical-literary-cinematic trip down the Danube River as part of the European Capital of Culture Weimar (2002). These events attracted attention far beyond Germany's borders and led to invitations to Lincoln Center New York and The Louvre Auditorium, Paris.

In 2012, Höll’s WordMusic (WortMusik)was published by Staccato-Verlag Düsseldorf, describing his professional experiences, approaches to songs, and personal memories. Among reviews: “It is a courageous and sensitive, critical but never know-it-all, free-flowing, yet precise book."OPERNWELT

“... the outstanding pianist Hartmut Höll. How he met the respective tone of these different compositions and maintained tension even during the slowest tempos was absolutely admirable. Each of his heartfelt pauses was a revelation. His courage in taking artistic risks should provide a model and incentive for all musicians.“ DER TAGESSPIEGEL, about a recital at the Deutsche Oper Berlin

“Above all, she enjoyed the advantage of working with the superb pianist Hartmut Höll – emphatically a partner, not an accompanist.” THE FINANCIAL TIMES, about a recital at Carnegie Hall.

Last updated: Sep 2019