The great conductors
I was fortunate and honored to work with the great conductors of my time. Wolfgang Sawallisch and Sir Georg Solti were my first musical patrons. I traveled to Japan and America with Wolfgang Sawallisch. As chief conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra in Philadelphia, it was mainly the lyrical concert parts such as "The Creation" or "The Seasons" by Joseph Haydn, but also the great Mozart works such as the Requiem in D minor, in which he repeatedly called on me, the young tenor Herbert Lippert. Especially with his favorite work, the "Elijah" by Mendelssohn Bartholdy, I was allowed to accompany him all over the world. As General Director of the Bavarian State Opera, he naturally also brought me to the great stages of the world, both in Munich and at the Bunka Kaikan Opera House in Tokyo, as the "Steuermann" in the "Flying Dutchman" or as the "Jüngling" in the "Frau ohne Schatten".
I had an intimate friendship with Sir Georg Solti, a real father-son relationship. Together with my opera colleague and friend, René Pape, we soon became his favorite singers in a wide variety of productions. From Joseph Haydn's "Creation" (Decca) to "Don Giovanni" (Decca), from "The Magic Flute" (Decca) to "Fidelio"; to Sir Georg Solti I owe my greatest and most important award in the classical music market - the Grammy Award: For our joint production of Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra I was honored for the best portrayal of "David".
With Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic I was able to celebrate the great 125th anniversary of the Vienna Musikverein, experience many intimate concerts with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus as well as the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, record my first solo CD with Leopold Hager and the Munich Radio Orchestra, enjoy the music of Gustav Mahler with Franz Welser-Möst and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, rediscover Anton Bruckner with Herbert Blomstedt and the NDR Symphony Orchestra, discover the richness of Italian music with Giuseppe Sinopoli and the Orchestra Santa Cecilia in Rome, immerse myself in the masterpieces of Viennese classical music with Carlo Maria Giulini and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, follow in the footsteps of Franz Schmidt with Fabio Luisi and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig.
There followed, in the course of time, many other important conductors such as Julius Rudel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Bernhard Haitink, Niksa Bareza, Jiřsí Bělohlávek, Bertrand de Billy, Michael Boder, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, James Conlon, Dennis Russell Davies, Christoph von Dohnány, Marc Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedosseyev, Gabriele Ferro, Adám Fischer, Iván Fischer, Helmut Froschauer, John Eliot Gardiner, Daniele Gatti, Michael Gielen, Wolfgang Gönnenwein, Ennoch zu Guttenberg, Sascha Goetzl, Hartmut Haenchen, Michael Halász, Thomas Hengelbrock, Philippe Herreweghe, Michael Hofstetter, Christopher Hogwood, Heinz Holliger, Heinz Hollreiser, Marek Janowski, Mariss Jansons, Michail Jurowski, Bernhard Klee, Patrick Lange, Charles Mackerras, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Zubin Metha, Cornelius Meister, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagono, Günter Neuhold, Gianandrea Noseda, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Roberto Paternostro, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Donald Runnicles, Ulf Schirmer, Michael Schonwandt, Stefan Soltesz, Horst Stein, Pinchas Steinberg, Jeffrey Tate, Ernst Theis, Christian Thielemann, Marcello Viotti, Hans Vonk, Ralf Weikert, Bruno Weil, Simone Young, Lothar Zagrosek, Alberto Zedda, with whom I had the privilege of working. With many of them I have a lifelong personal and artistic friendship.