Helmut Deutsch

Born 1945

Helmut Deutsch

Piano

Biography

Pianist Helmut Deutsch has specialized in vocal accompaniment and, to a lesser degree, chamber music. He numbers top singers both within the German-speaking sphere and beyond it among his collaborators.

Deutsch was born on December 24, 1945, in Vienna. His entire musical education took place in that city: he attended the Vienna Conservatory, the Vienna Music Academy (now the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst), and the University of Vienna, studying piano, composition, and musicology. He won the city's Composition Prize in 1967 and went on to a substantial career as an educator, teaching at the Vienna Music Academy from 1967 (an unusually early beginning for an academic career) to 1979, later becoming a professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich from 1986 to 2011. He has also given master classes around Europe and in Japan. He continues to teach on a guest basis at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt and at the Frankfurt Opera, but his career as a pianist grew consistently as well. In his early years, he collaborated with soprano Irmgard Seefried and then with baritone Hermann Prey; the latter became an important mentor, and the two gave multiple performances together at the Salzburg Festival. Deutsch has been much in demand as an accompanist, and the long list of top singers whom he has backed includes bass-baritone Hans Hotter and tenors Peter Schreier and Jonas Kaufmann. He is also active as a chamber music player and as a solo artist.

Deutsch's catalog of recordings is large and has involved collaborations with various singers. He joined singers Julian Banse, Iris Vermillion, and Andreas Schmidt for a complete cycle of Brahms songs on the CPO label. Deutsch backed Kaufmann on the latter's 2006 album of Strauss songs and Angelika Kirchschlager on her 2011 Mahler lieder release. He has also recorded as a soloist, releasing Helmut Deutsch Plays Mozart in 2003. Deutsch has remained quite active in senior citizenhood, often releasing multiple albums annually, and backing soprano Diana Damrau on an album of Strauss songs for the Erato label in 2020.

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