The German baritone Thomas Quasthoff has announced that he has retired from public performance. The 52-year-old said that after singing ‘for nearly 40 years’ he would concentrate on teaching, lecturing and sitting on juries of singing competitions. He had cancelled a number of appearances in the past year. ‘My health no longer allows me to live up to the high standard that I have always set for my art and myself. I owe a lot to this wonderful profession and leave without a trace of bitterness. On the contrary, I am looking forward to the new challenges that will now enter my life. I would like to thank all my fellow musicians and colleagues, with whom I stood together onstage, all the organizers, and my audience for their loyalty,’ he said in a press statement.
Quasthoff had recorded for DG for the past ten years and left a fine legacy of discs including Schubert’s Winterreise with Daniel Barenboim and a number of Lieder albums with his regular piano partner, Justus Zeyen. For EMI he recorded Don Fernando in Beethoven’s Fidelio and the baritone part in Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, both with Sir Simon Rattle (the latter winning both a Gramophone Award and a Grammy).