The great German mezzo Christa Ludwig was honoured at the 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Circumstances prevented her attending the Awards in London (though we did manage to make a wonderful video with her – below). However, BBC Radio 3's 'Music Matters', responding to our Award caught up with Christa Ludwig recently and Tom Service recorded a long interview with her at her home in Vienna. You can hear it on Saturday, December 10 on BBC Radio 3 at 12.15pm, repeated on Monday evening at 10pm, and via the iPlayer for 30 days.
Ludwig's career spanned four decades and embraced roles as varied as Mozart's Cherubino and Dorabella, Beethoven's Leonore, Wagner's Fricka, Brangäne and Kundry, and Richard Strauss's The Dyer's Wife, Marschallin, Octavian and Klytemnestra. She worked regularly with Herbert von Karajan, Karl Böhm and Leonard Bernstein (who also collaborated with her as pianist), as well as Otto Klemperer (with whom she made some of her greatest recordings), Carlo Maria Giulini and Sir Georg Solti. She was also a great Lieder singer and frequently sang in oratorio and choral works, Verdi's Requiem being a speciality.