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Franz Crass (Bass-Baritone)

Born: February 9, 1928 - Wipperfürth (Bergisches Land), North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany
Died: June 24, 2012 - Hochheim/Main, Hesse, Germany

The German bass-baritone, Franz Crass, studied with Chamber Singer Gerda Heuer in Wiesbaden and with Professor Clemens Glettenberg at the Hochschule für Musik in Köln. He was the winner at various German competitions, amomg them the "Music Academies of Germany Singing Competition" in 1954 and a music competition organised by the broadcasting companies in Munich.

In 1954 Franz Crass began his singing career at the Städtischen Bühnen Krefeld/München-Gladbach (municipal theatre in Krefeld), and since 1956 has been at the Landestheater Hannover (State Opera of Lower Saxony).

Franz Crass established just as much as of a reputation as opera and Wagner specialist as concert and oratorio singer. His international breakthrough came when he appeared at the Bayreuth Festival in 1959 in Lohengrin and in 1960 in The Flying Dutchman. During the years that followed he would take the major opera houses and concert halls of Germany and the world by storm. He was a regular member of the Cologne Opera From 1962 to 1964, and of the Hamburg State Opera from 1964. Much in demand, he made guest appearances at the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, at La Scala in Milan, at Covent Garden in London, in the opera houses in West and East Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, and Buenos Aires. He worked with many a leading conductor - Otto Klemperer, Karl Böhm, Karl Richter, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, and Wolfgang Sawallisch among them - during numerous opera and concert engagements, recording sessions and radio broadcasts. He was particularly known for his roles in operas by Mozart and Wagner.

In 1981 Franz Crass' singing career ended abruptly - not because of a singing crisis but rather owing to a severe hearing complaint. Since then, he devoted himself to advising young singers on matters of interpretation and technique.

Source: Liner notes to the 3-LP album ‘Bach: Mass in B minor’, conducted by Otto Klemperer (EMI, 1968); Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Liner notes to the CD ' J.S. Bach: Kantaten BWV 137, 190, 131', conducted by Hans Thamm (Rondeau Produktion, 2003)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001, October 2005); Peter Bright (Photo, January 2008); Manfred Krugmann (Dates & Photo 04, June 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Marcel Couraud


BWV 11, BWV 65

Wolfgang Gönnenwein


BWV 32, BWV 39, BWV 78, BWV 106, BWV 244, BWV 245

Eugen Jochum


BWV 244 [2nd], BWV 245

Otto Klemperer


BWV 232 [2nd & 3rd]

Karl Richter


BWV 248 [2nd]

Ljubomir Romansky


BWV 244 [3rd, Chrtistus, not yet released]

Hans Thamm


BWV 93, BWV 131, BWV 137, BWV 190

Links to other Sites


Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 01:40