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Siegmund Nimsgern (Bass-Baritone)

Born: January 14, 1940 - Stiring-Wendel, Saarland, Germany

The German bass-baritone, Siegmund Nimsgern, has for many years belonged to the group of elite international singers.

After his school-leaving examination Siegmund Nimsgern studied music education. Musicology, German, and philosophy. He was a student in Saarbrücken of Sibylle Fuchs, Jakob Stämpfli, and Paul Lohmann. He won four first prizes in important vocal competitions and soon thereafter became one of the most successful German lied, oratorio, and opera singers.

In 1965 Siegmund Nimsgern made his debut as a concert artist. His operatic debut followed in 1967 when he appeared as Lionel in Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans in Saarbrücken, where he sang until 1971. In 1970 he made his Salzburg Festival debut. From 1971 to 1974 he was a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. He made his British debut in 1972 as a soloist in La Damnation de Faust. In 1973 he made his first appearance at London’s Covent Garden as Amfortas, and he also made debuts at Milan’s La Scala and the Paris Opéra. In 1974 he made his USA debut as Jokanaan at the San Francisco Opera. He made his Metropolitan debut in New York as Pizarro in October 1978, and returned there as Jokanaan in 1981. From 1983 to 1985 he appeared as Wotan at the Bayreuth Festivals.

In addition to Radio and recording studios, Siegmund Nimsgern’s regular sphere of activity includes all of the major opera houses, such as La Scala (Milano), the Metropolitan Opera (New York), Covent Garden (London), Opéra de Paris, the Wiener Staatsoper, the opera houses in Chicago, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Rome (Santa Cecilia), etc., as well as the music festivals in Munich, Salzburg, Flanders, Israel, Florence, Orange, Berlin, Ansbach, and Bayreuth.

Important conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Carlo Maria Giulini, Herbert von Karajan, Kleiber, Erich Leinsdorf, Jean Martinon, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Georg Solti, Stein, and many others, have worked and continue to work together with Siegmund Nimsgern.

LP and CD records as well as numerous ‘private recordings’ give proof of his vocal and interpretations skills.

Among Siegmund Nimsgern’s other roles were Telramund, Alberich, Günther, the Dutchman, Macbeth, Iago, and Luna. As Lieder (Schubert, Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Wolf, etc.) and oratorio singer (J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel, L.v. Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, etc.), but above all as character and ‘Helden’ baritone in the opera (Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Verdi, Georges Bizet, Wagner, Strauss, Puccini, Alban Berg, George Enescu, and many others), Siegmund Nimsgern belongs without question to the most prominent vocal and stage personalities in the contemporary music scene.

Source: Liner notes to Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77151-2-RG (Cantatas BWV 202, BWV 209, BWV 211 & BWV 212, performed by Collegium Aureum, 1990); Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2001)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Collegium Aureum


BWV 110, BWV 211, BWV 212, BWV 243

Karl-Friedrich Beringer


BWV 56, BWV 82, BWV 158

Wolfgang Gönnenwein


BWV 245

Nikolaus Harnoncourt


BWV 26, BWV 27, BWV 28, BWV 31, BWV 34, BWV 248

Diethard Hellmann


BWV 8, BWV 26, BWV 62, BWV 63, BWV 101

Fritz-Werner Körfer


BWV 56

Jean Martinon


BWV 56

Manfred May


BWV 245

Karl Richter


BWV 243 [2nd], BWV 244 [4th - DVD], BWV 245 [3rd - DVD]

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 19, BWV 40, BWV 41, BWV 70, BWV 76, BWV 81, BWV 90, BWV 96, BWV 168, BWV 178, BWV 232, BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Solisten und Solistinnen der Sasion 2001/2002 - Siegmund Nimsgern [German]

Siegmund Nimsgern (Oratorienchor der Stadt Bern) [German]

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 15:52