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Martin Petzold (Tenor)

Born: June 25, 1955 - Leipzig, Saxony, Germany

The German tenor, Martin Petzold, received his first musical training as a member of the Thomanerchor in his hometown of Leipzig. He studied singing from 1979 to 1985 at the Leipzig University for Music and Theatre ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’ with Mrs. Professor Eva Schubert and later with Bernd Siegfried Weber.

After the state examination in the 1985, Martin Petzold received a permanent engagement at the National Theatre of Halle. Since 1986 (or 1988) he has been a fixed member of the ensemble of the Leipzig Opera, where he has performed over 80 roles to great acclaim. His operatic repertoire includes, among other things, David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Pedrillo in W.A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Flaut in Ein Sommernachtstraum and Iwan in Die Nase.

In addition to his work in the opera, Martin Petzold maintains a close working relationship with Thomanerchor Leipzig and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. He is also connected with such orchestras and choirs as the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Freiburger Baroque Orchestra, Dresdner Kreuzchor and Monteverdi-Chor Hamburg. Numerous concert performances have led him throughout Europe, the USA, to Israel, Japan, Korea, China and Central and South America. In particular, His interpretations of the works of J.S. Bach, of the Evangelist part J.S. Bach (led by Georg Christoph Biller, Peter Schreier and Kurt Masur, have not only received worldwide recognition but have served as the focal point of his music making. The opera, oratorio and concert singer has a wide repertoire that includes the works of composers spanning all musical genres. Martin Petzold has been greatly influenced by his engagements with such renowned conductors as Georg Christoph Biller, Riccardo Chailly, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Ton Koopman, Kurt Masur, Yehudi Menuhin, Kent Nagano, Helmuth Rilling, Ulf Schirmer, and Peter Schreier among others. He is a much welcomed guest at many European opera houses including the Opera Theatre in Basel, where he repeatedly worked together with director Herbert Wernicke. In addition, he has performed at the Semper Opera in Dresden, the Hamburg State Opera, Opera Messina Sicily, Royal Opera House Lisbon, Royal Opera Madrid, and for many years at the Stuttgart State Opera. As a concert singer as well as recitalist, he has made lasting impressions in the world’s music centers including in Leipzig's Gewandhaus, Berlin Philharmonic, Cologne Philharmonic, Stuttgart Liederhalle, Gasteig Munich, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Tonhalle Zürich, Vienna Musikverein, Teatro Communale di Bologna, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Palau Musica Catalana in Barcelona, at the Edinburgh Festival Theater, as well as in Milan, Rome, Seoul, New York, Chicago, Sao Paolo, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, and San Jose in Costa Rica among many others.

Numerous radio, TV, CD and DVD productions document Martin Petzold's extensive musical career. Among others, these include the part of the evangelist in J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Thomanerchor Leipzig in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Monastatos in W.A. Mozarts Die Zauberflöte under Arnold Oestmann at L’Orseau de Lyre and Das Wunder der Heliane by Erich Wolfgang Korngold to name a few. In addition, he played a leading role in the Decca series “Entarte Musik” with Lothar Zagrossek and John Mauceri. He has recorded CD’' for Philips Classics, Decca, Ram Records, for Japanese labels as well as for Apollon Classics, Rondeau, Querstand and Bavaria Sonor.

For many years, Martin P has been sharing his vast experience with young singers in master-classes, which concern particularly the interpretation of the music J.S. Bach. In 2001, he was appointed “Kammersaenger,” a title awarded to a singer of outstanding merit. In December 2012, the feature film production of Ludwig II was premiered, with Martin Petzold as the old Lohengrin. With their recent ‘Bach in Jazz’, the strict classical singer and the improvising instrumentalists of the Stephan-König-Trio have paved a new way to the music of J.S. Bach. The vocal experiment has enjoyed both national and international praise and attention. Furthermore, the preservation of German folk music has always been one of Martin Petzold’s great personal priorities and therefore, in 2009 he released the highly acclaimed CD “Verstohlen geht der Mond auf,” and then in 2014, a collection of German Christmas Carols ‘Weinachten zu Hause’ with guitar accompaniment. As an illustrator and caricaturist, Martin Petzold’s work has been commissioned by such publishing houses as the Mabuse-Verlag in Frankfurt am Main, C.F. Mueller Verlag in Heidelberg, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt/Leipzig, Phonus Verlag/Leipzig and Kamprad Verlag/Altenburg. 

Source: Opernhaus Halle Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (March 2003); Martin Petzold Website; German Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2003, May 2016)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Georg Christoph Biller


BWV 3, BWV 4, BWV 19, BWV 37, BWV 43, BWV 65, BWV 67, BWV 80, BWV 125, BWV 147 [1st], BWV 147 [2nd], BWV 172, BWV 178, BWV 194
BWV 19, BWV 21, BWV 22 [1st], BWV 23 [1st], BWV 34, BWV 60, BWV 102, BWV 109, BWV 126, BWV 144, BWV 168
Bachfest Leipzig 2013: BWV 140
BWV 232, BWV 244 [Video], BWV 244b, BWV 248 [2nd], BWV 248 [3rd]

Peter Eidenbenz


BWV 244

Matthias Eisenberg


BWV 55, BWV 439-507

Roderich Kreile


BWV 232 [1st]

Günther Neuhold


BWV 244

Peter Schreier


BWV 248 [DVD+CD]

Gotthold Schwarz


Radio: BWV 75

Rolf Schweizer


BWV 244

David Timm


BWV 36c, BWV 207a, BWV 208a

David Timm & Volker Bräutigam


BWV 247

Wolfgang Unger


BWV 198

Jürgen Wolf


BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Martin Petzold (Berliner Bachakademie) [German]
Martin Petzold (Official Website) [German/English]
Martin Petzold (Wikipedia) [German]
Martin Petzold (Wikipedia) [English]

Martin Petzold (Oper Leipzig) [German]
Opernhaus Halle: Martin Petzold [N/A]
Göttinger Händel Gesellschaft: Martin Petzold [N/A]
Martin Petzold – Biographie (Marion Möhle) [N/A]

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 16:57