I was sorry to read this:

After nearly 40 years on the concert scene, German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff has decided to retire from singing due to health reasons.

The news was first reported in the German news media on Wednesday and immediately spread across international outlets. It comes on the heels of Quasthoff announcing in September that he was cancelling the remainder of his 2011 engagements due to persistent laryngitis.

In a press release on his Web site (and reposted by arts blogger Norman Lebrecht), Quasthoff stated:

“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 on stage, all the organizers, and my audience for their loyalty.”

No further details were given on the nature of Quasthoff’s health problems. The 52-year-old singer was born with serious birth defects caused by his mother’s exposure during pregnancy to the drug thalidomide. He spent his first years in hospitals and was initially not expected to live long.


Ahhh, that voice! Incredible.

Norman Lebrecht has a link to his interview with Mr. Quasthoff.


  1. I’m saddened that he will no longer be on the concert circuit, but grateful for the fabulous legacy he has left us in recordings. What a voice! And what a musician!!

  2. Yeah, I’m quite grateful as well. An incredible voice used in the most musical way. Fantastic!