Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Radio Interview May 4, 1982



Recently a friend asked me, now that I’m in my eighth decade of life, what are some of the achievements and experiences that have meant the most to me in my life? Without hesitation I answered that the radio interview with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf that I had done with Tim Page was definitely and without a doubt one of them. It was for me the dream of a lifetime for which I will be eternally grateful. We interviewed Elisabeth Schwarzkopf two weeks prior to the broadcast of the radio program that played on May 4, 1982. Tim began the interview with a discussion of “On and Off the Record; A Memoir of Walter Legge” (Legge was Schwarzkopf’s husband). He asked Schwarzkopf about her master classes at Juilliard (1976) and at Mannes (1982) and how they came about. The discussion then moved on to her promotion of the Legge book.

Tim had advised me prior to the interview that I could choose a few questions of my own to ask Schwarzkopf. Among those questions was how a student would know when to go to another teacher? We discussed the writing of her autobiography. I followed that by asking if there were any roles that she would have liked to have sung on stage but didn’t. The broadcast of the interview was followed by a brief discussion with Tim and me at the radio studio.

Tim Page played some signature recordings of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf that he had chosen and which he identified in both segments of the radio broadcast.

3 thoughts on “Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Radio Interview May 4, 1982

  1. Habe sie persönlich kennen gelernt. Für mich war sie in vielerlei Hinsicht außergewöhnlich. Sie verband Spontanität mit Liebenswürdigkeit, Freundlichkeit und – wenn ihr etwas nicht gefiel -, mit direktem Missfallen. Auf die Äußerung eines anwesenden Herrn, dass sie ja reich beschenkt sei mit ihrer Kunst und dem guten Aussehen, erwiderte sie, das sie in jüngeren Jahren ganz gut ausgesehen habe, aber das täten viele, nur ordentlich singen könne man damit noch lange nicht. Das ist die typische Berliner trockene Art: Nicht getadelt ist auch schon gelobt.

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  2. Unfortunately, I did not interview her. I love her voice and wish I had interviewed her. I heard her live at The Metroplitan Opera and in recital many times when I lived in New York City. My apologies for not responding sooner. Best, Howard


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