Obituary: German Tenor Martin Petzold Dies Suddenly, Aged 67

By Logan Martell
(Image Source: sueddeutsche)

On April 19, 2023, German tenor Martin Petzold died suddenly at the aged of 67. The cause of death is not known at this time.

Born on June 25, 1955 in Leipzig, Germany, Petzold was a member of the Thomanerchor from ages 10 to 19, alongside his father, theologian Ernst Petzold, as well as his brother. After refusing to join the East German Army, he was prevented from studying music by the local authorities, a ban which was lifted after he served for 18 months without carrying a weapon. From 1979 to 1985 he studied voice at the University of Music and Theatre Lipizig, under Eva Schubert and Bernd Siegfried Weber. After appearing with the Leipzig Opera in 1986, he would become a permanent member of the company from 1988 onwards. His repertoire would span 80 roles over the next 40 years.

As a soloist, Petzold has appeared in concert with companies such as the Dresdner Kreuzchor, the Gewandhausorchester, the Monteverdi-Chor, amd the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, among others.

A proponent for the preservation of German Volkslied, Petzold, served as a lecturer at international masterclasses from 2002 onwards, as well as a vocal coach for the Thomanerchor. For his accomplishments, Petzold was made a Kammersanger in 2001.