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Born Albert Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau on May 28, 1925, singer and conductor Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was one of the best loved and most respected performers of his generation, putting a very big stamp on the Germanic Lieder musical tradition. His first opportunity to bring his craft to his fellow countrymen came during World War II, when — after having been captured by the Allies — Fischer-Dieskau sang his lieder songs to fellow Germans in a POW camp in Italy. After the war, Fischer-Dieskau began his professional career with a series of highly regarded recitals in 1947. This soon led to a position as baritone at the Berlin State Opera, which would help bring his talent to an even larger audience. After a number of successful appearances all over the continent, 1955 would find Fischer-Dieskau making his debut in the United States, in Cincinnati. Prior to his world travels, he further marked the '50s as a decade of personal firsts, recording his first album of lieder songs in 1951. To list the subsequent recordings that featured the lieder work of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau here would take up far too much space, but suffice it to say, what he did, he did very, very well. So well, that in 1999, just seven years after his retirement, Fischer-Dieskau was named one of the Top Singers of the Century by British Classic Magazine, second only to Jussi Bjorling, in fact.