Hartmut Höll's performances are instantly distinctive for their feeling and sensitivity for sounds, as well as the ability to think beyond sounds to create atmosphere, the experiences and feelings within the sound landscape itself. Höll knows the value of chamber music collaboration and of maintaining long-term partnerships.
From 1982 to 1992, Höll was the regular performance partner of the legendary baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, acclaimed in recitals at the Salzburg and Edinburgh Festivals, as well as in Florence, Munich, Berlin, and New York's Carnegie Hall. Höll has recorded some sixty CDs, many of which have won international awards. For over four decades, Hartmut Höll has worked closely with Mitsuko Shirai on the lieder repertory. Their recitals, broadcasts, and CDs were wordwide highly acclaimed.
For over a decade, Höll has accompanied Renée Fleming in concerts across Europe, Australia, Asia, and North America. For him, she is the quintessential singer of our world community. He admiringly notes how this unique singer chooses from a wide repertory of works created over four centuries to transmit musical enthusiasms to people of different cultures around the world.
He has also partnered in performance with other singers, including Thomas Hampson, Roman Trekel, Roberto Sacca, Urszula Kryger, Yvonne Naef, Jochen Kowalski, Christoph Prégardien, René Pape, Hermann Prey, and Jadwiga Rappé, as well as instrumentalists such as the violist Tabea Zimmermann and clarinetist Sabine Meyer.
Currently a professor at the University of Music Karlsruhe, Höll previously taught at Frankfurt and Cologne, where he worked closely with new generations of performers. He was visiting professor in Helsinki (1998/1999) and the Salzburg Mozarteum University (1994 to 2003), has given master classes for lied at the Weimar International Music Seminar, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, as well as in Jerusalem, Cairo, and the United States. For nearly a decade he lectured on lied interpretation at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Since October 2007, he is serving as the rector for the University of Music Karlsruhe.
In 1990, Höll was honored with the Robert Schumann Prize of the city of Zwickau. He is an honorary member of the Robert Schumann Society Zwickau and the Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1997, together with Mitsuko Shirai he received the ABC International Music Award.
As juror, he was appointed Chairman of the Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau, invited to New York's Naumburg Competition, the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, and in 2015 to the Lili and Nadja Boulanger Competition in Paris.
From 1985 to 2007, Hartmut Höll was artistic director of the International Hugo Wolf Academy, Stuttgart. Under his direction, the Academy's outstanding cultural accomplishments included festivals exploring Eduard Mörike (1988); »Germanies« (1990); »Europe on the Move: People • Places • Migrations« (1992/93) under the honorary patronage of Simone Veil; the complete works of Schubert by over 100 performance groups (1997); 1998 »Nature's Sounds/Human Sounds« (1998), invited to the Weimar - European City of Culture; and a musical-literary-cinematic »Trip Along the Danube« (2002). These events had echoes far beyond the local region and led to invitations to perform at New York's Lincoln Center and the Louvre Auditorium in Paris.
In 2012, Höll's autobiographical »WordMusic« was published by Staccato Verlag in Düsseldorf, describing experiences, lied interpretation, and personal memories.
»The memoir >WordMusic< is as sensitive to literary and musical subjects as [Höll's] CDs, while also offering useful advice to piano lovers.« »International Piano Magazine«
»... The outstanding Hartmut Höll. The way Höll perfectly adapts himself to the tones of the most variable compositions, capable of maintaining the musical line even during the slowest passages, is absolutely riveting. His heartfelt pauses each made a musical point, and his ambition to take artistic risks should encourage every other musician.«
»Der Tagesspiegel«, Berlin
»Hartmut Höll, one of Europe's most distinguished pianists and accompanists of classical song...« »Wall Street Journal Europe«
»...The superb pianist Hartmut Höll - emphatically a partner, not an accompanist.«
»The Financial Times«, after a Carnegie Hall recital«