Sweet Memories of Peter Hofmann

In honor of Peter Hofmann’s birthday, August 22nd, we share this lovely tribute from Mary Lou Harden:

Although I grew up in a musical family, studied piano at the university, taught piano and have always been involved in leading musical groups or singing in them, I was a late-comer to opera. From the very first opera I saw—Lakme—I was hooked. Since then, I have immersed myself into opera locally and regionally. A few years ago, I visited the MET and enjoyed several performances with some well known artists. I have over the past few years relished every opportunity to observe or listen to my favorite operas and artists.

However, things changed for me the day I heard a heldentenor named Peter Hofmann performing as Lohengrin at the MET! What an incredible voice! I was deeply moved not only by his beautiful, rich sound, but also he was indeed Lohengrin. He wasn’t just “acting” the part, he WAS Lohengrin! He instantly became my favorite artist of all time. It was clear to me that God had blessed Peter in a special way.

I have subsequently listened to many others of his recordings and watched much of what’s available on YouTube, be it singles or concerts. I only wish I could have been in those audiences to witness his live performances. What a bundle of energy!

When I learned that Peter was leaving the opera scene and moving into rock and pop music, I was intrigued, and wondered whether he could do this successfully. He was obviously a master of both opera and rock. His Rock Classics album is my very favorite—I listen to it every day.

I did not have the pleasure of meeting Peter, and all I know about him as a person and a performer is what I have read or seen from postings on the internet and YouTube.

My observations are that he was, from a young age, his own person, strong in his beliefs and yes, even strong-willed, but very positive and a force to be reckoned with. Nevertheless he was a gentle giant and concerned more about others than himself. To me, he seemed to be a take-charge person, extremely confident in what he would do and where he would go.

I have a DVD of Lohengrin and love watching the curtain call following the performance. The artists come out individually to receive the audience’s adulation and applause. All the artists come in proper and polite decorum, some showing signs of relief that it’s all over, but Peter comes with quick steps and with high energy, as though the action is just about to begin! What a delight!

I was deeply saddened to learn of his battle with Parkinson’s and his subsequent passing away at such a young age.

I am thankful for his brother Fritz who stood by him, assisting him as his manager, planning and carrying out all of his gigs and later staying at his side, helping with his care – a great example of Godly and brotherly love. I’m also grateful for his keeping Peter’s memory alive.

The Bible speaks only of men as angels (sorry, ladies). When I get to Heaven, I’ll be looking for a special Angel named Peter Hofmann. I hope he will sing for all of us there!

Nine Years, Dear Brother!

Dear Brother,

It has been nine long years since you have left us, and I miss you and all of us so very much.  I am happy that my Facebook site has been so well received and proves that you still have many fans here on earth.  It gives me the chance to post many photos of you and of us together and so keep the memory of you alive.  I cannot find the words to describe how wonderful the time I shared with you was and how extraordinarily happy it made me

With deepest gratitude for our years together,

Your brother,


Original Letter

Neun lange Jahre bist Du nun schon nicht mehr unter uns und Du fehlst mir und uns allen sehr. Ich freue mich, dass meine Facebook Seite so gut angenommen wird und zeigt, dass Du noch viele Fans auf der Erde hast. Es gibt mir die Möglichkeit, viele Fotos von Dir und uns gemeinsam zu posten und hält somit die Erinnerung an Dich wach. Was für eine wunderbare Zeit ich mit Dir erleben durfte ist kaum zu beschreiben und macht mich außerordentlich glücklich.

In tiefer Dankbarkeit an unsere gemeinsamen Jahre.

Dein Bruder,


Jochen Leuschner Remembers Peter Hofmann


Jochen Leuschner, der frühere Sony- Music- Chef und gute Freund erinnert sich an Peters 75. Geburtstag:

Lieber Peter,

wie sehr hätte ich mir gewünscht, daß ich Dir meine Glückwünsche zum 75. Geburtstag persönlich hätte überbringen können. Wir hätten uns alte Geschichten erzählt und mit Sicherheit viel gelacht. Du hättest sicher noch gesungen. Vielleicht nicht in der Oper, aber auf anderen musikalischen Spielwiesen. Apropos Spielwiesen…, Du warst auch als Sänger immer verspielt, neugierig und experimentierfreudig. Oftmals kritisiert vom Opernestablishment. Fälschlich, wie ich persönlich empfinde. Du hast die Oper geliebt und verstanden. Du warst stolz und glücklich ein erfolgreicher Teil dieser musikalischen Welt zu sein. Aber Dein großes musikalisches Herz hatte auch Platz für andere Musik. Rock,Soul,Country…nichts war Dir fremd. Du hast die Songs, die Dir etwas bedeuteten, geliebt und gefühlt und etliche davon in großartiger Weise selbst gesungen.

Ich hätte mir so sehr gewünscht, daß Dein Leben verschont geblieben wäre von der schweren Bürde einer gnadenlosen Krankheit. Es hat nicht so kommen sollen. Das hat mir weh getan, auch weil Du Dich vor der Welt und Deiner Familie und Deinen Freunden versteckt hast.

Wo immer auch Deine Seele jetzt ist. Ich hoffe Du hast Deine Ruhe und Deinen Spaß. Mehr kann Dir ein alter Freund und Erdenbürger mangels weitergehender Kenntnisse um die Verhältnisse nach dem Lebensende nicht wünschen.

Ich bin sicher, wir sehen uns irgendwo wieder.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu Deinem 75. Geburtstag, lieber Freund.

Peter Hofmann’s 75th Birthday

On August 22, 2019, Peter Hofmann would have been 75 years old.  It is hard to believe that almost ten years have gone by since his passing, but perhaps that is because of the dedicated efforts of his brother Fritz and other long-time admirers who have loved Peter and kept the flame alive.  But it is also due – most importantly – to Peter Hofmann’s own unforgettable artistry. His was a voice that, once it penetrated your heart and soul, it was there forever. And though many of his finest performances are now decades-old memories, they are so indelible that they seem to have taken place yesterday.  Think of his white-hot Siegmund in the Chereau Ring or his incandescent Lohengrin at Bayreuth and elsewhere. That is the beauty of great art and artists: it is timeless!

Peter Is Immortal: Prague Celebrates Peter Hofmann

October 25, 2018   PRAGER ZEITUNG  Interview with Klaus Hanisch

November is a traditional time to think about the dead. In Marienbad, Fritz Hofmann remembered his brother Peter, a famous opera singer and rock star ….

PZ: Earlier this year you had a plaque installed on the house in Marienbad where your brother was born in 1944.  Why was it important for you to remember him there and why now almost seven years after his death?

FH: Our mother died three years ago and that makes one nostalgic. I remembered that we had often stood outside the house but never gone inside.  But our mother had told us a great deal about it.  So I had the idea to remember my brother in that place. But it took a while and was difficult to arrange.

PZ: Your birthplace today houses the Hotel Belvedere above the colonnade.  Your plaque will be noticed by many people in the future. Why should the older generation still remember Peter Hofmann and why should the younger one discover him? 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE in English and/or German HERE.

Wolfgang Palm Remembers Peter Hofmann as Lohengrin

LohengrinBayreuth has unfortunately lost a great deal of its earlier fascination. That anyone even thought of Mr. Alagna for the role of Lohengrin demonstrates once again that Bayreuth is predicated now more on creating a sensation. This idea was the brainchild of Thielmann, who has already conducted the work everywhere with Klaus Florian Vogt as Lohengrin – a tenor who in the 40s, 50s,60s,70s,80s,90s of the last century at best would have been singing roles in a regional opera chorus. Now Bayreuth is wringing its hands in searching for a replacement for Alagna. And while there are a dozen solid tenors in the world capable of the role, it seems that today Lohengrin is no longer cast with a Heldentenor but rather with a lyric tenor. So they have decided on, “oh hehres Wunder,” Mr. Beczala who has done the role with Thielemann in Dresden and is surely a solid choice.

But no one today can match the form of Peter Hofmann. They all lack so much that I have long ago given up on this. It is important to note that every era has its exceptional singers, but today this top class is in short supply. Fritz [Hofmann] will agree with me when I say that in Germany in the 1940s-1980s there were numerous tenors who were true Heldentenors- like Hans Hopf, Max Lorenz, Ludwig Suthaus, Bernd Aldenhoff, Hans Beirer, Wolfgang Windgassen (though he was a bit of a lyric) and in the USA singers like Jess Thomas, Jean Cox, James King, Claude Heather and these are just a few. As I wrote in my homage to Peter Hofmann, he was for me the last true Heldentenor. Everything that is happening today in this dying Fach is not at all satisfying. There are voices, but one seldom is allowed to hear them. (Wolfgang Palm to Fritz Hofmann, July 2018)

And here is Mr. Palm’s original German text:

Bayreuth hat sehr viel von seiner einstigen Faszination verloren, leider…Dass man Herrn Alagna diese Rolle des Lohengrin zuletzt zugedacht hatte zeigt einmal mehr, dass man in Bayreuth nunmehr auch auf vermeintliche Sensationen setzt…Diese Idee entsprang dem Hirnschiss von Thielemann, der ja auch allerorten mit dem Tenorbuffo Klaus Florian Vogt den Lohengrin dirigiert hat, einem Tenor, der in den 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90ern des letzten Jahrhunderts bestenfalls eine Rolle in einem städtischen Opernchor bekommen hätte…Nun suchte man “händeringend” nach einem Ersatz für Alagna, wobei es weltweit dutzende solide Tenöre für diese Rolle gäbe, zumal man ja heute ohnehin den Lohengrin nicht mehr mit einem wahren Heldentenor besetzt, sondern mit einem lyrischen…Also findet man, “oh hehres Wunder”, Herrn Beczala, der hat es ja mit Thielemann in Dresden gemacht und ist sicher eine solide Wahl…Aber keiner kann heutzutage an das Format von Peter Hofmann heranreichen, da fehlt allen so ziemlich alles, ich habe mich diesbezüglich schon früher ausgelassen…Wohlgemerkt: jede Zeit hat ihre Ausnahmesänger, bzw hatte sie…Heutzutage ist diese Apostrophierung Mangelware…Fritz wird mir recht geben wenn ich sage, dass es in Deutschland in den 40-80ern zahlreiche Tenöre gab, die “in ihrer Zeit” echte Heldentenöre waren, so gab es Hans Hopf, Max Lorenz, Ludwig Suthaus, Bernd Aldenhoff, Hans Beirer, Wolfgang Windgassen (der war aber schon eher lyrisch), von den Sängern aus den USA wie Jess Thomas, Jean Cox, James King, Claude Heather u.v.a. rede ich schon gar nicht…Wie ich in meiner Hommage an Peter Hofmann schrieb, so war er für mich der letzte wahre Heldentenor…Alles was heute wirkt, ist für dieses ausgestorbene Fach unbefriedigend…Wobei: Stimmen gäbe es … Aber die lässt man selten zu…

Diese Nachricht wurde von meinem Android Mobiltelefon mit WEB.DE Mail gesendet.

Birthplace – Peter Hofmann – Marienbad

Fritz Hofmann writes about the realization of his dream: to create a memory plaque on Peter Hofmann’s birthplace:

For quite some time already, I have had the idea of creating a memory plaque on the house where my brother was born. The implementation and realization of this idea was more difficult than I had imagined. The house, which stands in the middle of Marienbad in the Goethe Platz, is today the Hotel Belvedere (www.hotel-belvedere.cz )and is considered one of the most beautiful houses in Marienbad. On March 16 using the framework of a little opening ceremony, we were finally able to place the brass memory plaque on the entrance to the house.

We were welcomed most cordially and toasted with a glass of champagne. My heartfelt thanks to those who made this lovely project possible and my very special thank you to Mr. Torsten Schlegel for his unwavering commitment.   For further information go to www.marianske-lazne.de








Only a few steps away from Peters birthplace you will find the beautiful museum of the city built in 1818. The famous German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived here during his several visits. Today the museum mounts many exhibitions, and in one of many beautiful historic rooms you will find Peters portrait under the picture of composer Richard Wagner, who visited and admired Marienbad very much.
Everybody who may have the chance to make a trip to Marienbad will understand why not only the famous and rich people in this time came to visit this wonderful romantic city.
The Museum ist definitely a must to see: www.muzeum-ml.cz
Thanks to Mr. Jaromir Bartos, the director of the museum for his support.


Peter Hofmann: A Once in a Century Voice for the Ages

Singer, artist agent, friend, and colleague, Wolfgang  A. Palm Remembers Peter Hofmann

In the summer of 1978 during the course of their opera festival days, a then young man experienced a thought provoking performance of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Bavarian State Opera. On the podium was Wolfgang Sawallisch; Theo Adam sang Wotan, Ingrid Bjoner was Brünnhilde; Kurt Moll was Hunding, and Leonie Rysanek was Sieglinde. These names were known to the young man from recordings, but the name of the singer who played Siegmund was not familiar. This would change after that night in 1978 when the young man experienced such a powerful performance by Heldentenor Peter Hofmann. The reader can guess that the 18 year-old operagoer was I, so this little reminiscence comes from an autobiographical context. After that performance the tenor Peter Hofmann would play a very special role in my artistic life because shortly after this time I began to study singing at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN ENGLISH AND IN GERMAN HERE.