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.



Peter Hofmann Room in Kemnath Continues Tribute to Singer

The Peter Hofmann Room in the Stadtbücherei Kemnath continues to offer a place where admirers of the tenor can come to pay their respects and enjoy memorabilia from his exciting career.  Fritz Hofmann supplied this latest photo of the room, as well as several new photographs of Peter as Lohengrin and Peter in Berlin for the 750th anniversary celebration.  Check them out here in the gallery.


Ongoing Remembrances

We continue to receive tributes to Peter Hofmann’s memory and the unforgettable way in which he impacted the music world and the hearts of so many friends and fans.  An excerpt from a recent comment from Artie Matz sums up a great many of these letters:  For me he was a trail blazer and a pathfinder because he did not follow the traditional path of an opera singer.  He was the first true crossover artist.  I first came to know him in Lohengrin, Walküre  and was a fan of Phantom of the Opera.  Peter Hofmann broadened my musical horizons. Read entire tribute here.

Continuing the crossover theme of these memories, Fritz Hofmann has added some photos from Bayreuth to the classical gallery and a lovely shot of Peter at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Click here for Photos.

My Brother: He Is Always On My Mind

Don JoseFive years have already passed since my brother left us. So many memories when I let myself think back to our times together.

As I reminisce, it is the small things and the seemingly unimportant events and wonderful experiences I will surely never forget.

Before an important concert of a big opera performance Peter could, without any difficulty, fall into a deep sleep in his dressing room. My responsibility was to insure that in no circumstances was he to be disturbed by anyone. Whether there were 500 or 5000 spectators in the auditorium, I often had to work hard to wake him before the performance and send him onto the stage. This was all very incomprehensible to me, because unlike Peter, I was always get more and more nervous as the performance grew nearer.

One could turn Peter on like a light switch and after he had sung a few notes, he became completely focused on his task and his voice. I always admired this ability in my brother/

Perhaps while sleeping he was dreaming of his role and his text. I was never able to find out if that were so.

Without a doubt, and not only because of his voice, Peter was an exceptional person equipped with unbelievable abilities. To this day, I cannot deny that I am proud to be his “little brother.”

— Fritz Hofmann, November 29, 2015

For Fritz and Peter’s German-speaking friends, we provide the original text, as well:

Nun sind schon wieder fünf Jahre vergangen, da mein Bruder nicht mehr unter uns ist.

Zahlreiche Erinnerungen kommen mir immer wieder ins Gedächtnis, wenn ich unsere gemeinsamen Zeiten revue passieren lasse.

Die Kleinigkeiten und scheinbar unwichtigen Begebenheiten und wunderbaren Erlebnisse werde ich wohl niemals vergessen, denn sie haben maßgeblich mein Leben geprägt.

Vor einem wichtigen Konzert oder einer großen Opernaufführung konnte Peter ohne Probleme im Tiefschlaf in seiner Garderobe liegen. Meine Aufgabe hingegen bestand darin, dafür zu sorgen, dass er auf keinen Fall und von niemandem gestört wurde.

Egal ob 500 oder 5000 Besucher im Zuschauerraum saßen, ich hatte oft Mühe ihn vor der Aufführung wach zu bekommen um ihn auf die Bühne zu schicken. Mir war dies alles sehr unverständlich, denn im Gegensatz zu Peter wurde ich immer nervöser je näher sein Auftritt nahte.

Peter konnte man jedoch einschalten wie einen Lichtschalter und nach ein paar Tönen Einsingen war er voll konzentriert bei der Sache und Stimme.

Diese Fähigkeit habe ich immer sehr an meinem Bruder bewundert.

Vielleicht stellte er sich immer nur schlafend und hat nur seine Rollen und Texte durchgeträumt.

Ich habe es nie herausfinden können.

Ohne jeden Zweifel, und nicht nur wegen seiner Stimme, war Peter ein sehr außergewöhnlicher Mensch mit unglaublich vielen Fähigkeiten ausgestattet.

Bis zum heutigen Tage kann ich nicht leugnen, mit einem gewissen Stolz sein “kleiner” Bruder zu sein.

Franz Beckenbauer Pays Tribute to Peter Hofmann


Renowned German soccer star known as the Kaiser for his mastery of the sport, Franz Beckenbauer was one of Peter Hofmann’s close friends.  In his recent book, Fritz Hofmann recalls meeting Beckenbauer often in New York, as well as in Germany:

“At our hotel (in NYC) we often ran into Franz Beckenbauer, the World Cup soccer player and coach, who was at the time playing with the Cosmos in New York and also staying at the Navarro.  Since their first meeting years ago they had developed a good relationship, because Peter greatly admired Franz’ s accomplishments and liked him very much as a friend.  They often talked about golf, a “bug” with which they both were completely obsessed.  At the Addidas Golf Cup in Herzogenaurach in Bavaria, they had played together on one team, and Peter always received an invitation to the Franz Beckenbauer Golf Cup.  In exchange my brother invited him to his own Peter Hofmann Golf Cup.”

Beckenbauer still remembers Peter Hofmann warmly today and writes:  “Peter was one of the greatest tenors of all time on a par with Domingo and Pavarotti, and I heard all three of them often in New York at the MET.  Peter and I always kept in contact as friends, and I also visited him years later in Hamburg when he was starring in Phantom of the Opera with Anna Maria Kaufmann.  I always greatly admired his work, but above all I admired him as a person.” See TRIBUTES.

A Virtual Visit to the Peter Hofmann-Room in Kemnath

inge fritz ph raumOn August 22, 2007, Peter Hofmann’s 63rd birthday, a room in the  Stadbücherei in Kemnath, Germany, was dedicated by family, friends, and local officials to honor the tenor’s career.  Described as “a room for remembrance,” the Peter Hofmann-Raum (Room) contains a special collection of paintings, sculpture, photographs,  recordings, and videos which bring to life the singer’s extraordinary career and life.

Assembled and curated by Peter’s brother Fritz with the support of Kemnath’s Mayor Werner Nickl and town notables, Dr. Fritz Deinlein and Max Ponnath. The museum is open to the public on weekdays.  Read More in TRIBUTES.

Record Producer Jeff Jarratt Recalls Happy Memories



Record producer Jeff Jarratt has taken the opportunity to reminisce about Peter Hofmann and their work together on the recordings of Monuments and Stille Nacht  at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London and about the fond memories he keeps of the time they spent together as colleagues.

Jarratt joins other colleagues, who have added their voices this to this website, including  record producer Don Reedman and band members  Danny McBride, Steve Gaboury, Peter Valentine, Nick Palumbo, and Al Marnie, and band assistant Franky Meister, all of whom toured with Peter in his Rock Classics adventures.  Read their TRIBUTES here.

Soprano Anna Maria Kaufmann Remembers Peter Hofmann

kaufmann hofmann 001

Soprano Anna Maria Kaufmann, Peter’s close friend and colleague, paid tribute to his memory once again.  Ms. Kaufmann starred alongside Peter Hofmann as Christine in Das Phantom der Oper in Hamburg in 1990-1991, and she later toured with him in 2000 singing musical theatre classics.  Ms. Kaufmann cherished  Peter Hofmann as her mentor and dear friend.  She was among those who delivered a touching eulogy at Peter’s funeral in November of 2010.  Read her recent TRIBUTE here.