Tributes

Peter Grab

Peter Hofmann’s Grave

Visit the Peter Hofmann-Room in Kemnath

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We invite you to add your memories of and tributes to Peter Hofmann.

Peter Tributes

Shining Days: Do not cry that they are gone; rather smile that we have had them.

These tributes are arranged alphabetically for easy reference.

From: do Amaral Gomes, Gilvan

The most charismatic wagnerian singer …a convincing Siegmund!

From: Beckenbauer, Franz

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.

From: Bollinger, Andrea

It was the beginning of the eighties, and still one mostly saw portly tenors and well-upholstered sopranos stalking the operatic stage with only rudimentary acting involved. Wanting to preserve my fantasies about handsome heroes rushing to assist ladies in distress, I often felt compelled to close my eyes and just listen to the music. There was no need to do this when, one memorable evening, I watched “Die Walküre”, the second part of the much acclaimed centenary Bayreuth production of Wagner’s “Ring”, on German TV. A young man, svelte, athletic, his beautiful face framed by a profusion of blonde curls, took my breath away as probably the best Siegmund of all times. The looks of a Nordic god combined with an impressive voice and equally impressive talent for acting – Peter Hofmann was a dream come true, for me and thousands of opera fans. As a critic wrote, “it was a performance that changed the face of operatic history”. Ever since, I have remained a fan of that extraordinarily gifted man. That his stellar career was cut short by an illness which ultimately lead to his untimely demise, was his personal tragedy and an immeasurable loss for music lovers all over the world. But Peter Hofmann will never be forgotten, and I wholeheartedly thank his brother for creating and managing this interesting and moving website!

From: Bullock, Andrea

Fritz, I first want to say that I’m so glad you have a You Tube account! I just watched the “walk-through” of Peter’s room, and it nearly had me in tears. Music is such a necessary part of life, and it was obvious how much Peter loved his craft. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must have been for him to have to stop singing when his illness worsened. I was deeply saddened when he died. I know how it feels to lose someone you love so much, and I know that a few years has a way of rushing past so that it doesn’t seem possible that he or she been gone so long. I don’t know how much comfort the words of a stranger can really lend, but I want you to know that your brother will always be my favorite tenor and that I wish I’d had the opportunity to see (and hear!) him in person. Thank you so much for continuing to share Peter’s life with us. My deepest sympathies.

From: Charlotte

Thank you so much for creating the site. Peter was singular, outstanding and beautiful. There will never again be a Siegmund like him.

From: Cortelezzi, Louis

Working with Peter was an education and an honor. His voice was astounding, and he and everyone around him, including his brother Fritz and all the people at Marek Lieberberg’s organization have become treasured lifelong friends. They were generous, fun, and supportive, and I can only hope we cross paths again in the near future. Larger than life, Peter truly knew how to live.

From: Fechner, Karin

 It is due to Peter Hofmann´s music that I ever started singing and became interested in music – both classical and his famous “rock classics”, and he is still one of my 3 vocal idols of all time besides Montserrat Caballé and Cecilia Bartoli. Thank you for inspiring me and making me want to sing! 

From: Fischer, Jan Karl

I feel blessed to have known Peter personally.
It was a revelation to be at his concerts.
I still indulge in his music.
“But.”
They say only the good die young
But you were better than good
They say you live on in your songs
But that doesn’t better my mood
They say time is a healer
But the memories still hurt
No matter where you are now
No matter how dark my cloud
There is a place, a time
Where we will meet again
Until this day, my friend,
All that I can send
Is my unconditional love
Devoid of any “but”.

From: Gaboury, Steve

 I’ll always treasure the wonderful years performing with Peter. When I first met him I had never toured in Europe before. It was all quite exciting. What immediately set Peter apart from any artist I had worked with, was his joy and respect for his fellow musicians.  We weren’t back-up musicians, we were a band and Peter wouldn’t have had it any other way. Everything was first class, well thought out and best of all fun. Peter “rocked” and of course his enthusiasm was contagious to us as band-mates but obviously the audience was in on it as well.

From: Gericke, Thomas

In 1992, my first own production as a young promoter was a concert tour called MUSICAL CLASSICS with Peter Hofmann and Anna Maria Kaufmann. Peter was a superstar, and I surely owe him that he had trusted me as a rookie in the business. Putting himself into the hands of a 25-year-old shows what a bighearted artist he was. I will always remain grateful to him for this unique chance and cherish those moments next to the real LOHENGRIN: “… erkennt ihr ihn, dann muss er von euch ziehn.” Be well, Peter. Thomas

 From: Goniwicha, Kerstin

 What a great idea to honor Peter’s life and career this way!
It was a great pleasure visiting all his Rock concerts and listen to him as “Siegmund” at “Deutsche Oper Berlin” in the early 80th’s.
We don’t miss him not only as human but also as a great singer and so his wonderful voice will be in our hearts ( and ears) forever!

From: Grossmann, Midou

He for sure was something special and we can still read about his spirit and dedication for art in the book: Singen ist wie Fliegen. A must for each lover of music or opera professional. He certainly is watching us and singing in whatever dimension he does stay now.

From: Hoffmann, Michaela

Peter Hofmann stays alive in our hearts…for ever… We will never forget wonderful times on the stage and sometimes beside the stage…Thank you, Fritz Hofmann, for this wonderful idea with this wonderful “Memory-Website.”

From: Iversen, Allan

For me – there are two tenors – two true heroes in the opera – Lauritz Melchior and Peter Hofmann. I do not not know what to say – Peter Hofmann was Lohengrin – for me – when he entered the stage – he did not play – he became Lohengrin. His voice – I loved it and I still do. I listen to the recordings – of my two true heroes. I do not know if we ever will have one more that comes that close to the perfect. For me – I cry when I listen. I loved that voice – I still do – I wish ……
He is no longer with us – he now sing for the angels – I … no words …. no more words –

From: Jarratt, Jeff

 I first met Peter in 1988 when myself, Don Reedman and Andrew Jackman had been invited to his beautiful home – Schloss Schönreuth – to prepare for the recording of his album ‘Monuments’. We were initially greeted by his charming brother Fritz, who then led us through part of the house and out into the grounds where Peter was working his way through a routine of classical dressage with one of the finest horses I’ve seen. Looking like a Hollywood movie star he came to say hello and with a wonderfully warm smile and firm handshake suggested – in perfect English – that we go inside and have some tea! We were made so welcome that within minutes it felt as if we had all known each other for years. 

We recorded the album in London during a period when Bruce Springsteen was appearing at Wembley Stadium. We had to go! When you saw the enthusiasm with which Peter enjoyed the concert it was easy to understand how he had found it so easy to be such a successful artist in both the classical and rock worlds of music. Very few singers have been able to make the transition so convincingly.

A year later we were back in the studio recording his Christmas album – ‘Stille Nacht’. I remember the fun we had when we were recording the tongue-twister of a song “I Wonder As I Wander” – difficult enough to get right every time even if your first language is English! 

I can honestly say that working with Peter has left me with some of the fondest memories I have from the many years I have been making records. A great artist, a great performer, great fun to be with and always the perfect gentleman. I am truly proud to have known and worked with him.

From: Kaufmann, Anna Maria

 I am so blessed to have had the wonderful opportunity to sing with Peter Hofmann . . .but it was much more than just his amazing talent and stage presence:  I was enlightened and inspired by him, and he told me once..”stay the way you are! ”  That is what he did . . .he was a true leader and star in his moments of great fame  …and when he became ill , he never lost his inner light and strength.   I guess he knew what it is all about.   He surely touched the world with his voice. . . his light!  

God bless you in heaven, dear Peter,   

Love always, Anna Maria

From: Natascha Kuchheuser

Dear Peter!
I am so very sad, that I will never get a chance to meet you personally, to tell you following words…

“On the day that you were born,
the angels got together.
They decided to create a dream come true.
So they sprinkled gold dust in your hair,
gold and starlight in your eyes so blue..”

These words from the song “They long to be close to you” fit more than exactly to you!!!

No other voice in my life has touched me so deep in my soul like yours. It makes me goose bumps onto my skin and it also is like a warm and soft blanket. It send me shivers down my spine and it also is like a long and tender hug. It lets me forget all my sorrows and pains and it turns my life more colorful. It hurts so much, that you are not longer together with us on earth. I hate this horrible disease for taking you away forever.

Thank you for your wonderful music and your fantastic voice, that will accompany me for the rest of my life!!!

Dear Fritz!
It is so deeply touching, that you the world never let forget Peter and helping the memories of your brother staying alive. Peter could not have asked for a better brother!!!
Thank you and Carla for this wonderful homepage full of love. From now on it will be the favorite of my favorite homepages!!!

Warm and friendly greetings from Natascha Kuchheuser

From: Kurz, Bernhard

I got to meet and learned to know Peter when I was the General Manager of The Phantom of The Opera in Hamburg. I admired his professionalism, his athletic skills and his musical talent. I very well remember when his sub was sick and he did all 8 shows in one week.
I also remember his recording session of The Phantom. He did it in just three hours. This is the best recording!  Overall even though he was The Star, he was a team player and a pleasure to meet and work with him.
We miss artists like Peter Hofmann!

From: Marnie, Al

Peter’s presence will always be felt. He was a gentle soul who commanded an enormous amount of respect from all who knew and loved him. I am saddened to think that he is no longer with us in the flesh but will always remember his smile and humor until my days are done.

From: Matz, Artie

I saw Peter for the first time on DDR television and was instantly fascinated by his charisma and the magic of his voice.  For me he was a trail blazer and pathfinder because he never followed the traditional path of an opera singer.  He was the first true crossover artist.  I first came to experience him in Lohengrin, in Walküre and was a fan of Phantom of the Opera.  Peter Hofmann broadened my musical horizons.

Let me cite some lines of text by John Miles – “Music” and dedicate them to Peter: To live without YOUR music would be impossible to do ’cause in this world of troubles YOUR music pulls me through.

On September 22 I visited the Peter Hofmann Room in Kemnath and then his beautiful grave site in Wundsiedl. I am grateful to everyone who is keeping his memory alive, and those who made possible the room [in Kemnath] . We must never forget him.

Above all, thanks to you, Peter Hofmann!

Ich habe Peter Hofmann zum ersten Mal im Fernsehen der DDR gesehen und war sofort von seiner Ausstrahlung und der Magie in seiner Stimme fasziniert. 

Für mich war er ein Pfadfinder und Wegbereiter, denn er ist den klassischen Weg eines Opernsängers nie gegangen. Er ist der erste wahre Crossover. Erst durch ihn kenne Lohengrin, die Walküre und bin ein Fan vom Phantom der Oper. Peter Hofmann hat meinen musikalischen Horizont erweitert.

Ich bediene mich gern eines Textauszugs von John Miles „Music“.

(an Peter)
To live without YOUR music would be impossible to do
´cause in the world of troubles YOUR music pulls me trough.

Ich war am 22. September im Peter-Hofmann-Raum in Kemnath, zuvor in Wunsiedel an seinem Grab. Ich danke allen, die die Erinnerung an ihn wachhalten, die auch den Raum erst möglich gemacht haben. Wir sollten ihn niemals vergessen.

Aber vor allem: DANKE Peter Hofmann

From:McBride, Danny

Peter had a great influence on my life, probably because he was so much bigger than life. He was a very adventurous and extremely fearless man. I always thought of him as “Peter The Lionhearted.”  There was also a very compassionate, gentle and sensitive side of Peter; I’d see it during his performances when he was singing ballads like Willie Nelson’s (Always On My Mind) and Streisand’s (Somewhere).

In addition, Peter knew how to have fun, lots and lots of fun, I think he enjoyed a good laugh more than anything in the world. 

I miss Peter. and I’m so thankful that his devoted brother and friend Fritz is keeping this musical icon’s legacy alive. We love and miss you Peter.

From:Meister, Franky

Dear Fritz ! I really appreciate your idea to bring Peter to a wider public with this brand new page !! Great job, my friend !!

Never in my life, I´ll forget the months we all had together during the “Love me tender tour”  in the beginning 90s. All the great gigs, all the jokes backstage, all the fun we had. I often think about the situation, when Peter called me into his backstage room. He had a piano in there and softly played a fine melody… suddenly he said: “Frank! Ever heard this song before??” Then he stopped playing, lifted his hands up to his head and performed like a buffalo right behind the piano……..I started laughing and knew all about it. He´d just been to the movies,watchin´…….DANCES WITH WOLVES…….He loved it so much! 
I´m so thankful thinking about our time together…….. Unforgettable !

FromNorton, Donal

My ever lasting & cherished memory (which any lover of opera, I imagine would kill for), was being in a castle room with Peter and a large hifi. Peter carefully selected his favourite Wagner opera, and then began to talk me through the wonder of this masterpiece, on occasions emotionally singing the read roles for me then stopping and expelling what had just occurred in each piece. This was indeed a privileged bestowed upon me that will last a lifetime.My other lasting experiences of the Hofmann brothers, was their joy of life and living and their ability to seize the moment. I got to hang with the Hofmanns (great title for a tv show), for a summer, which included Peter trying to convince me to try alcohol for my first time (didn’t work), a demonstration of his driving prowess and a recording of happy birthday that will go down in the “anals” of history, as we deliberately tried to record the planets worst version of the song, and i think we succeeded 🙂

The time I spent with the Hofmanns actually changed my life for the best although at the time I didn’t know it, but I am eternally grateful

From:Palumbo, Nick

I’ll remember being on tour with Peter Hofmann in 1987..I met Peter in NY city one winter night in ’86. I was doing a single gig on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in an Irish pub. While I was performing my 1950’s cover tunes, a tall blonde man walked into the bar, started listening to my music, while slamming down Heineken beers.  After a couple hours I went over to Peter, introduced myself, and in a German speaking voice he said, ‘My name is Peter Hoffman. Would you like to be part of my next tour?’ I, of course, said yes. In an instance I was introduced to the German touring scene which lasted five years of my career touring with Peter Hoffman, Howard Carpendale, Stephan Remmler – just to name a few – as a guitar, sax, harmonica player and background vocals. I also had the pleasure of working as a studio musician and performing multiple TV shows with many European recording stars. I owe that special period of my life to Mr. Hofmann. I also would like to thank Peter’s brother, Fritz Hofmann,  for looking out for me, showing me the ropes and making my first German tour a fantastic fun experience that I’ll never forget.
Thank you, Hofmann brothers..

From:Peters, Kathrin

Peter … a warm-hearted and empathetic man. Caring and enthusiastic in any way. Time goes by too quickly, but the memories linger and I’m very thankfull for the wonderful moments we shared. Remembering your wonderful family, fantastic conversations and magnificent concerts. Sorry, we didn’t take the chance to continue a profound friendship. I love to leave these words here for you Peter … Thank you Fritz for this amazing page!

From:Pobuda, Marco

Peter Hofmann hatte eine wunderschöne Stimme. Seine unvergesslichen Rock Classics haben mich durch das ganze Leben begleitet. Ich hatte das Glück, Peter Hofmann 2x live in Zürich zu erleben. Er war ein wunderbarer Stolzing und hat im Kongresshaus phänomenal gerockt. Wagner und Rock wurden durch Peter Hofmann künstlerisch vereint! Ich werde seine Musik immer lieben. Ein grosser Künstler bleibt für immer in meinem Herzen. Thank you for the music Peter!

(Peter Hofmann had a wonderful voice. His unforgettable Rock Classics accompanied me always. I had the good fortune to hear Peter live twice in Zurich. He was a fabulous Stolzing, and he rocked phenomenonally in the Congress Hall. Peter was able to bring together artistically Wagner and rock music.  I will always cherish his music. He will ever remain in my heart as a great artist. Thank you for the music, Peter!)

From:Reedman, Don

It was an honour to know and work with Peter. A truly warm and talented charismatic man. He was great fun to be around and with his ever so caring brother Fritz managing his professional life, he was in the best of hands with this loving brother who is doing so much from the heart to keep the great man’s legacy alive. Peter’s spirit is alive and always will be .

From:Anne-Marie Seguier

Unfortunately, I never saw an opera in which Peter Hofmann performed. How much I regret that! Thanks to DVD, I have discovered this magnificent Heldentenor from the years just after his first appearance at Bayreuth in the complete Ring cycle, recorded under the baton of Pierre Boulez. The intelligent mise en scène of Chereau (1944-2013) was very closely linked to the text and the psychology of the characters. Might one hope that someday Bayreuth would remount this extraordinary production? But would one be able to see such wonderful interpreters? Every one in the cast was excellent! It’s not that excellent singers do not exist today (they do), but I see so few tenors able to create their characters, especially Siegmund, as Peter did, by turns happy, unhappy, passionate, finally broken. Peter was a powerful Siegmund, and Jeannine Altmeyer was Sieglinde. I admit without shame that they made me cry, marked as they were by despair, illuminated by their love, destroyed by their hopes.

To have a beautiful voice is a gift, but opera is not bel canto alone; there is a big difference between singing the notes of a role mechanically and interpreting – living – the role. There are too many failed interpretations that are not credible. Peter inhabited his character, How can one not be enthralled by his voice, the beauty of his physical presence, his intelligent way with text, his physical expression, his charisma which are without parallels? After that, I also saw him, through the intermediary of the DVD, in Lohengrin, where he made the same impression on me! Peter was always exceptional, unique in the psychological depiction of his character and in the logic of his actions!

Just recently I discovered this site dedicated to him. In fact, I am preparing to make my first trip to Bayreuth to see Lohengrin (one of my favorite operas, “my dear swan”!) on July 26, 2015. My preparation has consisted of listening to my CDs and DVDs. In doing so I began to rediscover Peter Hofmann several years after having discovered him the first time. The effect has remained the same. I am enthralled, overwhelmed. The emotion was even stronger this time. And in the course of my research, I just learned the sad news that Peter left us in 2010, vanquished by a long illness. One can only imagine the pain of having to abandon the stage he loved so much, both as a tenor and as a pop singer.

Some have had the opportunity to hear him live. Those who knew him personally can speak of him intimately. He was surely a passionate man. I can only say that he will always remain for me and so many others, the perfect image of the Wagnerian Heldentenor. I shall listen to him for a long time to come. My thanks to him!

From: Schlitter, Gilberto

The best Tristan ever!

From: Valentine, Peter

It was the year 1992 and my dear friend Steve Gaboury contacted me about going to Europe to perform in the band for Peter Hofmann. Steve was looking for a second keyboard player who sang and played guitar, and I was his first choice. At the time I did not know Peter, but Steve, whom I had great respect for, told me of Peter’s credentials and reputation, and what a great perfomer he was, so I agreed unhesitatingly. At our first meeting, I immediately realized that Peter was larger than life and a force to be reckoned with. Peter had a huge voice and a personality to match. Everywhere he went, women stopped and stared. Men were jeolous, or angry – who knows?

Peter shared with me stories of Leonard Bernstein and other notable musicians, but he also liked to tell jokes and hilarious stories about funny characters and life situations. He was a really good horseman, golfer, and could handle a soccer ball (as we say in America) way better than I could. I also remember that when he had listed his favorite picks on musicians in our touring book, which included Jimi Hendrix as his favorite guitarist, he included one of my best friends and colleagues – Jon Albrink, as his favorite bassist. To this day, I work with Peter’s favorite bassist, Jon, as well as guitarist Jim Gately, who also toured with Peter in our ’95 tour, where Peter was beginning to show signs of Parkinson’s Disease.

Peter was heroic throughout the tour, and despite what he was going through, kept a smile on his face and did his best to persevere and perform at a high level. His body did not want to cooperate, but his voice did. At the end of the tour, I remember that Peter told me that he would look forward to the next time we would work together, but unfortunately, it was not to be.

I think about all of the friends that I worked with that toured with Peter and the fun that we had. Peter always treated us with the greatest of respect and appreciation. That is what made touring with him truly special. Peter depended on his brother, Fritz, to be the brains behind his career, and Fritz handled all the details like a high performing CEO. All aspects of the tour were managed beautifully and Fritz would not only take care of our comfort, lodging, transportation, etc, but also see to it that we would take in the sights and sounds of the cities that we would visit. I still wear a coat that I bought upon visiting a Hugo Boss factory with Peter and get many compliments on such a beautiful coat.

One cannot help but think what a tragedy it is to lose such a gifted performer at a relatively early age. Peter, if you can hear me, send me down a high C. I think it will give me the boost I could use right now. Later for the falsetto.  Choos!

From: Zaglmann, Josef

Peter Hofmann was a supreme and very talented vocal artist. He was the greatest Wagner- tenor I heard during more than thirty years at the Bayreuther Festspiele. I am proud that I was on stage with him. We shared the stage performing „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ and „Walküre,“ and I was deeply fascinated by the way he did not only sing the difficult vocal parts expressively but also act impressively. I will never forget his marvelous voice! – JZ  Ex-member of the Festspielchor Bayreuth (Sonderchor)

 

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