Born in Berlin, Germany, the bass-baritone Dietrich Henschel studied with Hanno Blanschke in Munich and with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin. While still a student he won important prizes in German competitions and at the International Hugo Wolf Competition.
Dietrich Henschel was twenty-three years old when he made his professional stage début at the 1990 Munich Biennale in Michčle Reverdy's “Le Précepteur.” His performance was followed by invitations to appear at many other opera houses (both in Germany and abroad) and leading music festivals, including the Schubertiades in Vienna and Feldkirch, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the International Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the European Music Festival in Stuttgart, and the Richard Strauss Festival in Garnisch-Partenkirche.
As a member of Kiel Opera between 1993 and 1995, Dietrich Henschel took on many baritone roles including Mozart's Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) and Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Gounod's Valentin (Faust), Debussy's Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande) and Monteverdi's Orfeo (L'Orfeo.)
Since 1996 Dietrich Henschel has made guest appearances in the opera houses in Bonn, Stuttgart and Lyons and at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, where he made his acclaimed début in 1997 in the title role of Hans Werner Henze's “Der Prinz von Homburg.” He won further international plaudits for his performance as Faust in Busoni's “Doktor Faust” at the Lyons Opera, a performance that led to appearances at other leading houses.
In addition to his work in opera, Dietrich Henschel has enjoyed a successful career in the concert hall: among the orchestras with which he has appeared are the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. He has regularly performed in concert with conductors Peter Eövös, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Fabio Luisi, Helmuth Rilling, Philippe Herreweghe and many others.
Dietrich Henschel is particularly fond of the Lieder repertory and has given many song recitals. His accompanists have included Irwin Gage as well as Fritz Schwinghammer, Helmut Deutsch, Leonard Hokanson and Shiny Okahara, with whom he has undertaken regular tours of Japan since 1996. With Irwin Gage Dietrich Henschel has appeared in a number of highly acclaimed staged performances of “Die Winterreise,” directed by Peter Stosser.
Dietrich Henschel has many radio, television and commercial recordings to his credit. His CD productions include “Carmina Burana,” Mozart's arrangement of the “Messiah,” songs by Othmar Schoeck, Humperdinck's “Königskinder,” Brahms' “German Requiem,” and Haydn's “Four Seasons.” Dietrich Henschel signed a contract with Teldec in 2000 primarily for Lieder projects. His début recording for the label, Schubert's “Die Winterreise,” in which Henschel is partnered by Irwin Gage, was released in February 2000. Other releases include Mahler orchestral songs with Kent Nagano and the Hallé Orchestra, Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien and a recording of Korngold Lieder featuring songs by the composer which had never before been performed or recorded.