Fritz Windgassen was born on February 9th, 1883 in Lennep, near Remscheid.
Following the wish of his parents, Windgassen took up a career in the German navy as a machinist's mate. Only after Prince
Heinrich of Prussia praised his singing ability, did he embark on a singing career. After vocal studies at the Bernuth
Conservatory in Hamburg, he made his debut in 1909 in Harburg. Further engagements took him to Bremen, Hamburg and the
Hoftheater in Kassel, where he met the coloratura soprano Vally van Osten (1882–1923), whom he married in 1916.
From 1923 to 1945, he was a member of the Staatsoper in Stuttgart. Beginning in 1919, he increasingly specialized in
heldentenor roles and became a renowned Wagner singer.
He was also much in demand as a concert and Lieder singer. He gave his farewell concert in Stuttgart in 1949, featuring works
by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Hugo Wolf where his son, Wolfgang Windgassen, also took part.
After his retirement from the stage, Windgassen taught at the Stuttgart conservatory.
He died on April 17th, 1963 in Murnau.