Robert Holl was born in Rotterdam and studied with Jan Veth and Davis Hollestelle. In 1971 he won the First Prize at the International International Vocal Competition´s Hertogenbosch and continued his studies with Hans Hotter in Munich. In 1972, he was awarded the 1st Prize at the ARD Music Competition.
From 1973 to 1975, Robert Holl has been a member of the Bavarian State Opera Munich. In the following years he reduced his operatic activities in favour of concert and Lied recitals. From the late 1980s he could be heard increasingly in opera productions. Mr. Holl was a regular guest at the Vienna State Opera, the Brussels and Zurich Oper House, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Deutsche Oper Berlin as well as at the Cologne Opera – mostly in the main Wagnerian roles.
His roles at the Vienna State Opera since 2002 include Landgraf Hermann, König Marke (TRISTAN UND ISOLDE) under Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst and Peter Schneider, Gurnemanz (PARSIFAL) under Donald Runnicles and Pimen (BORIS GODUNOW) under Daniele Gatti.
After his huge success as Hans Sachs at Bayreuth´s MEISTERSINGER production in the years 1996 to 2002 under conductors such as Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann, Robert Holl sang Gurnemanz from 2004 to 2007 in Christoph Schlingensief´s production of PARSIFAL. In the years 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 he could be heard as König Marke at the Bayreuth Festival.
In 2013, Robert Holl participated at the autumn tour of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Christian Thielemann with Beethoven´s IX Symphony in Japan and Russia. Season 2013/2014 included concerts at the Vienna Musikverein with the Vienna Symphonic under the baton of Philippe Jordan with extracts from Wagner´s “Meistersinger” as well as in the cycle “Poesie und Musik” (“Poetry and Music”). Further highlights were Haydn´s Nelson-Mass in San Francisco and Copenhagen, his Mass in Time of War in Los Angeles and concerts in Vicenza, all under the baton of Sir András Schiff, Shostakovich´s Michelangelo-Suite in The Hague as well as recitals with pianist Oleg Maisenberg in Moscow and at the Vienna Musikverein.
The current season sees recitals at Wigmore Hall in London, in Stuttgart, Linz and Rotterdam, to name only the most important ones.
Being an internationally sought-after concert singer, Robert Holl has worked with the most renowned conductors and orchestras in Europe, the USA and Japan. But before all, he is one of the most important Lied singers of our time. He is particularly interested in the German and Russian Lied repertoire and especially close to the work of Franz Schubert.
Robert Holl has participated at important international festivals in Europe and abroad. Upon invitation of Swjatoslaw Richter he participated several times at the Moscow Winter Festival and the Tours Festival. As artistic director of Schubertiades in the Netherlands and in Austria he realizes special programs and concert cycles.
Numerous recordings of orchestral works and Lieder – with piano partners such as Sir András Schiff and Oleg Maisenberg – show the artist´s versatility. Compositions by Robert Holl – songs and piano works – have been published in print and on CD.
Since 1998, Robert Holl has been a professor for Art Song and Oratorio at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
In Austria Robert Holl was awarded the title Kammersänger and the Cross of Honor for Arts and Science. In 1997, he became honorary member of the Society of Music Lovers in Vienna. In his native country he has been „Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw“ since 2007.