The German soprano, Juliane Banse, was born in the South of Germany and spent her childhood in Zürich, Switzerland. She began playing the violin at the age of 5 and whilst still at school trained as a ballerina at the Zürich Opera where she also appeared on stage and did a full concert at the Zürich Opera. She began singing lessons at the age of 15, her teachers being Paul Steiner and Ruth Rohner (Opera Zürich). After leaving school she continued her studies with Brigitte Fassbaender and Daphne Evangelatos in Munich. She has been awarded numerous scholarships and prizes. In June 1989 she won First Prize in the singing competition of the Kulturforum in Munich. In December 1993 the International Franz Schubert Institute awarded her with the Grand Prix Franz Schubert for her supern interpretation of that composer's Lieder - jury members that year included Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
Juliane Banse made her operatic debut in 1989 as Pamina Harry Kupferís staging of Die Zauberflöte at Berlin's Komische Oper. She was subsequently reinvited for Ilia in Idomeneo in 1991 and for Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in 1992. Further engagements led her to Brussels (Pamina and Despina), Salzburg (Sophie), Glyndebourne (Zerline), Vienna (Zdenka, Pamina, Susanna, Sophie, Marzeline, etc.), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Pamina, Sophie and Massenet's Manon), and Cologne (Musetta in La Bohème), and Leipzig.
Juliane Banse's work as a concert singer is of equal importance to her and she appears frequently in concerts and recitals all over the world. She regularly appears with Helmuth Rilling. In November 1994 she made her debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado, where she sang Alban Berg's Lulu-Suite. The orchestra immediately re-invited her for concerts with Carlo Maria Giulini and André Previn. She made her American debut in 1995 with Gustav Mahler's Symphony No 2 ("Resurrection") with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Raymond Leppard in Haydn's Seasons. The following year she made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut with Pierre Boulez conducting, and in recent years, she has appeared with many distinguished conductors and orchestras including Lorin Maazel and the Wiener Philharmoniker, Paavo Järvi and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and the Dresden Staatskapelle under Giuseppe Sinopoli, with whom she recorded Alban Berg's Seven Early Songs for Teldec. With the Berliner Philharmoniker she performed Haydn's Creation under Sir Simon Rattle. Other high points include G. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with Simon Rattle and the Wiener Philharmoniker at Salzburg, Edinburgh and at the BBC Proms in London; and G. Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Bernard Haitink.
Juliane Banse is a dedicated Lieder singer. A recital tour of Germany in May 1997 with Ingeborg Danz, Christoph Prégardien and Thomas Quasthoff was much acclaimed by audience and press, a project which was revived in 2000 with Olaf Bär. After the final recitals of the Schubert Series in Cologne, the press hailed her as 'Star of the Evening'. In 1999 she gave chamber music concerts with Jochen Kowalski and Maria Graf, as well as several recitals with András Schiff, Helmut Deutsch and Irwin Gage, amongst other venues at the Schubertiade Feldkirch where she is a regular guest.
Highlights of 1998 included Alban Berg's Altenberg-Lieder with the Bamberger Symphoniker and several performances of G. Mahler's symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Juliane Banse drew rapturous reviews for her 1998 New York recital debut on Lincoln Center's Art of the Song series. She performed more G. Mahler in 1999, this time the Symphony No 8 with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Bernard Haitink and Symphony No 2 on a tour with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle. Other highlights of recent seasons include Benjamin Britten's Les Illuminations and Schubert's Salve Regina on tour in the USA with the Münchener Kammerorchester; G. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with Simon Rattle and the Wiener Philharmoniker at Salzburg, Edinburgh and the BBC Proms in London, and a recital at Carnegie Hall with pianist Maurizio Pollini. The season 1998-1999 commenced like a bombshell. The international press showered Juliane Banse with rave reviews for her performance of the title role in Heinz Holliger's new opera Schneewittchen (Snow White), premièred in Zürich. Later this season she will sing Ighino in Pfitzner's Palestrina in the new staging at the Vienna Opera. The same season she also sang the title role in Massenetís Manon at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. In December 1999 she made her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich as Pamina.
During the 2000-2001 season Juliane Banse sang Haydn's Creation with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Helmuth Rilling; lieder recitals in Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Stuttgart, Salzburg and Zürich; and concerts with the Münchener Kammerorchester, Wiener Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg. She returned to the Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest in a varied repertoire of opera arias, lieder and oratorio, and to the Oregon Bach Festival in L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9; and J.S. Bach's St. John Passion, (BWV 245), Mass in B Minor (BWV 232), and St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244).
In 2003, Juliane Banse performed and recorded the role of Marcellina in L.v. Beethoven's Fidelio with Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker for EMI. Her recital appearances included a reunion with pianist Maurizio Pollini for songs of Schubert in Vienna, Weimar with baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist András Schiff, a return to Wigmore Hall in London, and further solo recitals in Scwarzeburg, Vilabertran, Bad Urach, Graz, and Eppan. In 2004 she had a highly acclaimed return visit to Alice Tully Hall on Lincoln Center's Art of the Song series, where she received rave reviews for her 1998 New York recital debut. Highlights of her exciting 2004-2005 season included recitals in Germany and Austria with pianist András Schiff, Die Zauberflöte and The Cunning Little Vixen in Munich, concerts with the Artemis Quartet in Italy, Germany, Belgium and the UK, in Munich, and an appearance at Carnegie Hall with Helmuth Rilling and the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus in the world premiere of Robert Levin's completion of Mozart's Mass in C minor.
In the 2005-2006 season Juliane Banse gave the world premiere of J.S. Bachís recently discovered aria, Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn ('Everything with God and nothing without him') (BWV 1127), with András Schiff on harpsichord, and Quatuor Mosaiques in Weimar. Her season also included Berliozís Nuits d'été with the Sinfonieorchester Basel; Straussí Vier letzte lieder with the Montreal Symphony and Kent Nagano and with the Sudwest Runfunk Orchester led by Michael Gielen in Freiburg, Montreux and Frankfurt; Alban Berg's Seven Early Songs and G. Mahlerís Symphony No. 4 with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester and Bernard Haitink, more G. Mahler with the Mahler Youth Orchestra and Claudio Abbado; Emma in Schubertís Fierrabras with the Zürich Opera which also traveled to Parisí Theatre du Châtelet; Pamina in Die ZauberflŲte and the title role in Janacekís Cunning Little Vixen at the Bayerische Staatsopera in Munich; G. Mahlerís Symphony No. 2 with the Tonhalle Orchester led by David Zinman; Schumannís Faust Scenes with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst; Felix Mendelssohnís Paulus in with the Wiener Symphoniker and Fabio Luisi; Mozart's Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna and Lucerne; Haydnís The Seasons with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI led by Jeffrey Tate in Turin; Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri with Helmuth Rilling in Stuttgart; and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Juliane Banse began the 2006-2007 season with highly acclaimed performances at the Salzburg Festival, singing the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt which she also repeated in Lyon. Role debuts this season included Eva in Die Meistersinger at the Frankfurt Opera and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at Innsbruck. Orchestras dates included Straussís Four Last Songs with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, the F. Mendelssohn Lebgesang Symphony No.2 with Christoph Poppen and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken and Elijah with Herbert Blomstedt for her debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.
During the 2007-2008 season Juliane Banse returns to the USA for G. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the National Symphony and Ivor Bolton and sings recitals at the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia and the 92nd Street Y in New York. Other engagements during the season include Eurilla in a new production Haydnís Orlando Paladino at the Theater an der Wien led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the Goosemaid in Engelbert Humperdinckís Die Königskinder and Ilia in a new production of Mozartís Idomeneo at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and Schumannís Genoveva at the Zürich Opera with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Orchestral engagements include Haydn's The Seasons in Eisenstadt with Adam Fischer, and Les nuits deíete with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin led by Yannick Názet-Ságuin. She also sings recitals in Bern, Vilarbeiten, Hohenems and at Wigmore Hall with András Schiff.
Juliane Banse's recordings include Othmar Schoeck's Lieder and Johannes Brahms, Dvorák and Max Reger Duets with Brigitte Fassbaender, a Schumann CD with Olaf Bär and Helmut Deutsch (EMI), F. Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca), J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Windsbacher Knabenchor, F. Mendelssohn's Paulus under Helmuth Rilling, Alban Berg's Altenberg Lieder and Lulu Suite under Claudio Abbado with the Wiener Philharmoniker (DGG) and G. Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez for DGG. Her recordings can be found on the EMI, Hänssler, Jecklin, Koch, Decca, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon labels. Among her her latest releases, for ECM, is a CD of Mozart and Debussy songs and arias, partnered by pianist András Schiff for ECM, and a recording of György Kurtágís Kafka Fragments with Andräs Keller, violinist, on the ECM New Series label.