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Christian Gerhaher (Baritone)

Born: 1969 - Straubing, Germany

The German baritone, Christian Gerhaher, studied with of Paul Kuen and Raimund Grumbach in Munich. He also studied philospophy and medicine in Munich and Rome, graduating with a medical doctorate. In addition he attended the Opera School at the Hochschüle für Musik und Theater in Munich, where, amongst other roles, he sang Papageno in Zauberflöte under the direction of Sir Colin Davis. Together with his regular piano partner Gerold Huber he took part in Helmut Deutsch’s lied class and participated in master-classes given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Inge Borkh. In 1998 he won the Prix International Pro Musicis in Paris/New York and subsequently debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Schubertiade Feldkirch.

As a member of the Stadttheater Würzburg from 1998 to 2000, Christian Gerhaher has performed in Thomas Hengelbrock's production of Così fan tutte, the award-winning production of Weber's Der Freischütz with Cappella Coloniensis, and Papageno in Achim Freyer's staging of Die Zauberflöte, in which he was celebrated as a "sensation". He resumed this role at both the Strasbourg Opera and at Gérard Mortier's Ruhr-Triennale. Other operatic appearances have included Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Schwetzinger Festspiele, the Strasbourg Opera, as well as at the Wiener Klangbogen Festival. In the spring of 2005 he took on the title role of Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Frankfurt Opera and received rave reviews.

Milestones of Christian Gerhaher's concert career include his collaborations with Helmuth Rilling and the Bachakademie Stuttgart, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Neville Marriner, Philippe Herreweghe, Heinz Holliger and Trevor Pinnock, and early career debuts with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2003 he appeared with Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana under Riccardo Muti, with whom he repeated this piece at the Vienna Philharmonic in May 2004. He also performed and recorded this work with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle which was released on EMI. Also with the Berliner Philharmoniker he performed the Benjamin Britten's War Requiem under Donald Runnicles which was repeated at the Edinburgh Festival, and he made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under Nikolaus Harnoncourt with Dvorak’s Biblical Songs.

As a Lieder singer Christian Gerhaher has appeared in all major lied centres such as Wigmore Hall, Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna and performed at such renowned festivals as Schwetzinger Festspiele, Rheingau Musik Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Edinburgh Festival and the Lucerne Festival.

Recent highlights include the Johannes Brahms Requiem with Kent Nagano for his Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, and with the Münchner Philharmoniker and Christian Thielemann; J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Musikverein; and the B. Britten's War Requiem with the Wiener Philharmoniker. He appeared at the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana under Riccardo Muti, with whom he repeated the work at the Vienna Philharmonic. He has performed and recorded Carmina Burana with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker, released on EMI.

Some highlights of the 2005-2006 season include Schubert’s Alfonso und Estralla with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Berliner Philharmoniker; Robert Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra in Munich; Gustav Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the NDR Radio Philharmonic and Lothar Zagrosek and with the WDR Philharmonic led by Eliahu Inbal; Bach's Kreuzstabkantate (BWV 56) with the Dresden Staatskapelle led by Fabio Luisi; Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony with the Münchner Philharmoniker; F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Elijah in Sweden with Herbert Blomstedt, in Sao Paulo with John Neshling, and Prague with Helmuth Rilling; the B. Britten War Requiem in Moscow with the Russian National Philharmonic led by James Conlon; Haydn’s Creation with the Philharmonia Orchestra under András Schiff and on tour with Concentus Musicus, and G. Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the Hallé Orchestra and Mark Elder. In the USA, J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) will serve as his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, and his debut with the National Symphony Orchestra led by Helmuth Rilling. His recital appearances will include a return to London's Wigmore Hall and later in the season recitals in Madrid, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Bonn, and Frankfurt, among others. His season will come to a close as he portrays Papageno in Die Zauberflöte for the Salzburg Festival’s celebration of W.A. Mozart’s 250th birthday, conducted by Riccardo Muti.

In the 2007-2008 season, Christian Gerhaher tours North America in recital with pianist Gerold Huber, appearing at the Tuesday Evening Concert Series in Charlottesville, VA; the Vocal Arts Society in Washington, DC; Middlebury College Center for the Performing Arts in Vermont; The André Turp Musical Society in Montreal; Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; and in recital and master-classes at the Yale University School of Music. Other 2007-2008 highlights include the title role in Monterverdi’s Orfeo with the Frankfurt Opera; the B. Britten War Requiem on tour with the InteBachakadamie Stuttgart and Helmuth Rilling, and with the Münchner Philharmoniker and James Conlon; an appearance at Wigmore Hall for William Lyne’s 75th Birthday Celebration, followed later in the season by a solo recital there; appearances in the Far East, including G. Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Herbert Blomstedt and the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, Nagoya and Okayama; and Schubert’s Die Schöne Mullerin, Die Wintereisse and Schwanegesang in Tokyo and Nagoya. He also appears with Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig for G. Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn in Leipzig, Florence and Vienna. His many recitals during the season include dates in Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Essen, and Brussels.

Christian Gerhaher is also professor at the Musikhochschule in Munich.

An exclusive recording artist with RCA Red Seal, Christian Gerhaher s first disc was a highly acclaimed recording of Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe and selected songs. His prior solo disc recording have also been released by BMG labels. For Arte Nova, Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber recorded Schubert’s Winterreise, Die schöne Müllerin and Schwanengesang - also available as a set. Other recordings include Schubert's Gesänge des Harfners, Johannes Brahms' Vier ernste Gesänge and Frank Martin's Jedermann-Monologe as well as G. Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Kindertotenlieder. For Deutsche Harmonia Mundi he recorded Weber’s Freischütz with the Cappella Coloniensis of the WDR conducted by Bruno Weil and Haydn's Creation under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Together with Gerold Huber he is setting the standards for lied interpretation: Their recording of Schubert’s Winterreise was awarded the Echo Klassik 2002 - the "Oscar" of the German recording industry - and, by the most important Japanese music magazine, the Record Geijutsu Magazine Award. Their CD of Die schöne Müllerin (Arte Nova) was awarded the Echo Klassik 2004. His latest disc, Abendbilder, songs of Franz Schubert with Gerold Huber, was named the best solo vocal recording of 2006 by Gramophone Magazine.

Source: Mostly from Colbert Artists Management Website (August 2005); Colbert Artists Management (March 2008)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2006); Portia Zwicker (Colbert Artists Management, April 2008)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Nikolaus Harnoncourt


BWV 29 [2007], BWV 248

Simon Rattle


BWV 244 [1st, Jesus, DVD], BWV 244 [2nd, Jesus, Video], BWV 245 [2nd, Video]

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 69, BWV 232

Links to other Sites

Christian Gerhaher Profile (Colbert Artists)
BMG Classics: Christian Gerhaher
Christian Gerhaher (KS Gasteig) [English/German]

Guardian Unlimited Arts: Christian Gerhaher
Christian Gerhaher (LSM)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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