Portrait Christian Gerhaher

Christian Gerhaher

Baritone
© Gregor Hohenberg
General Management

During his studies under Paul Kuen and Raimund Grumbach, German baritone Christian Gerhaher attended the Opera School of the Academy of Music in Munich where he studied lied interpretation with Friedemann Berger. While completing his medical studies Christian Gerhaher perfected his vocal training in master-classes given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Inge Borkh. At present Christian Gerhaher, together with Gerold Huber, holds a class in lied interpretation at the Munich Academy of Music and Theatre, and occasionally also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Together with his regular piano accompanist Gerold Huber, Christian Gerhaher has devoted himself to lied interpretation for well over 30 years now, in concerts and recordings, and over the years they have been awarded several major prizes. The lied duo can be heard regularly on the stages of major international recital centres, for instance in the concert halls of New York, the Muziek- and Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Cologne, Luxembourg and Berlin Philharmonie, the Cité de la musique in Paris, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Teatro della Zarzuela in Madrid and in La Scala Milan; they are particularly frequent guests in the Wigmore Hall in London. Christian Gerhaher und Gerold Huber perform regularly at the festivals in Munich, Aix, Heidelberg, Salzburg, Granada, Berlin, Lucerne, Edinburgh, Rheingau and Schleswig Holstein. The Liedwoche Elmau, devised by Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber, takes place for the third time in September 2023.

Christian Gerhaher has worked together with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Herbert Blomstedt, Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Kirill Petrenko, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Antonio Pappano, Daniel Barenboim, Andris Nelsons and Mariss Jansons, and for 30 years has given concerts in the world’s major concert halls. Orchestras which regularly invite Christian Gerhaher to perform include the London Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and in particular the Berlin Philharmonic, where he was the first ever singer to be artist in residence, as well as the Swedish Radio Symphony and in particular the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Particularly outstanding projects of the past season were three major opera productions: his debut as Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Così fan tutte under principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski at the Bavarian State Opera, and two productions of Wozzeck one under Antonio Pappano at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, directed by Deborah Warner, followed immediately afterwards by the Festival d‘Aix-en-Provence conducted by Simon Rattle and directed by Simon McBurney.

In the current season Christian Gerhaher can be heard together with Gerold Huber in recitals in Amsterdam London, Madrid, Milan, Hamburg, Essen, Cologne and Berlin and later at the festivals in Munich and Salzburg. He again gives guest performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, this time singing the Gesangsszene by Karl Amadeus Hartmann conducted by Kirill Petrenko. Moreover at the inauguration concerts of Simon Rattle as principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Haydn’s Creation) and again in Stockholm (Mahler with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding), with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden, with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and John Eliot Gardiner, as well as the Czech Philharmonic Prague conducted by Jakub Hrůša.

Besides giving concerts and recitals, Christian Gerhaher is also a highly sought-after performer on the opera stage and has received several prizes such as the Laurence Olivier Award and the theatre prize Der Faust. His roles include Posa in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Amfortas (Wagner, Parsifal), Lenau (Holliger, Lunea, world premiere in 2018), Germont (Verdi, La Traviata), Figaro and Count Almaviva (Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro) as well as the title roles in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra and in Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg. A milestone in Christian Gerhaher’s opera career was his portrayal of Wozzeck in September 2015 at Zurich Opera House in the celebrated staging by Andreas Homoki. The key role of Wolfram in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser continues to be a constant role in his calendar in the opera houses in Berlin, Vienna, London and Munich and recently at the Salzburg Easter Festival with Andris Nelsons conducting the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. At the end of 2023 Christian Gerhaher makes his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York singing this role. He can also be heard at the Bavarian State Opera as Amfortas and again as Wolfram. He closes the season at his regular opera house in Munich singing the role of Golaud for the first time in a new production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande.

Christian Gerhaher’s CDs are issued by Sony Music, with which he has an exclusive partnership. Accompanied by Gerold Huber, the Schubert, Schumann and Mahler cycles have been released on this label. A unique project that preoccupied Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber for years – the complete recording of all Robert Schumann’s songs in a box set – was released by his exclusive label Sony Classical in autumn 2021. Alle Lieder is a coproduction with Bavarian Radio and the Heidelberg Frühling. Early in 2022 the recording of Othmar Schoeck’s Elegie with the Basle Chamber Orchestra and Heinz Holliger were released, followed closely by Holliger’s poet opera Lunea (on ECM) and Rihm’s Stabat Mater together with Tabea Zimmermann, and in addition his Lyrical Diary (a compendium of essays on lied interpretation) was published by the C. H. Beck Verlag. In May 2023 Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Piotr Beczała as tenor partner and the outstanding Gerold Huber on the piano was issued.

Christian Gerhaher and his wife live with their three children in Munich.




9. July 2024 - 19:00

München, Prinzregententheater

Achille-Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

Info & Tickets



11. July 2024 - 19:00

München, Prinzregententheater

Achille-Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

Info & Tickets



14. July 2024 - 19:00

München, Prinzregententheater

Achille-Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

Info & Tickets



  • It was hard to watch, as this opera should be: Gerhaher, a baritone, is a reigning lieder singer with a scholarly attention to text and a chameleonic ability to inhabit richly considered characters, even for just a few minutes. This remarkable skill, on the scale of opera and under the care of McBurney’s stark, unshowy staging, makes for a high point of Gerhaher’s long, already much-lauded career.
  • „Es ist der stimmliche Ausdruck Christian Gerhahers, der dem Mann ein Gesicht gibt. Er singt die herausfordernde Partie [des Wozzeck] klar und schlicht, quasi von innen heraus, auf den Text und die musikalische Phrase fokussiert.“
  • "[...] vor allem jedoch gefiel Christian Gerhaher in der Rolle des Wolfram von Eschenbach. Er gestaltete seinen Part geradezu liedhaft dezent, als würde er jeden einzelnen im Publikum persönlich ansingen wollen. Sein „Lied an den Abendstern“ geriet in dieser sehr verinnerlichten Form zu einem Höhepunkt des Abends."
    nmz
    Michael Ernst, in: nmz online, 03.04.2023
  • „ ... dafür ist Huber/ Gerhaher das feinste, ehrlichste, klarste Liedduo aller Zeiten und Schumanns Prophet.“
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 05.12.2021
  • "Wer sich einlässt auf diese Lieder, wird im Augenblick berührt, […] gelingt ihm diese ganz unmittelbare, schlichte poetische Mitteilung, das Wahrwerden des lyrischen Ichs. Momente, in denen man den Atem anhält, weil die Stimme mitten ins Herz trifft.
    Süddeutsche Zeitung
    Renate Meinhof „Klassik: Großes Ohrenkino“, in Süddeutsche Zeitung, 17.11.2021
  • „Doch in dieser Komplexität und künstlerischen Kollegialität, das Urteil sei gewagt, hat noch keiner die Lieder gedeutet. Ein Schumannianer wie Gerhaher hat also seinen persönlichen Gipfel bezwungen.“
    Merkur
    Markus Thiel „Schumann-Lieder mit Christan Gerhaher: Gipfelsturm in 299 Etappen.“, in: Merkur, 4.11.2021
  • „Bei seiner wie in Marmor gemeißelten Deklamation verzichtet er auf jene Silbenstecherei, die Roland Barthes als „pléonasme d’intentions“, als Verdopplung der Absichten deklarierte […]. Er ist ein sentimentaler Künstler mit dem Gespür – und klanglich dem Farbensinn – für den Subtext seelenschwerer und gebrochener Lieder.“
    FAZ
    Jürgen Kesting „Der Klang von Perlentränentröpchen”, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11.10.2021
  • „Seine herrliche, auf gesundem Kern basierende, lyrisch ummantelte Stimme ist dem Komponisten zu Diensten, nicht der Selbstdarstellung. […] Solche Kunst kann jedenfalls nur in maximaler Eintracht zwischen Sänger und Begleiter gelingen.“
    Rheinische Post
    Wolfram Goertz „Schumanns Friedhöfe“, in Rheinische Post, 14.09.2021
  • „Was diese Aufnahmen […] bieten, übertrifft die kühnsten Erwartungen: Klangfülle, Eloquenz, Farbensinn, feinstes Gespür für Subtexte, begeisternde Versenkung in ein zyklisch aufgefächertes […] Œuvre. Der Bariton und sein Klavierpartner sind mit dieser Großtat zum Maß aller Schumann-Lieder-Dinge geworden.“



Verena Vetter KSG

Verena Vetter

Director, General Management
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Anne Bilodeau

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