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 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 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 Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw 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 25 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 tours with a string sextet initiated by Isabelle Faust with a specially created version of Les Nuits d’été by Hector Berlioz, and in addition Othmar Schoeck’s Notturno; concerts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding (works by Dvořák and Brahms); the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck in a new production at the Vienna State Opera, two concert projects with the Berlin Philharmonic (Mahler’s Rückert Lieder conducted by Antonello Manacorda and Zemlinksky’s Lyric Symphonyunder Kirill Petrenko). The season came to an end with an extensive Hugo Wolf project (Italian and Spanish Song Book, Mörike Songs) which Christian Gerhaher performed in ten recitals in London, Heidelberg, Munich, Madrid and Salzburg.
In the current season Christian Gerhaher can be heard together with Gerold Huber in recitals in London, Berlin, Berne, Valencia, Madrid, Vienna and later at the festivals in Munich, Aix and Salzburg. He again gives guest performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, this time in the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah conducted by Kirill Petrenko. In addition with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, both conducted by Andris Nelsons (concert performances of Tannhäuser, Mendelssohn’s oratorio Paul and Ein deutsches Requiem by Brahms in Leipzig and Salzburg).
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 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. Wolfram in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser was and remains a constant role in his calendar in the opera houses in Berlin, Vienna, London and Munich and soon also at the Salzburg Easter Festival with Andris Nelsons conducting the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. A milestone in Christian Gerhaher’s opera career was his debut in the title role of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck in September 2015 at Zurich Opera House in the celebrated staging by Andreas Homoki. At the beginning of the 2022/23 season Christian Gerhaher performs Don Alfonso for the first time in a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte (stage director: Benedict Andrews, conductor: Vladimir Jurowski) at the Bavarian State Opera. In 2023 he appears in two new productions of Wozzeck, first in London at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (stage director: Deborah Warner, conductor Antonio Pappano) followed directly by performances at the Festival d’Aix en Provence with Simon Rattle conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in an eagerly anticipated production by Simon McBurney which had to be postponed due to the Corona pandemic.
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 has 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 September 2021. Alle Lieder is a coproduction with Bavarian Radio and the Heidelberg Frühling. Early in 2022 the recording of Othmar Schoeck’s Elegiewith the Basle Chamber Orchestra and Heinz Holliger were released, 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.
Christian Gerhaher and his wife live with their three children in Munich.