Widely recognised as one of the finest lieder-singers of the early twenty-first century, Christian Gerhaher was born in Straubing in 1969 and trained Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater (where he received coaching from Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and is now a professor himself); his early career was spent in Wurzburg, where roles included Papageno and Guglielmo. Mozart continued to play a significant role in his career, though since the mid-2010s he has branched out into heavier repertoire including Berg’s Wozzeck (available on DVD) and Wagner’s Amfortas; his signature-role is Wolfram in Tannhauser, which he has sung all over Europe and recorded for Marek Janowski (‘Gerhaher’s Wolfram is a model of elegance’ – Opera Now).
Gerhaher is renowned above all for his recital work, in particular his interpretations of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler and Schoenberg; his regular recital-partner is Gerold Huber, and key recordings together include Ferne Geliebte (a BBC Music Magazine Awards finalist in 2013), the all-Schubert recital Nachviolen (which won the solo vocal category at the 2015 Gramophone Awards and prompted The Sunday Times to describe him as ‘one of the greatest lieder signers of any age’), and the all-Schubert album Melancholie, which won a BBC Music Magazine Award in 2009. His discography also includes Orff’s Carmina buranaDebussy’s Pélleas and Jesus in the St Matthew Passion for Simon Rattle, and Romantische Arien – a collection of operatic arias by Wagner, Schumann, Schubert, Weber and Nicolai (‘Gerhaher invests such music with the same exquisite rendering of every expressive nuance that make him the greatest Lieder singer of our time.’ The Guardian; ‘I cannot recall a recent vocal recital that reduced me to jelly so quickly.‘ The Times).
Further Reading: Christian Gerhaher
The Editorial team pick out their "ones that got away" from 2015 - the discs that slipped through the net but which we feel deserve a mention in despatches…