During his studies with Paul Kuën and Raimund Grumbach, Christian Gerhaher attended the opera school at the Munich University of Music and studied lieder singing with Friedemann Berger. In addition to studying medicine, he rounded off his vocal training in master classes with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Inge Borkh. Christian Gerhaher is currently teaching a song interpretation class together with Gerold Huber at the Munich University of Music and Theater and occasionally teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
He and Gerold Huber have been interpreting songs as a duo for more than 30 years. They perform regularly in the international song centers: in the New York halls, Muziekbouw and Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Cologne, Luxembourg and Berlin Philharmonic, the Paris Cité de la musique, Vienna Concert Hall and Musikverein, Teatro in Madrid de la Zarzuela, La Scala in Milan and London's Wigmore Hall. In September 2023, the Elmau Song Week, which he curates, will be presented for the third time.
Working with conductors such as Daniel Harding, Simon Rattle, Herbert Blomstedt, Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Christian Thielemann, Kirill Petrenko, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Antonio Pappano, Daniel Barenboim, Andris Nelsons and Mariss Jansons has brought Christian Gerhaher to the major concert halls for 25 years of the world. The orchestras with which he works frequently include the London Symphony Orchestra, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and especially the Berlin Philharmonic, where he was artist-in-residence and principal singer.
In the current season, Gerhaher can be heard together with Gerold Huber in recitals in London, Berlin, Bern, Valencia, Madrid, Vienna and later at the festivals in Munich, Aix and Salzburg. He is again a guest with the Berlin Philharmonic, this time in the title role of Mendelssohn's Elijah under Kirill Petrenko. With the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, each under Andris Nelsons, he performs Tannhäuser in concert.
Gerhaher is a sought-after actor not only in the lieder and concert area, but also on the opera stage, having been awarded the Laurence Olivier Award and Der Faust theater prize, among others. His roles include Posa (Verdi, Don Carlo), Amfortas (Wagner, Parsifal), Lenau (Holliger, Lunea), Germont (Verdi, La traviata), Figaro and Conte (Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro), as well as the title roles in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, Verdi's Simon Boccanegra and Henze's Der Prinz von Homburg. The key role of Wolfram in Wagner's Tannhäuser continues to be a constant on his calendar at Berlin, Vienna, London and Munich and forthcoming at the Salzburg Easter Festival with Andris Nelsons conducting the Gewandhaus Orchestra.
A milestone in Gerhaher's operatic career was Wozzeck in September 2015 in Andreas Homoki's acclaimed production at the Zurich Opera House. In 2022-23, Gerhaher portrayed Don Alfonso for the first time in a new production of Mozart's Così fan tutte at the Bavarian State Opera. In 2023, he will appear in two new productions of Wozzeck, first in London at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and immediately afterward at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.
Gerhaher records exclusively for Sony Music, including cycles by Schubert, Schumann and Mahler. In early 2022, recordings of Schoeck’s Elegy with the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Heinz Holliger, Holliger’s opera Lunea (with ECM) and Rihm’s Stabat Mater were released together with Tabea Zimmermann, as well as his Lyric Diary (a collection of essays on song interpretation) at CH Beck-Verlag.
Gerhaher and his wife live in Munich with their three children.
Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.