Christian Elsner © Ellen Schmauss

Christian Elsner

Born in Freiburg im Breisgau, tenor Christian Elsner has been an internationally sought-after soloist and successful vocal coach for many years. As a professor of voice at the University of Music in Würzburg from 2006 to 2017 and at the University of Music in Karlsruhe since 2018, he is passionate about passing on his experience to the next generation. Full of gratitude, he often recalls his vocal studies with Prof. Martin Gründler.

In the Lied class of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the singer deepened his passion for the interpretation of the art song, which is still very close to his heart today. After winning awards at international competitions such as the ARD Competition in Munich and the Walther Gruner Lieder Competition in London, Christian Elsner was soon able to work with accompanists such as Charles Spencer, Graham Johnson, Hartmut Höll, Gerold Huber and Burkhard Kehring, and gave numerous recitals at venues including the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, at the Kölner Philharmonie, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Semperoper Dresden, London's Wigmore Hall, the Theater de la Monnaie Brussels, the Philharmonie Paris, the Ravinnia Festival in Chicago, the Schubertiade Feldkirch and the Tokyo Spring Festival.


Christian Elsner's operatic career developed from Tabarco in Handel's Almira at the Theater Bremen and Pedrillo in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio at the Staatstheater Darmstadt to Lenski in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth at the Theater Heidelberg to the title role in Mozart's Idomeneo at the Oslo Opera and the 1. Geharnischter in Mozart's Magic Flute, which the now youthful Heldentenor sang at the National Theater in Munich, at the Salzburg Festival and at the Opera Bastille in Paris. From 2007, Richard Wagner's operas became the focus of his operatic career through performances as Siegmund and as Parsifal at the German National Theater in Weimar, at the Staatstheater Kassel, at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, at the Semperoper Dresden, at the Vienna State Opera and at the Teatro Real Madrid. Inspired by this, the artist published Lennie and the Ring of the Nibelung as a children's book author.


Among the numerous concerts in all the major centers of classical music such as the Philharmonie Berlin, Munich's Herkulessaal, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Vienna Musikverein, the Festspielhaus Salzburg, Carnegie Hall New York, Milan's La Scala or Tokyo's Suntory Hall, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis under Carlo Maria Giulini, Haydn's Creation under Zubin Mehta, Dvorak's Stabat Mater under Mariss Jansons, Mahler's Lied von der Erde under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Schmidt's Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln under Manfred Honeck, or Beethoven's 9th Symphony under the baton of the composer. Symphony as part of a world tour with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle are among his most personally valuable musical highlights.


Many CD and DVD recordings with Lied, concert and opera, including Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Dresden Staatskapelle under Fabio Luisi, the 9th Symphony with the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt and with the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle. Symphony with the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt and with the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle, Mahler's Lied von der Erde with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under David Zinman, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with the MDR Symphony Orchestra under Jun Märkl, Dvorak's Stabat Mater under Mariss Jansons, Schubert's Mass in E-flat Major with the Berlin Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mozart's Idomeneo with the Danish Radio Sinfonietta under Adam Fischer, Schubert orchestral songs (in orchestrations by Reger and Webern) with the RSB-Berlin under Marek Jaonwski, as well as song recordings of Beethoven's An die Ferne Geliebte, Brahms Vier Ernste Gesänge, Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Rückertlieder, Schubert's Winterreise (version for string quartet), Schumann's Dichterliebe and Liederkreis op. 39 and Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder bear witness to his diverse repertoire.


Particularly formative is the collaboration with Marek Janowski, which has lasted for more than two decades and under whose direction Christian Elsner has been able to sing and record numerous concerts and, in addition to Parsifal, Loge and Mime, the Witch in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel and Florestan in Beethoven's Fidelio.