Juliane Banse


The German soprano, Juliane Banse, was born in the South of Germany and spent her childhood in Zürich, Switzerland. She began playing the violin at the age of five and whilst still at school trained as a ballerina at the Zürich Opera where she also appeared on stage and did a full concert at the Zürich Opera. She began singing lessons at the age of fifteen, her teachers being Paul Steiner and Ruth Rohner (Opera Zürich). After leaving school she continued her studies with Brigitte Fassbaender and Daphne Evangelatos in Munich. She has been awarded numerous scholarships and prizes. In June 1989 she won First Prize in the singing competition of the Kulturforum, Munich, and in December 1993 the International Franz Schubert Institute awarded her with the Grand Prix Franz Schubert for her interpretation of that composer's works.

Juliane Banse made her operatic debut in 1989 as Pamina Harry Kupfer’s staging of The Magic Flute at the Komische Oper Berlin. She was subsequently reinvited for Ilia in Idomeneo in 1991 and for Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro in 1992. Further engagements led her to Brussels (Pamina and Despina), Salzburg (Sophie), Glyndebourne (Zerline), Vienna (Zdenka, Pamina, Susanna, Sophie, Marzeline, etc.), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Pamina, Sophie and Massenet's Manon), and Cologne (Musetta in La Bohème), and Leipzig.

The season 1998-1999 commenced like a bombshell. The international press showered Juliane Banse with rave reviews for her performance of the title role in Heinz Holliger's new opera Schneewittchen (Snow White), premièred in Zürich. Later this season she will sing Ighino in Pfitzner's Palestrina in the new staging at the
Vienna Opera. The same season she also sang the title role in Massenet’s Manon at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. In December 1999 she made her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich as Pamina.

Juliane Banse's work as a concert singer is of equal importance to her and she appears frequently in concerts and recitals all over the world. She regularly appears with
Helmuth Rilling. In November 1994 she made her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado, where she sang Berg's Lulu-Suite. The orchestra immediately re-invited her for concerts with Carlo Maria Giulini and André Previn. Other renowned conductors with whom she has been closely associated are Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, André Previnand, Simon Rattle.

Juliane Banse is a dedicated Lieder singer. A recital tour of Germany in May 1997 with
Ingeborg Danz, Christoph Prégardien and Thomas Quasthoff was acclaimed by audience and press, a project which was revived in 2000 with Olaf Bär. After the final recitals of the Schubert Series in Cologne, the press hailed her as 'Star of the Evening'. In 1999 she gave chamber music concerts with Jochen Kowalski and Maria Graf, as well as several recitals with Andreas Schiff, Helmut Deutsch and Irwin Gage, amongst other venues at the Schubertiade Feldkirch where she is a regular guest.

Juliane Banse made her American debut in 1995 with Mahler's Symphony No 2 with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra under
Leonard Slatkin and at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Raymond Leppard (Haydn's Seasons). Under the baton of Sinopoli she recorded Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder with the Staatskapelle Dresden for Teldec. With the Berlin Philharmonic she performed Haydn's Creation under Sir Simon Rattle.

Highlights of 1998 included Berg's Altenberg-Lieder with the Bamberg Symphony and several performances of Mahler's symphonies with the
Vienna Philharmonic, and the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. She drew rapturous reviews for her 1998 New York recital debut on Lincoln Center's Art of the Song series. She performed more Mahler in 1999, this time the Symphony No 8 with the Berlin Philharmonic and Haitink and Symphony No 2 on a tour with the Vienna Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle. Other highlights of recent seasons include Britten's Les Illuminations and Schubert's Salve Regina on tour in the USA with the Munich Chamber Orchestra; Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic at Salzburg, Edinburgh and the BBC Proms in London, and a recital at Carnegie Hall with pianist Maurizio Pollini.

During the 2000-2001 season Juliane Banssang Haydn's Creation with the San Francisco Symphony under
Helmuth Rilling; lieder recitals in Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Stuttgart, Salzburg and Zürich; and concerts with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester of Hamburg. She returned to the Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest in a varied repertoire of opera arias, lieder and oratorio, and to the Oregon Bach Festival in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9; and Bach's St. John Passion, (BWV 245), Mass in B Minor (BWV 232), and St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244).

Juliane Banse's recordings include Othmar Schoeck's Lieder and Brahms, Dvorák and Reger Duets with
Brigitte Fassbaender, a Schumann CD with Olaf Bär and Helmut Deutsch (EMI), Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with Ashkenazy (Decca), Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Windsbacher Knabenchor, Mendelssohn's Paulus under Helmuth Rilling, Berg's Altenberg Lieder and Lulu Suite under Claudio Abbado with the Vienna Philharmonic (DGG) and Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez for DGG. Her recordings can be found on the EMI, Hänssler, Jecklin, Koch, Decca, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon labels, and her latest release, for ECM, is a CD of Mozart and Debussy songs and arias, partnered by pianist András Schiff.