The Kennedy Center

Juliane Banse


Soprano Juliane Banse enjoys an extraordinary international career which encompasses major operatic roles, orchestral concerts, and lieder recitals.
Ms. Banse began the 2006/07 season with highly acclaimed performances at the Salzburg Festival, singing the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.  Role debuts this season include Eva in Die Meistersinger at the Frankfurt Opera and Fiordiligi in Cosí fan tutte at Innsbruck.  Orchestras dates are Strauss's Four Last Songs with Mariss Jansons and the Sinfonieorchester des BR, the Mendelssohn "Lebgesang" Symphony No.2 with Chrisoph Poppen and the Radio Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken and the Elijah with Herbert Blomstedt and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.
In the 2005/06 season Ms. Banse gave the world premiere of Bach's recently discovered aria, 'Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn' ('Everything with God and nothing without him'), with Andras Schiff on harpsichord, and Quatuor Mosaiques in Weimar. Her season also included Berlioz's Nuits d'été with the Basel Symphony; Strauss' Vier letzte lieder with the Montreal Symphony and Kent Nagano and with the Sudwest Runfunk Orchester led by Michael Gielen in Freiburg, Montreux and Frankfurt; Berg's Seven Early Songs and Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony and Bernard Haitink, more Mahler with the Mahler Youth Orchestra and Claudio Abbado; Emma in Schubert's Fierrabras with the Zurich Opera which also traveled to Paris' Theatre du Châtelet; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and the title role in Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen at the Bayerische Staatsopera in Munich; Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Tonhalle Orchester led by David Zinman; Schumann's Faust Scenes with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst; Mendelssohn's Paulus in with the Vienna Symphony and Fabio Luisi; Mozart's Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna and Lucerne; Haydn's The Seasons with the RAI Orchestra led by Jeffrey Tate in Turin; Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri with Helmuth Rilling in Suttgart; and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Ms. Banse's recital appearances included a reunion with pianist Maurizio Pollini for songs of Schubert in Vienna, Weimar with baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist András Schiff, a return to Wigmore Hall in London, and further solo recitals in Scwarzeburg, Vilabertran, Bad Urach, Graz, and Eppan.
Highlights of her exciting 2004/05 season included recitals in Germany and Austria with pianist András Schiff, Die Zauberflöte and The Cunning Little Vixen in Munich, concerts with the Artemis Quartet in Italy, Germany, Belgium and the U.K., in Munich, and an appearance at Carnegie Hall with Helmut Rilling and the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus in the world premiere of Robert Levin's completion of Mozart's Mass in C minor.
A native of Germany, Juliane Banse grew up in Switzerland where, in addition to her voice and violin studies, she trained as a ballerina at the Zurich Opera. She continued her vocal training in Munich with Brigitte Fassbaender and Daphne Evangelatos, and in 1989 won First Prize at the Kulturforum in Munich. In 1993 the Franz Schubert Institute in Vienna awarded her the "Grand Prix Franz Schubert" for her superb lieder interpretations - jury members that year included Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
Highlights of previous seasons include her highly acclaimed return visit in 2004 to Alice Tully Hall on Lincoln Center's Art of the Song series, where she received rave reviews for her 1998 New York recital debut. She performed lieder recitals in Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Stuttgart, Salzburg and Zurich; and concerts with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester of Hamburg. Since her 1989 opera debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Berlin's Komische Oper, she has appeared at opera houses in Brussels, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Vienna, and Cologne in operas including Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Der Rosenkavalier, Pfitzner's Palestrina, and a new production in Munich of The Cunning Little Vixen.  She received rapturous reviews in Zurich for the title role in the 1998 premiere of Heinz Holliger's opera Snow White. Other high points include Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic at Salzburg, Edinburgh and at the BBC Proms in London; Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with the Berlin Philharmonic under Bernard Haitink; and a recital at Carnegie Hall with pianist Maurizio Pollini. In 2003, she performed and recorded the role of Marcellina in Beethoven's Fidelio with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for EMI.
Ms. Banse made her Vienna Philharmonic debut in 1994 with Claudio Abbado in Berg's Lulu Suite, and was immediately re-engaged for concerts led by Carlo Maria Giulini and André Previn. She made her American debut in 1995 in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection") with the Saint Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin, and also appeared that season with Raymond Leppard and the Indianapolis Symphony in Haydn's The Seasons. The following year she made her Chicago Symphony debut with Pierre Boulez conducting, and in recent years, she has appeared with many distinguished conductors and orchestras including Lorin Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic, Paavo Järvi and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Dresden Staatskapelle under Giuseppe Sinopoli, with whom she recorded Berg's Seven Early Songs.
Her extensive discography includes duets with Brigitte Fassbaender, a Schumann CD with Olaf Baer and Helmut Deutsch; Berg's Altenberg Lieder and Lulu Suite with Claudio Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic; and Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra. Juliane Banse's recordings can be found on the EMI, Hänssler, Jecklin, Koch, Decca, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon labels. Her latest release is a recording of Kurtag's Kafka Fragments with András Keller, violinist, on the ECM New Series label. 

Last updated: February 27, 2007
Photo of Juliane Banse