Christiane Oelze

Biography (English)

The soprano Christiane Oelze is held in the highest esteem internationally as an interpreter of demanding lieder and concert repertoire.

Since the beginning of her long career she has performed in concerts with renowned conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marek Janowski, Fabio Luisi, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Roger Norrington, Markus Stenz, Hartmut Haenchen, and Sir Simon Rattle.

Working with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the SWR and NDR Symphony Orchestras, the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne, the Orchestre National de France, the Bamberg Symphony and the Düsseldorf Symphony, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Brussels Philharmonic, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in recent years Christiane Oelze has increasingly dedicated herself to late nineteenth century works and made a name for herself in particular for the lieder of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss.

She has performed frequently in the opera, in especially in Mozart, singing in London (Covent Garden) and in Paris (Théâtre Garnier), in Glyndebourne, at the Hamburg State Opera, at the Salzburg Festival and Mozart Weeks, the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and at the Lucerne Festival. At this year’s the Gluck Festival in Nuremberg she is scheduled to sing Pallas Athena in Paride e Helena and perform Gluck, Piccinni, and Pergolesi arias in the festival concert.

Christiane Oelze is currently expanding her repertoire of lieder and chamber music, accompanied on the piano primarily by her long-standing partner Eric Schneider (Hindemith’s Marienleben) and Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Messiaen’s Harawi).

In 2014 she will sing Reimann’s transcriptions of Mendelssohn and Schumann lieder with the Leipzig String Quartet; an extraordinary program with the saxophonist Lutz Koppetsch and the ensemble La Piccola Banda titled Lieder about the Night is planned for May. Christiane Oelze’s CDs, which have garnered the highest praise from international critics and in the trade press, include lieder by Anton Webern (Deutsche Grammophon), settings of Goethe texts (Berlin Classics), Forbidden Songs (Capriccio), and most recently Strauss lieder (Solo Musica). Her recording of the Fourth Symphony of Gustav Mahler, in the arrangement by Erwin Stein, with the Thomas Christian Ensemble received the German Record Critics’ Award. The soprano’s discography includes more than seventy CDs and DVDs of concert music, operas, and lieder.

Christiane Oelze has also established an international reputation as a teacher. From 2003 to 2008 she held a professorship in singing at the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media in Düsseldorf. She also offers master classes regularly, for example at the Masterclass Apeldoorn in the Netherlands (2010), at IRCAM in Paris (2012), in performing lieder at the Karlsruhe University of Music (2013), the Vienna Master Courses (2014), and at the Arosa Music Academy in Switzerland (since 2011). Christiane Oelze has also served as a member of the jury for various international music competitions.

(Updated: Spring 2014)