Prof. Christian Elsner

Gesang · Voice
Fachgruppe 3: Gesang (Voice Department)
Der Tenor Christian Elsner
photo Ellen Schmauss

Born in Freiburg im Breisgau, Christian Elsner is one of the most versatile German tenors. As a member of the Freiburg Cathedral Boys' Choir and the Freiburg Cathedral Choir, he first received vocal training from the American tenor Richard Riffel. After graduation, he studied singing with Professor Martin Gründler in Frankfurt and later was coached by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin and Neil Semer in New York.

Winner of prominent vocal contests such as the ARD International Music Competition Munich, he quickly became an internationally sought-after concert singer, invited to all classical music venues, including the Berliner Philharmonie, the Philharmonie de Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Christian Elsner has worked with the internationally celebrated conductors Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernhard Haitink, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Sir Neville Marriner, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Sir Simon Rattle.

Christian Elsner has established himself in the operatic heldentenor repertoire as Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walküre and the eponymous hero in that composer’s Parsifal at the German National Theater Weimar, the Kassel State Theater, the Vienna State Opera, the Saxon State Opera, and the Teatro Real de Madrid.

As a lied singer, he is equally appreciated. With such distinguished pianists as Hartmut Höll, Gerold Huber, and Burkhard Kehring he performed recitals in Bonn, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Würzburg, Brussels, and London, among other venues, and was a longtime guest at the Schubertiade Feldkirch.

His CDs include lieder recordings of Schubert's Winterreise and Schumann's Dichterliebe, as well as orchestral works such as Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and Mendelssohn's Lobgesang, as well as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony. He has also recorded the title roles in Mozart's Idomeneo and Wagner's Parsifal, as well as singing the part of Loge in the latter composer’s Das Rheingold and the Witch in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel. His explorations on CD of repertoire went as far as Schubert lieder orchestrated by Max Reger and the complete songs of Anton Webern.

As children's book author, Christian Elsner published Lennie and the Magic Flute, Lennie in the Wolf's Gorge, and Lennie and the Ring of the Nibelungen.

Since 2006, in addition to his solo career, he has taught with great dedication as professor of voice at the Würzburg University of Music, and, since 2017, at the University of Music Karlsruhe.