Juliane Banse


Born in Germany, Juliane Banse moved at an early age with her family to Zürich. Banse began playing violin at the age of five, and studied ballet; her stage debut was as a ballet dancer was in a production at the Zurich Opera House. At fifteen she began voice training with Paul Steiner, late to contuinue with Ruth Rohner of the Zurich Opera House. Enrolling in the Munich Musikhochschule,Banse studied with famed mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender and with Daphne Evangelatos. In June 1989, Banse won first prize for singing in the Kulturforum of Munich Competition.

This led Banse to sing an engagement in the role of Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Komische Oper Berlin. As her operatic debut was a success, Banse was invited back to sing the role of Ilia in Mozart's Idomeneo in 1991, then Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro in 1992. In December 1993, she received the International Franz Schubert Institute's Grand Prize for her excellence in interpreting Schubert. Soon she began to appear regularly in the opera houses of Europe, and shortly became a regular at the Vienna State Opera. Banse made her debut as a concert singer with the Vienna Philharmonic in November 1994 in Berg's Lulu Suite under Claudio Abbado, and was immediately invited back by the orchestra members. Banse' American debut was in 1995 in the soprano part in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin.

She undertook an extensive Lieder recital tour of Germany in 1997 with Ingeborg Danz, Christoph Prégardien and Thomas Quasthoff. This Schubert Series was revived in the year 2000 with the addition of singer Olaf Bär. She also returned to the concert stage with performances in Haydn's The Creation, Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, and appeared in the premiere of a new production of Massenet's Manon at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The 1998 season began for Banse with an enormous success, her creation of the leading role in Heinz Holliger's new opera Schneewittchen, widely hailed in the international press. In 1999, she sang the part of Ighino in the Vienna State Opera's new production of Pfitzner's Palestrina.

Banse continues to sing numerous concert and Lieder performances, and is particularly known for appearances in Mahler symphonies, which she has performed under Rattle, Boulez, Maazel, Paavo Järvi, and Haitink . Banse also sings in chamber music concerts, and is accompanied in her song recitals by Andras Schiff, Helmut Deutsch, Irwin Gage and Maurizio Pollini. Banse has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, EMI, Jecklin-Disco, Teldec, Hänssler, Hyperion and ECM labels. Like her teacher Fassbaender, Banse's programs are noted for their variety, as she has recorded works by composers as diverse as Othmar Schoeck, Robert Schumann, Alban Berg, Johannes Brahms, and Antonin Dvorák, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Mahler and Debussy. Although a seasoned professional by 2006 and one of the world's most sought after singers in concert and opera, reviewers of her concert appearances note that there is still something of the ballerina in Banse's carriage as she takes the stage.

There are 69 Juliane Banse recordings available.

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