During his studies under Paul Kuen and Raimund Grumbach, German baritone Christian Gerhaher also attended the Opera School of the Academy of Music in Munich, and together with his regular piano partner Gerold Huber studied lied interpretation with Friedemann Berger. While completing his medical studies Christian Gerhaher perfected his vocal training in master-classes given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Inge Borkh. In the meantime Christian Gerhaher is himself an enthusiastic teacher and gives master-classes at Aldeburgh Festival, Yale University, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at the Schwetzingen Festival, and in his position as honorary professor he holds workshops at the Academy of Music in Munich.
Christian Gerhaher’s exemplary lied interpretations with Gerold Huber set standards, and their recordings have been highly acclaimed. Their Schubert album Abendbilder received the Gramophone Award in 2006. In the same year Christian Gerhaher was honoured with the NDR Musikpreis at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. 2009 he was granted the renowned German Rheingau Musikpreis and for his Schumann recording Melancholy he not only received the BBC Music Award but also the "Echo Klassik" in the category Singer of the Year followed 2010 by the MIDEM Classical Award as Singer of the Year as well as the Dutch Edison Klassiek for his recent Mahler album.
The lied duo can be heard on the stages of major international recital centres, for instance at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Cologne and Berlin Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna. Christian Gerhaher is a regular guest at Schwetzingen Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Vienna Festival, Klangbogen Festival, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the London Proms, the Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals, as well as the Aspen and Tanglewood Festivals in the USA.
The lied recitals of the current seasons are mostly dedicated to Gustav Mahler. Performances will take them to London, Amsterdam, Cologne, Madrid, Munich, Venice, Torino, Rome and they will also return to Rheingau Musik Festival.
Besides his activity giving concerts and recitals, Christian Gerhaher also performs in select opera productions, for instance, he has a close association with the Frankfurt Opera House. Under Riccardo Muti he was Papageno in a production of The Magic Flute at the Salzburg Festival in 2006 (issued by Decca as a DVD). Gerhaher has been given guest performances in the title role in Henze’s Prinz von Homburg at the Theater an der Wien, as Wolfram at the Teatro Real Madrid, at the Vienna State Opera and Munich State Opera, and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. He started the 2010/2011 season as the Count in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in Munich. In future he is scheduled to sing the role of Eisenstein and Pelléas, both in Frankfurt, and Posa in Don Carlos in Toulouse. The recipient of countless awards for his lieder singing is likewise recognized for his operatic work and was consequently elected by the magazine "Opernwelt" as "Best Singer of the Year 2010" for his portrayals of Prinz von Homburg and Wolfram in Vienna und Munich.
Christian Gerhaher has performed together with conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Herbert Blomstedt, Heinz Holliger, Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Mariss Jansons, Bernard Haitink and Christian Thielemann in the world’s major concert halls. The music of Gustav Mahler brought him together with Riccardo Chailly (Wunderhornlieder with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester), Daniel Harding (Das Lied von der Erde with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra), Gustavo Dudamel (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen at La Scala Milan) and Pierre Boulez (Wunderhornlieder/Cleveland Orchestra). Other major orchestras which regularly invite Christian Gerhaher to perform include Concentus Musicus Wien, Berlin, Munich and Vienna Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He also gives concerts with major orchestras outside Europe, including NHK Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Since the beginning of his recording activity Christian Gerhaher’s CDs have been issued by Sony Music, with which he has an exclusive partnership (exceptions are stated in brackets). With his accompanist Gerold Huber, Schumann cycles, all the Schubert cycles as well as many other lied recordings have been issued, such as for example Terezín Theresienstadt with Anne Sofie von Otter (Deutsche Grammophon). Furthermore, Christian Gerhaher can be heard on CDs singing in orchestral works: Mendelssohn’s Elias with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig conducted by Herbert Blomstedt, twice Orff’s Carmina burana with the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle (EMI) and NEW with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Daniel Harding for Deutsche Grammophon, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano and Wunderhornlieder (Cleveland Orchestra/Magdalena Kožená/Pierre Boulez). With Nikolaus Harnoncourt Christian Gerhaher has made recordings of Joseph Haydn’s two oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri and also the recording of the live concert performance of the Faust Scenes with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, on the orchestra’s own label RCO Live. End of 2009 the latest solo CD with Gerold Huber has been issued, a recording of songs by Gustav Mahler.
Christian Gerhaher lives with his wife and their three children in Munich.