Baritone Christian Gerhaher, originally from Straubing in Lower Bavaria, has been a welcome guest in the musical heart of Berlin for more than ten years. After giving his Philharmonic debut in performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in 2003, Gerhaher was subsequently invited by the orchestra to sing solo roles in oratorios by Robert Schumann and Carl Orff. One of the high points of the artistic collaboration between the Berlin Philharmonic and the singer, who is a certified physician, was Gerhaher’s interpretation of Christ in Peter Sellars’ staged “ritualization” of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Three years later, in the 2013-14 season, the Berlin Philharmonic made Gerhaher their artist in residence.
In 2015, Gerhaher could be experienced in semi-staged performances of Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in Berlin conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, singing the role for which in 2013 he was awarded the most important German theatre prize: the FAUST. But ever since participating in master classes with luminaries like Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Gerhaher’s musical heart has beat for the Lied. For his lieder recital in the Philharmonie, the multi-faceted and charismatic singer has – together with Gerold Huber, a pianist who has been a close artistic friend since both were students in Munich – assembled a programme that combines Antonín Dvořák’s Opus 99, composed in 1894, with rarely performed lieder by Robert Schumann.