Biography KS Prof. Christiane Iven

Christiane Iven

The versatile artist was active for three decades as a concert and lieder singer and was equally at home on the opera stage. Today she works as a professor of voice and as vice president at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.

Christiane Iven began her concert and opera career as a mezzo-soprano and later switched to soprano. Her voice, a dark timbred soprano, was always at home in the so-called “Zwischenfach”.

Among other things, she was an ensemble member of the Staatsoper Stuttgart for many years. There and at other German and European opera houses she worked with the directing team Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, with Calixto Bieto, Claus Guth, Luc Perceval, Andreas Homoki, Stephan Herheim, Andrea Moses and others.

Her most important roles were Feldmarschallin (Rosenkavalier), Agathe (Freischütz), Didon (Les Troyens), Marie (Wozzeck), Kundry (Parsifal), Strauss‘ Ariadne (title role), Elvira (Don Giovanni), Emilia Marty (Die Sache Makropulos), Sieglinde (Walküre) and Isolde (Tristan und Isolde).

She has given concerts with renowned orchestras, including the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, the Bamberg Symphony, Ensemble Intercontemporaine, NDR Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, RSO Berlin, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Marc Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Riccardo Chailly, Teodor Currentzis, John Elliot Gardiner, Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Heinz Holliger, Marco Letonja, Shao-Chia Lü, Sir Neville Marriner, Matthias Pintscher, Helmut Rilling, Michael Schoenwandt, Christian Zacharias and Lothar Zagrosek.

Her most frequently sung repertoire included the Sieben frühe Lieder by Alban Berg, the Wesendonck-Lieder by Richard Wagner, Rückert-Lieder, the Lied von der ErdeLieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Gustav Mahler, the Lyrische Symphonie by Alexander Zemlinsky, as well as the Vier letzte Lieder by Richard Strauss.

Her song recitals with Burkhard Kehring, Igor Levit, Wolfram Rieger, András Schiff, Jan Philip Schulze among many others have been a centre of Christiane Iven`s concert activity and her very special passion. She has appeared at prominent music festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele.

Christiane Iven was born in Hamburg, studied in her hometown with KS Prof. Judith Beckmann at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg (HfMT) and complemented her studies with lied interpretation courses with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin.

She was as scholarship holder of the Steans Institute of Music at the Ravinia-Festival (USA), the International Association of Richard Wagner Societies and the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes. In 1990, she became a prize-winner of the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb (German Music Competition) and in the following years won prizes at several international lied competitions.

Christiane Iven discovered her passion for music in her school days. She sang for many years in the choir of the St. Michaeliskirche in Hamburg under Günter Jena.

During her studies she worked as a permanent back-up singer in the choir of the NDR. Especially the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, his passions and cantatas were her musical focus during this time and have deeply influenced her until today.

After initial small roles at the Hamburg State Opera, she became an ensemble member at the Theater Bremen in 1992 and at the Nationaltheater Mannheim in 1996, where she sang roles such as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Charlotte (Werther). Her move to the soprano repertoire was followed in 2001 by an engagement as a permanent member of the ensemble at the Staatsoper Hannover and in 2006 at the Staatsoper Stuttgart.

In 2005, she was awarded the Niedersächsischer Staatspreis (State Prize of Lower Saxony) for her artistic achievements and in 2011 she was named a Baden-Württemberg “Kammersängerin”.

Christine Iven was already active as a voice teacher during her artistic career. From 2001 until 2007 she was a professor at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. Since 2013, Christiane Iven holds a professorship for voice at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and is also vice president of the university since 2021.

She works as a jury member at international singing competitions and gives numerous master classes at the International Music Academy for Soloists (IMAS) at Schloss Bückeburg, at the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, the International Hugo Wolf Academy and at the Mozarteum International Summer Academy Salzburg, among others.

In addition, Christiane Iven works as a coach and consultant in the fields of music, theatre and pedagogy.

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