Biography KS Prof. Christiane Iven

Christiane Iven

was an internationally active opera and concert singer for three decades (1986 – 2015).
Today she is a professor of voice and vice president at the University of Music and Theatre in Munich and also works as a director and coach.

Christiane Iven began her opera and concert career as a mezzo-soprano and later switched to soprano. Her voice has always been at home in the so-called „Zwischenfach“ range.
She was a permanent ensemble member at various theaters, including many years at the Stuttgart State Opera.
There and at other German and European opera houses she worked with the directing team of Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, with Calixto Bieito, Claus Guth, Andreas Homoki, Peter Konwitschny, Luc Perceval, Stephan Herheim and Andrea Moses, among others.
Her most important roles were Octavian and Feldmarschallin (Rosenkavalier), Agathe (Freischütz), Didon (Les Troyens), Marie (Wozzeck), Kundry (Parsifal), Elvira (Don Giovanni), Emilia Marty (Die Sache Makropulos), Sieglinde (Walküre) and Isolde (Tristan und Isolde).

Christiane Iven has given concerts with major orchestras (including the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, 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 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, etc.) under the baton of Marc Albrecht, George Alexander Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Riccardo Chailly, Teodor Currentzis, John Elliot Gardiner, Michael Gielen, Julia Jones, Leopold Hager, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Heinz Holliger, Marco Letonja, Fabio Luisi, Shao-Chia Lü, Sir Neville Marriner, Matthias Pintscher, Helmut Rilling, András Schiff, Michael Schoenwandt, Christian Zacharias and Lothar Zagrosek.
Her most frequently sung repertoire includes the Seven Early Songs by Alban Berg, the Wesendonck Lieder by Richard Wagner, Rückert Lieder, the Lied von der Erde, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Lieder aus des Knaben Wunderhorn by Gustav Mahler, the Lyric Symphony by Alexander Zemlinsky, as well as the Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss.

Her recitals with pianists like Burkhard Kehring, Igor Levit, Wolfram Rieger, András Schiff, Jan Philip Schulze and others have been a center of Christiane Iven’s concert activity and her special passion. She has appeared at major music festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and the Schwetzingen SWR Festival.

Christiane Iven was born in Hamburg, studied in her hometown with KS Prof. Judith Beckmann at the University of Music and Theater and supplemented her studies with lied interpretation courses with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin.
She was a scholarship holder of the Steans Institute of Music at the Ravinia Festival (USA), the Richard Wagner Association and the German Academic Schloarship Foundation. In 1990 she became a prize-winner of the German Music Competition and in the following years won prizes at several international Lied competitions.
Christiane Iven discovered her enthusiasm 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 substitute 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 Bremen Theater in 1992 and at the Mannheim National Theater in 1996, where she sang roles such as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), the Composer (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 Hanover State Opera and in 2006 at the Stuttgart State Opera.
In 2005 she was awarded the Lower Saxony State Prize for her artistic achievements, and in 2011 she was named a Baden-Württemberg Kammersängerin.

Christiane Iven was already active as a singing teacher during her artistic career.  From 2001-2007 she was a professor at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. Since 2013, she has held a professorship for singing at the University of Music and Theater in Munich, where she has also been vice president since 2021.

Moreover, she works as a jury member at international singing competitions and gives numerous singing courses, e.g. at the International Music Academy for Soloists (IMAS) at Bückeburg Castle, the International Hugo Wolf Academy and at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, among others. In addition, Christiane Iven is active as a coach and consultant in the fields of music, theater and music education.

In June 2023, Christiane Iven will make her debut as a director with a new production of Verdi’s „La Traviata“ at Theater Dessau.


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