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Jonas Kaufmann: Bio

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann possesses an operatic and concert repertory that spans several centuries, taking in Monteverdi and J.S. Bach and reaching into the twentieth century with works by Schoenberg and contemporary composers. The vast area in between includes Mozart, Beethoven, Weber, Berlioz, Schubert, Wagner, Gounod, Mahler, Puccini, and much else. But Kaufmann willingly ventures into the obscure or little-known realms: he has appeared on disc in Marschner's Vampyr and in the world-premiere recordings on the Capriccio label of two neglected nineteenth century operas, Josef Abert's Ekkehard, where he sang the title role, and Carl Loewe's The Three Wishes, where he portrayed Hassan. Kaufmann is a major operatic star and has sung at the most prestigious venues in New York, Chicago, Paris, Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Milan, and many others. While his discography clearly suggests a preference for opera, he has sung much concert fare, including Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, as well as lieder (Harmonia Mundi issued an acclaimed disc of Richard Strauss lieder in 2006). Kaufmann has made numerous recordings for a variety of labels, including EMI Classics, Decca, Philips, Arthaus Musik, and TDK.

Jonas Kaufmann was born in Munich, Germany, in 1969. As a child he was frequently taken to the opera by his father, while he sang in boys' choirs and took piano lessons. Later he enrolled at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, where he took master classes from Hans Hotter, Josef Metternich, and James King. It was Hotter who interested Kaufmann in the lieder of Richard Strauss.

Romantic Arias From 1994-1996 Kaufmann sang at the opera house in Saarbrücken. Since the mid-1990s he has made regular guest appearances at the world's major opera houses. In 2001 he joined the Zurich opera and has since received high praise there for his Mozart (Idomeneo, Titus, Tamino), Gounod (Faust) and Verdi (the Duke). Kaufmann's first major recordings began appearing around the turn of the century, with Loewe's The Three Wishes (2000) and Marschner's Vampyr (2002). His debut recital at Wigmore Hall in London in December 2002 was a great success, as was his debut at the Met in February 2006 in the role of Alfredo in La Traviata. Kaufmann's recordings have appeared with increasing frequency in the new century. The 2008 Decca CD Romantic Arias, which includes arias from Tosca, La bohème, La Traviata, and other operatic standards, was his first solo recording. His 2013 Verdi Album and 2014 You Mean the World to Me topped both pop and classical charts in Germany and Austria.

1 Verdi: La donna e mobile - from Rigoletto
2 Verdi: Se quel guerrier io fossi! - from Aida
3 Verdi: Di' tu se fedele - from Un ballo in maschera
4 Verdi: Forse la soglia attinse - from Un ballo in maschera
5 Verdi: Ah! si, ben mio - from Il trovatore
6 Verdi: Oh! fede negar potessi - from Luisa Miller
7 Verdi: O inferno! Amelia qui! - from Simon Boccanegra
8 Verdi: E lui! desso, l'Infante - from Don Carlo
9 Verdi: La vita e inferno all'infelice - from La forza del destino
10 Verdi: Destatevi, o pietre! - from I masnadieri
11 Verdi: Dio! mi potevi scagliar - from Otello
12 Verdi: Niun mi tema - from Otello
Jonas Kaufmann - The Making of "The Verdi Album"
Jonas Kaufmann, short interview
Eva Marton 70th Birthday Gala in Budapest with Jonas Kaufmann 16-06-2013

Sony Classical is pleased to welcome the internationally acclaimed tenor, Jonas Kaufmann to the label with his Sony debut recording The Verdi Album. Recorded in Auditorium Niccolò Paganini in Parma with Pier Giorgio Morandi conducting the Orchestra dell'Opera di Parma, this new album features thirteen highlights, eleven of which are firsts for Kaufmann: so far on stage he has sung only the tenor favorite "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto and the duet with the Marquis de Posa from Don Carlo. It was with Verdi that he made his international breakthrough in 2006, when he sang Alfredo Germont in La traviata at the Met. For Kaufmann the Verdi bicentenary in 2013 is inevitably dominated by performances of works by the great Italian opera composer, with three productions of Don Carlo (in London, Milan and Salzburg), two role débuts in Il trovatore and La forza del destino and his first album devoted to Verdi. 

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