The Austrian tenor Daniel Johannsen studied with such lieder specialists as Robert Holl, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and Christa Ludwig, and, thus, approaches art song performance with great affection. A prize-winner in the Schumann, Mozart, and Wigmore Hall competitions, Johannsen’s repertoire extends from early Baroque monody to song settings written in the present day, encompassing along the way a huge variety of vocal-instrumental chamber music.
Along with the great Schubert and Schumann cycles, his art song repertoire includes more than 300 settings in German, French, and English, which he has performed with piano partners such as Graham Johnson, Charles Spencer, Helmut Deutsch, and Burkhard Kehring in venues that range from small concert series’ to major festivals. His intensive collaboration with Christoph Hammer has been especially illuminating on a personal level, giving him the unshakable conviction that the art song genre (in common with Early Music) is best served by using the instruments that were current at the time of composition. Whenever possible, Johannsen therefore makes every effort to use keyboards, such as fortepianos for early 19th Century music, that are appropriate to the period in which the music was written.
Johannsen’s name is often connected with the role of the evangelist in Bach’s Passions, in addition to the more general oratorio repertoire from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. His performances of this literature have taken place in collaboration with ensembles such as the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and conductors include Hans-Christoph Rademann and Enoch zu Guttenberg. Johannsen has appeared in Vienna’s Musikverein, the Berlin Philharmonie, New York’s Carnegie hall, as well as other major venues in Europe, North America, Japan, and the Near East.
Daniel Johannsen has also established himself in opera, and has been heard in works by Handel, Mozart, and Britten at the Vienna Volksoper, Munich’s Gärtnerplatztheater, the Leipzig Opera and Tirol’s Landestheater.