Jonas Kaufmann

German tenor (1969, Munich)

Omnipresent in the actual musical landscape Jonas is invited on the greatest international stages: his remarkable performances cover a wide repertoire from Mozart to Wagner, including also Verdi, Puccini, Massenet and Berlioz.

Born in a music-loving family, Jonas Kaufman started studying the piano when he was eight years old and joined his school’s choir. Noticed by one of his teachers, he took private lessons and studied mathematics at the Munich University at the same time. He was also a student at the Munich Conservatoire (Hochschule für Musik und Theater München) where he got a concert and opera singer diploma in 1994. He perfected his technique in master classes under James King, Hans Hotter and Josef Metternich.

When he left the conservatoire, he was hired as a company tenor at the Saarland National Theatre. That experience would last for two years and allowed him to practice on a vast repertoire. At the end of that collaboration, he worked alongside Michael Rhodes, an American professor. He modified his vocal technique and started an independent career.

His first remarkable role was at the Salzburg Festival in 1999 in Doktor Faust by Ferruccio Busoni in which he played a student. His career considerably rose afterwards and he performed on the great international lyrical stages such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the State Opera in Hamburg, the Royal Opera House in London, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Scala in Milan, the Opéra Bastille in Paris, the Teatro Regio in Turin, the Vienna State Opera…

Yet it is his performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 2006 in La Traviata alongside Angela Gheorghiu that gave his career its final kick-off and offered him international recognition.

In parallel to his opera career, Jonas Kaufman gives recitals, sometimes in the company of the pianist Helmut Deutsch.

Six landmark dates in the life of Jonas Kaufmann

1993: won first prize at the Meistersinger competition in Nuremberg.
1999: performed at the Salzburg Festival in Doktor Faust by Ferruccio Busoni.
2001: iswas invited to sing on US soil for the first time, perfomed in Otello by Verdi at the Chicago Opera.
2006: huge success at the MET in La Traviata with Angela Gheorghiu.
2012: opened the Scala's season in Milan with Lohengrin by Richard Wagner, conducted by Daniel Barenboïm.
2015: played Don José (Carmen – Bizet) at the Chorégies d’Orange, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Mikko Frank.

Radio France Documentation biography, September 2015.