Biography

The soprano Julia Sophie Wagner grew up in Munich but has been calling Leipzig her home for quite some time now. She was into a family where music has aways played an important part, both professionally and in private. Raised in the musical tradition of Johann Sebastian Bach, the interpretation of his works is what she is especially known for. In 2021 Julia has been appointed to the board of directors of the prestigious Neue Bachgesellschaft e.V.

Musical categories is what Julia is trying to avoid at all times. She feels at home with baroque music as well as with the great works of the classic and romantic period. Her debut at the Kennedy Center Washington, where she performed her first Beethoven "Missa Solemnis" was voted "Kennedy Center event 2014" by Washington Life Magazine. At the same time she has great interest in contemporary music, especially in the challenge of bringing together complex musical content and direct emotional access. Chamber music with the great possibilities of direct communication within the ensemble as well as with the audience, and in this genre especially art song, has a special place in her repertoire. In the past years Julia has brought to life numerous programs and projects, oftentimes together with the renowned pianist Eric Schneider.

After some years away from opera while her children were little, Julia can now be heard and seen on stage more often;after being a member of the Leipzig Opera ensemble for most of the 2019/20 season she has been returning as a guest, singing "Pamina" in Mozarts "Magic Flute" as well as "Friederike" in "Paradiese", a new opera by Gerd Kühr and a "Flower Maiden" in Richard Wagners "Parsifal".

Julia is working with orchestras like the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Washington National Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra and Berlin Radio Orchestra, RTVE Madrid and RAI Torino as well as Bach Collegium Munich and Stuttgart. She also performs with period instrument specialists like Collegium 1704 Prague, Bachgesellschaft St.Gallen or Ensemble Tafelmusik Toronto. Numerous of these concerts have been recorded for radio and TV, many have been released on CD or DVD.

Concert tours have brought her all over Europe, to North- and South America as well as to Asia where she performed at renowned venues like the Berlin Philharmonie, Palau de la Musica Barcelona, Tchaikowsky Hall Moscow, Kennedy Center Washington and Teatro Colon Buenos Aires. Julia has been a well received guest at international festivals like Maggio Musicale Firenz, Mendelssohn- and Bachfestival Leipzig, Herne Early Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Carinthian Summer, Rheingau Music Festival or Festival de la Chaise Dieu.

She sang recitals at Bachfest Leipzig, Tonhalle Zurich, Gewandhaus Leipzig as well as in Japan and the USA. Together with Eric Schneider she recorded a well received CD with songs by Clara and Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Edvard Grieg. Her own formats and projects like the childrens' play "Princess Elise" and the audiovisual project "Lost - #dubistdieruh" are always aimed to find new audiences for the beautiful genre of art song, oftentimes designing her programs in a way that the interpretation receives another layer through juxtaposition of certain composers or aspects of music history

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach being one main focus, a very close musical friendship with Helmuth Rilling has greatly influenced her work. For well over a decate Julia was lucky to share the stage with him regularly and worldwide.
Closely connected to the Bach-tradition of Leipzig, Julia regularly works with the St. Thomas Boy's Choir and has been invited to sing at the Leipzig Bach Festival for over ten consecutive years. 2021 she was appointed to the board of directors of the "Neue Bachgesellschaft e.V."

Together with the composer and pianist Steffen Schleiermacher Julia is exploring the music of the 20th and 21st century. Together they have given numerous recitals with works by Olivier Messiaen, Hanns Eisler or Charles Ives and have appeared in several documentaries on avantgarde music.

As a member of "Ensemble Sweet Bird" Julia appears in concert with Tatjana Ruhland (Flute) and Christian Schmitt (Piano/Organ), oftentimes performing their own arrangements of a wide repertoire ranging from early baroque music to contemporary pieces.

Julia studied at the Music Academies Weimar and Leipzig with Venceslava Hruba-Freiberger and Hans-Joachim Beyer as well as at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, with Lucile Evans, and attended masterclasses and coachings with Edith Wiens, Peter Schreier, Ingrid Figur and Graham Johnson. She has won several prizes, among them Mozart Competition Prague, Paula-Salomon-Lindberg Competition for contemporary song and the Lortzing Competition as well as scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Leipzig Opera.