Barbara Bonney, Univ.Prof.

University Professor in Singing

  • Mirabellplatz 1
  • 5020 Salzburg

Barbara Bonney is a wonderful lied and concert singer and has been described as one of the best performers of Mozart and Strauss of her generation.  She is renowned for the radiant tone of her voice and her interpretation of the role of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss is legendary. She is popular because of her warm-hearted personality and because of her versatile and broad-ranging repertoire extending from Baroque to 20th-century music.  She has made over 100 recordings with Decca, DGG, EMI and Teldec and has performed with the most renowned conductors and the world’s best orchestras.


Barbara Bonney performed in major opera houses and the most prestigious concert halls throughout the world.  Her extensive recordings comprise sacred music by Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. She is to be heard on complete opera recordings of Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus and Fidelio conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt; Hänsel und Gretel conducted by Jeffrey Tate, and The Merry Widow conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. She has recorded 15 solo CDs of lieder by Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Wolf and Mendelssohn, accompanied by Geoffrey Parsons. Her recordings on the Decca/London label contain a selection of American songs accompanied by André Previn on the piano and including Previn’s compositions Vocalise and Miss Sallie Chisum remembers Billy the Kid, which was written for Barbara Bonney, Copland’s Emily Dickinson Songs, Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs, and Six Elizabethan Songs by Dominick Argento; lieder by Robert and Clara Schumann, Frauenliebe und -leben, with Vladimir Ashkenazy as accompanist; a Philips recording of Poulenc’s comic opera, Les mamelles de Tirésias, with Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra; and a Decca/London CD of songs by Richard Strauss, including the Four Last Songs with the pianist Malcolm Martineau.


The Scandinavian CD Diamonds in the Snow with Antonio Pappano won a Gramophone Award for the best solo recording. Barbara Bonney also recorded a CD of early Elizabethan songs together with Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music; a CD of scenes from operas by Richard Strauss with Renée Fleming, Susan Graham and the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Christoph Eschenbach; an operetta album with Ronald Schneider at the piano, a CD of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater together with Andreas Scholl and Les Talens Lyriques conducted by Christophe Rousset.


Barbara Bonney has frequently also been invited to give her expert opinion during the internationally renowned competition Cardiff Singer of the World. She has made documentaries on singing which have been broadcast on BBC Television and in the USA. She has been awarded five honorary doctorates, among others from the University of New Hampshire where she herself studied, from the Bowdoin College in Maine and from the Royal Academy of Music in London. She is also a member of the prestigious Swedish Academy of Music.


Barbara Bonney is currently professor of singing at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and guest professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  She recently founded her own company and set up a foundation to organize courses and grants for young singers who are on the brink of a singing career. She also founded an ‘Amateur Academy’ in Salzburg and London. This academy offers master-classes and support concerning singing technique for amateur singers. Barbara Bonney is an enthusiastic and skilful golf player.