Formal Biography

Foto: Sara Roland

Formative Years

Mads Elung-Jensen was born in Vissing close to Aarhus in Denmark. Growing up in a musical home, he performed cabaret music and ballads from an early age.

In a local church choir, he discovered his classical tenor voice and his love to sacred music.

At the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, he studied solo singing and voice pedagogy with professor Bodil Gümoes from 1987-1995.

A decisive experience for the young student was the encounter with the Swiss tenor Ernst Haefliger. He visited Haefliger’s master classes in Zurich for six years and took private lessons with him in Munich and in Davos. With him, Mads Elung-Jensen studied the parts of the Evangelist in Bach’s passions, Schubert and Schumann’s lieder cycles, as well as Mozart’s tenor roles.

Mads Elung-Jensen received numerous awards, among them a residency in the Cité des Arts in Paris from the Danish Arts' Concil in 1998. Here, he studied French vocal music with Françoise Tillard.

After graduation, he has continued his vocal studies with ao. Reiner Goldberg, Peter Schreier, Kurt Equiluz, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Matthias Goerne, Christian Elsner and Scot Weir.

Aspiring Evangelist

Oratorio

Mads Elung-Jensen gave his official concert debut in 1993 in Copenhagen as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John’s Passion. The press praised his radiating clear natural tenor, his sense of style, and his ability to give life to both the simple story telling and to the dramatic outbursts.

As a student, Mads Elung-Jensen sang in the Danish National Radio Choir. Here, in 1992 he was discovered by the German Chorus Master, Professor Uwe Gronostay and invited to give his German debut in the Berlin Philharmonic as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem.

He has since in Denmark and in Germany performed almost all the classical oratorio parts for lyric tenor, of which his interpretation of the Evangelist in Bach’s passions should be specially emphasized.

His close association to Germany has lead to his moving to Berlin, where he has lived since 2010.

Lerchenborg 1991 with Louise Lerche-Lerchenborg

Contemporary Music

1990, Louise Lerche-Lerchenborg recruited him as her assistant and co-organizer of the Lerchenborg Music Days for Contemporary Music.

At the Lerchenborg Music Days, the personal meetings with the composers Henryk Gorecki, Sofia Gubajdulina, Edison Denisov, Niccoló Castiglioni and many more made a deep impression on him and founded his great interest in contemporary music and his collaboration with composers.

Mads Elung-Jensen has since created numerous works, many of those written directly for his voice.

A connection to his student days was drawn, when he October 2011 with professor Axel Bauni in the Nordic Embassies in Berlin performed leading German composer Aribert Reimann's cantata Engführung to Paul Célan's poem, originally written for Ernst Haefliger in 1967. At this occasion Aribert Reimann wrote, 'Since Ernst Haefliger who created this cycle in 1968, I have never again heard this piece performed so perfect, so moving in expression and touching in sound, so exciting in it's form. For me, it was an unforgettable experience.'

Amon Gortis in Peter Bruun's Soapera Aarhus 2007

Stage

Also in 1992, Mads Elung-Jensen gave his operatic debut, creating the leading part of Postman Viggo Forum in the world premiere of Dutch composer Jan Goorissen’s Gylden Storm (Golden Tempest). At this occasion, the press called him, “An indispensable type of artist for the best forms of contemporary music theatre, Mercury-quick in his ability to create and change a character.”

Mads Elung-Jensen has since performed a great variety of roles on stage in many European countries. He has especially enjoyed singing Mozart's tenor parts, the charming operetta lovers and the musical and theatrical challenges of new music theatre.

Rehearsing with Ellen Refstrup. Foto Sara Roland

Recital

Mads Elung-Jensen first performed Franz Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin as a young student in 1988. Schubert's and Schumann's song cycles have since formed the base of a very large and varied recital repertoire.

A gifted linguist, speaking seven languages fluently, he has sung in all these languages and more.

As a native Dane he has a special affinity to the Scandinavian music.

Having sung with numerous noted pianists, since 1993, his steady recital partner has been Danish pianist Ellen Refstrup.

 

Berlin in the 20'es. Foto Hans Skaarup

Cabaret And Entertainment

Mads Elung-Jensen has nurtured his childhood passion for entertainment music. 2004 he created the ensemble “Kopenhagen Kabarett”. For this group, he wrote three shows, celebrating the ‘Golden 20’es’ in Berlin. Through numerous performances, CD- and Television recordings, Kopenhagen Kabarett in wide circles became the quintessence of this music in Denmark.

Together with ZDF-television producer Wolfgang Homering, Mads Elung-Jensen 2010 created solo programs of Berlin Cabaret Music from the 20’es. November 2011, Danish television channel dk4 recorded his latest Berlin Cabaret Program, broadcasting it New Year’s Eve 2011.

With his ensemble Tre Tenorer (Three Tenors) he performs entertainment music ranging from American Swing over Scandinavian love songs to the famous Italian top hits.

Foto: Dietmar F. Koenig

Music For Comfort In Sorrow

A very special field for Mads Elung-Jensen is the simple music, that can give encouragement in the challenging times of human life.

With leader of the Catholic organization for Soul Comfort in the German Army, Monsignore Rainer Schnettker and organist of Cologne Cathedral, Ulrich Brüggemann he organizes concerts with this theme. Also, an Edition ‚Music for Comfort in Sorrow‘ is planned.