Aksel Schiøtz

1 September 1906 Roskilde – 19 April 1975 Copenhagen

Picture of Aksel Schiøtz

Aksel Schiøtz singsDon Giovanni: Il mio tesoro
In RA format

Aksel Schiøtz singsMessiah: Comfort ye, my people

The excellent reputation of Aksel Schiøtz stands in marked contrast to his short and unremarkable career. The son of an architect, he studied languages (Danish and English), and became a teacher. In private and in church, he loved to sing, and became eventually a member of two amateur choirs, where he soon got tenor solos to sing; he was also one of the founders of a jazz club in Roskilde, where he sang regularly. In Copenhagen, he took voice lessons.

In 1936, he gave his first classical solo concert, but it was not before 1938 that he gave up teaching, and decided to become a professional singer. In 1939, he made his operatic debut as Ferrando in Copenhagen, and took additional voice lessons with John Forsell in Stockholm. However, opera was never to play a big role in his career; he just sang it a few times in Copenhagen and (after WWII) in Glyndebourne. What he did sing a lot was Danish operetta (above all Farinelli by Emil Reesen: 102 performances in the 1942/43 season at the Ny Teater in Copenhagen); otherwise, he was a busy concert and radio singer in Denmark. Internationally, he appeared in the US in 1939, and again only after WWII, but in 1946, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Surgery was successful, but left him with a facial paralysis on one side, which also affected his ability to sing.

It was a tough way back, but he could resume his concert activity in 1948, although the voice was a mere shadow of its former self; what was left of it was now considered a baritone. He continued to sing until 1960, not only in Denmark, but also in France, Algeria, Morocco, the USA, Canada and Scotland.

Already from 1955, he was a highly respected voice teacher, first in Minneapolis, then in Toronto, in Boulder, and from 1968 in Copenhagen. His recording of Die schöne Müllerin with Gerald Moore (commenced in 1939 and completed in 1945) is considered to be one of the finest on record.


I would like to thank Helge K. Sæbø for the recording (Comfort ye) and picture.
Schiøtz as baritone

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