Born: November 12, 1901 - Thun, Switzerland
Died: April 14, 1985 - Bern, Switzerland
The Swiss soprano, Helene Fahrni, was first pupil of the great concert singer Maria Philippi in Cologne, and then was trained by the no less important Dutch soprano Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius; finally she studied also with Thona von Hermann in Vienna.
Helene Fahrni became known by concerts, which she gave in the music centres all over Europe. She appeared in concerts in Berlin (1934-1938), Hamburg, Leipzig (1938, 1940), Cologne, Aachen and Vienna, in Paris (1937, 1938) and Budapest (1936), at the Maggio Musicale Florence (1939), in London, Stockholm and in Swiss music centres. She sang with conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Hermann Abendroth, Herbert von Karajan, Eugen Jochum and Günter Wand. She was distinguished in all areas of the concert singing and mastered an extensive repertoire in the oratorio as with the area of the sacred music. She sang not only the solo parts in the great classical works (Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) by J.S. Bach, Jahreszeiten by J. Haydn, Deutsches Requiem by J. Brahms), but also compositions of contemporary composers and created soprano parts in the premieres of Das Gesicht Jesajas (1935) and Das Jahr (1940) by the Swiss composer Willy Burkhard.
In the years around 1930 Helene Fahrni was broadcast many timed by German radio stations, particularly of Cologne. Her Lieder recitals showed her great gift for conveying the message of a song. Together with Hildegard Hennecke, Heinz Marten and Fred Drissen she appeared also in a vocal quartet.
Helene Fahrni worked as a teacher from 1935 to 1939 at the Konservatorium of Leipzig, later in Berne. In 1938 she married the Protestant Minister Eduard Burri. She lived later in Hünibach near Thun in Switzerland.
Recordings: Telefunken (soprano solo in the 9th Symphony of L.v. Beethoven).