Joel Frederiksen_Portrait 1.jpg

Joel Frederiksen is a bass singer and lutenist living in Munich, Gemany. He has performed with leaders in the early music world including Emma Kirkby, Jordi Savall, Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, and with the ensembles Musica fiata, Freiburger Barockorchester, Josquin Capella, Ensemble Gilles Binchois and Huelgas Ensemble. Joel studied voice and lute in New York and Michigan, where he received his master’s degree, working closely with early music specialist Dr. Lyle Nordstrom. From 1990 to 1999 he was a member of two distinguished ensembles for early music in the United States, The Waverly Consort and the Boston Camerata. As a singer who plays the lute and archlute, Joel Frederiksen is a leading interpreter of music by the English lutenist songwriters and of early Italian Baroque music. His wide-ranging basso profundo voice and expressive performances have earned him worldwide acclaim.

For many years Joel Frederiksen has dedicated himself intensively to his speciality, the self-accompanied lute song. After moving to Germany, he established Ensemble Phoenix Munich for the 2003 recording of the CD Orpheus, I am,a program of Renaissance and early Baroque music from England, Italy and France. In 2007 Joel Frederiksen and Ensemble Phoenix Munich founded the early music series „Between Mars and Venus“ in the Bavarian National Museum in Munich. Their programs are known for their originality and quality, and have received glowing reviews from the press and generous support from the public. In four concerts a season they have explored English, Italian, French and German repertoires from the Renaissance and Baroque. Excursions into the early music of Joel Frederiksen's home country, The United States of America, resulted in the highly praised harmonia mundi CD, Rose of Sharon: 100 Years of American Music (Billboard Top Ten, 2011 harmonia mundi CD), and the programs 1620: Music of the Mayflower and Wondrous Free: Francis Hopkinson and the first songs of the New World. Music of Central and South America is presented in the program and resulting CD (SONY/DHM), Un niño nos es naçido (A Child for us is born). In the interest of expanding the repertoire, pieces have been commissioned for early instruments and voice. The core of the ensemble is made up of well-known experts in the field of early music, but the personell varies according to the project. Distinguished guests over the past 9 seasons include Dame Emma Kirkby, Prof. Kammersänger Michael Schopper, Dr. Vladimir Ivanoff, Stephan van Dyke, Dr. Lyle Nordstrom, and Prof. Michael Eberth.

Ensemble Phoenix Munich’s debut CD for harmonia mundi France, The Elfin Knight, was released in August 2007, and in January of 2008 Joel Frederiksen was awarded the title, Classical Music’s „Star of the Year", by Munich’s Evening News (Abendzeitung--Stern des Jahres). In November 2008 he received the German Record Critics' Prize for his second harmonia mundi release, O felice morire. The French Critics awarded Joel Frederiksen the Orphée d'Or in May 2011 for his singing on a CD of solos and duets with soprano, Dame Emma Kirkby. EPMs harmonia mundi CD, Requiem for a Pink Moon (May 2012), received Best of Year nominations and the German Echo Prize in October of 2013. With soprano Sabine Lutzenberger and tenor Bernd Oliver Fröhlich, Joel Frederiksen made a CD of music of German Minnesänger Oswald von Wolkenstein, newly interpreted (Reflektionen / Reflections; SONY/DHM 2013). His alma mater, Oakland University, honored him as one of the Distinguished Alumni in a ceremony held in the Fall of 2012. In 2015 he recorded a CD of John Dowland with lutes and Renaissance viols (Tell me, true love; planned release 2016), and in February of 2016 he made his debut as Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea“in Germany to exceptional reviews.


Lied, Opera & Oratorio

Lied (Song)

Winterreise  (The Winter Journey) by Franz Schubert with Joel Frederiksen, bass, and Mikhail Berlin, piano (Photo: Thomas Zwillinger)

Winterreise (The Winter Journey) by Franz Schubert with Joel Frederiksen, bass, and Mikhail Berlin, piano (Photo: Thomas Zwillinger)


Claudio Monteverdi

  • Plutone and Caronte - L’Orfeo

  • Seneca - L’incoronazione di Poppea
  • Nettuno (Neptune) - Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Georg Friedrich Handel

  • Somnus - Semele

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Osmin - Entführung aus dem Serail
  • Sarastro - Zauberflöte

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

  • Uberto - La serva padrona


Oratorios, Masses, Other works

Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Jesus - St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion

  • Quoniam - B-minor mass

Georg Friederich Handel

  • Polyphemus - Acis and Galatea
  • Caleb - Joshua

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Requiem
  • C-minor Mass

Claudio Monteverdi

  • Marienvespers

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

  • Requiem in F
  • Vespers

Solo Programs With Lute


Recordings with Ensemble Phoenix MunicH

Un niño nos es naçido (Release date: November 2, 2018: SONY/DHM)

            A Child for us is born; Christmas music from Spain and Latin America in the 16-17th centuries

Tell me true love (SONY/DHM)

            Music from the "English Orpheus" John Dowland

Reflektionen (SONY/DHM)

            Reflections; Oswald von Wolkenstein newly interpreted

Requiem for a Pink Moon (harmonia mundi France)

            An Elizabethan Tribute to Nick Drake (1948-74)

Rose of Sharon (harmonia mundi France)

            100 Years of American Music

O felice morire (harmonia mundi France)

            Firenze 1600

The Elfin Knight (harmonia mundi France)

            Ballads and Dances

Orpheus, I am (EPM Productions 2003)

            English, French and Italian music of the Renaissance and Baroque

DVD Joel Frederiksen: LIVE from the Prague Senate (Dvorak Artists International)

            Italian virtuoso music of the early Baroque

America! Vol.1 - A Land of Refuge (harmonia mundi France)

            Kompilation CD mit Werken von EPM

Recordings with other ensembles

Sarband Ensemble

            What the world needs now… (May 2018)


            Bis an der Welt ihr Ende - German songs of the Reformation (Christophorus, 2017)

Collegium Zielenski Krakow, Stanislaw Galonski, Dirigent

            Offertoria et Communiones Totius Anni (1611) Mikolaj Zielenski, (DUX)

            Joel Frederiksen (bass) & Emma Kirkby (soprano)

Josquin Capella

            Geistliche Werke: Ludwig Senfl (recorded 2017)

            Estote fortes in bello: Sacred Music by Jacques Arcadelt (CPO)

            Lamentationes: Ockeghem, Gombert, Festa (MDG)

            Benedicam Dominum: Thomas Stoltzer, Psalm Motets (MDG)

            Missa super Ave praeclara: Heinrich Finck (CPO)

Huelgas Ensemble

            Het oor van Theodoor Van Loon (recorded May 2018)

            Jacobus de Kerle (harmonia mundi France)

            Alfonso Ferrabosco (harmonia mundi France)

            Quinta Essentia (harmonia mundi France)

            40 Voices (harmonia mundi France)

Ensemble Gilles Binchois

            Polyphonies oubliées : Faux-bourdons XVI – XIX (APARTE)

            Cantica Sacra (EVIDENCE)

            Rodrigo De Ceballos (ca.1533-1581) (ALMAVIVA, 2003)

Boston Camerata

            Treasures of Devotion: Spiritual Songs of Northern Europe ca. 1500

            Christmas With the Stars

            The Golden Harvest

            What Then is Love? (Erato)

            Farewell Unkind (Erato)

            Liberty Tree (Erato)

            Simple Gifts (Erato)

            American Christmas (Erato)

            Douce Beautè (Erato)

            Carmina Burana (Erato)

            Trav'ling Home - American Spirituals 1770-1870  (Erato)

            Angels - Voices from Eternity (Erato)

Ensemble Unicorn

            Minnesang in Südtirol- Repertoire of the Minnesingers

Musica fiata

            Heinrich Biber: Magnificat

Orpheus Choir Munich

            Johann Caspar Kerll

            Lawrence Traiger: Be Still

Vox Resonat

            English Carols

Ensemble for Early Music

            Claudio Monteverdi: Vespers

Waverly Consort

            1492: The Age of Discovery

            A Waverly Christmas

            An American Journey