Schiøtz, Aksel

Danish tenor, 1906 - 1975

Biographical notes:

He was born in Roskilde near Copenhagen. He studied modern languages and became a teacher. He had a fine tenor voice which he loved to display at parties and in church. Mogens Wöldike, a choral conductor, made him a tenor member of the “Copenhagen Male Choir” and he was soon entrusted with oratorio solos. He studied with Agnete Zacharias, Valdemar Lincke and John Forsell  who was the teacher of Jussi Björling. He married in 1931. He gave his first song recital in 1936. In 1938 he was discovered by the recording company His Master’s Voice. In 1940 Denmark was seized by Hitler. International activities had to be postboned. Because of his successful recordings, he became one of the best loved classical singers. He appeared in opera and operetta and gave recitals all over the country. After the war he was invited to record “Die schöne Müllerin” and “Dichterliebe” with Gerald Moore. He also appeared in the first performances of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne opposite Kathleen Ferrier. He also sang film-songs and in musicals. In 1946 Aksel Schiøtz survived a tumor of the acoustic nerve which had to be operated, but it left the right hand side of his face partly paralysed. He suceeded by sheer will-power to sing in a comeback recital in 1948. In 1955 he entered a new career as a professor at the universities of Minnesota, Toronto and Colorado. He gave master classes in the USA and was regarded as an excellent teacher. He died in 1975.


Recordings: (selection)

The Complete Aksel Schiøtz Recordings 1933 - 1946 (10 CDs)


Vol. 1: Oratorio and Mozart Arias (1940 - 1945)

Vol. 2: Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin” (1945) and rare Grieg (1943)

Vol. 3: Schumann’s “Dichterliebe” and songs by Brahms, Grieg and Bellmann (1946)

Vol. 4: Hidden Treasure Records incl. unfinished “Schöne Müllerin” (1939/40) and Mozart test recording

Vol. 5: Romances by Weyse and Scandinavian Lute Songs

Vol. 6: Danish Golden Age (incl. excerpts from Weyse film 1940)

Vol. 7: Songs of Summer and Danish Recordings (1942 - 1945)

Vol. 8: Romances by Heise and Danish Recordings (1942 - 1945)

Vol. 9: “Farinelli” and Light Orchestral Songs (incl. rare popular Music 1933 - 1938)

Vol. 10: The Complete Carl Nielsen Recordings (incl. rare alternative recordings)

Danish Songs by Nielsen, Reesen, Agerby, Heise


Schubert - Die schöne Müllerin (G. Moore)


Mike Richter’s Opera Page: The Record of Singing Vol. 4



His great artistry have become increasingly appreciated in recent years because Danacord released his complete recordings.

In my opinion, he is one of the most musical  and stylistic singers. There is a unique inward passion and an illuminating power in his singing.

His Bach and Handel recordings belong to his most wonderful achievements. The fluency of passagework in Messiah and the Christmas Oratorio shows a virtuoso’s mastery (at his time the Bach style was without use of appogiature or other embellishments).

I admire his Lieder recordings. Die Schöne Müllerin, Dichterliebe, the songs by Nielsen - his interpretations are true treasures and have become classic performances.

 Comfort ye (Messiah / Handel / HMV 1940)


Danacord’s ten-volume compact disc edition received the “Historical Award of Gramophone’s International Classical Record Collector” in 1998