German mezzo Cornelia Kallisch began her musical career as an instrumentalist (violin and piano) before fully concentrating on singing. She studied a. o. with Josef Metternich and graduated at the opera studio of the Bavarian State Opera. Other teachers of hers were Siglind Bruhn and especially Anna Reynolds who was of great influence to her artistic development. Meanwhile Cornelia Kallisch teaches and leads master classes herself.

At the beginning of her career, Cornelia Kallisch focused on oratorios of Bach, Händel and Mozart as well as on lied singing. A number of CD releases, amongst them songs of Dvorak, Mahler, Liszt and Brahms together with pianist Gabriel Dobner for Dabringhaus und Grimm, document this work. As a permanent member of the Zurich Opera, she has increasingly devoted herself to the operatic repertoire. Having started out performing all breeches parts from Mozart to Strauss, she meanwhile has established a strong reputation with more dramatic roles like Wagner’s Brangäne, Kundry, Fricka and Waltraute as well as roles in rare works like Zemlinsky’s Der Kreidekreis (Yü Pei), Glinka’s Aus dem Leben des Zaren Susanin (Wanja) and Mussorgsky’s Chowanschtschina (Marfa). One of her favourite roles is Judith in Bartok’s Herzog Blaubarts Burg which she not only performed in numerous international stagings but also recorded with the SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart under Peter Eötvös (hänssler). Being a very experienced and committed performer of contemporary music, she appeared as Queen in the world premieres of Heinz Holliger’s highly acclaimed new opera Schneewittchen and HK Gruber’s opera Der Herr Nordwind, both in Zurich as well as Boesmann’s A Winter’s Tale in Brussels and Barcelona.

In productions in Salzburg, Zurich, Paris and Milan she had big success as Alte Mutter Wesener in Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten. In 2014 she performed the role of Frau Knarre in the world premiere of Marc-André Dalbavie’s opera Charlotte Salomon at the Salzburg Festival. 2016 she took part in the project of Bach cantatas Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht, which was staged by Peter Konwitschny and performed at the Bergen International Festival, at the Theater Chur and Theater Trier.

Cornelia Kallisch has appeared with leading conductors such as Blomstedt, von Dohnányi, Iván and Adam Fischer, Gielen, Harnoncourt, Maazel, Marriner, Nagano, Norrington, Rilling, Sawallisch and Welser-Moest, Ingo Metzmacher and Armin and Philippe Jordan and with renowned orchestras, including Munich and Berlin Philharmonic, all German radio orchestras, Vienna Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As a concert singer, Cornelia Kallisch focusses on the romantic orchestral lied repertory and contemporary music (Zemlinsky, Wagner, Schoenberg, Holliger). She is especially devoted to the works of Mahler and recorded numerous works of him, such as Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the SWF Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg under Michael Gielen with hänssler classic and Mahler’s 2nd and 3rd Symphony, both with the SWF Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden under Michael Gielen and with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Armin Jordan. More CD-recordings are Othmar Schoeck’s Lieder by Jecklin (piano: Till Körber), César Franck’s Les Béatitudes and Zemlinsky’s Maeterlinck Lieder with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Armin Jordan. EMI published Hartmann's Symphony No. 1 with the Bamberg Symphony under the direction of Ingo Metzmacher and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Wolfgang Sawallisch. Also, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Bach Collegium Stuttgart and the Gächinger Kantorei under Helmuth Rilling as well as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under Roger Norrington were released by hänssler classics, to name but a few of her numerous CDs.