The Early Years…
Born In New York City, June majored In music at the exclusive Music and Art High School, and was then admitted to the world-famous Juilliard School of Music (rated by the U.S. News & World Report as being one of the most difficult colleges to get into, with a low acceptance rate of only 7%). Recognized in her adolescence as being a brilliant young talent with extraordinary vocal skills, she was then invited to take Master Classes in Opera, Concert and Art Songs at the prestigious Mozarteum In Salzburg.
The European Years…
As a young adult, June studied under the most famous opera singers and performers such as lngeborg Hallsteln, Warner Hollweg, Anneliese Rothenberger, lrmgaard Seefried, Professor Szamogi, Elinor Junker-Giesen, and Kammersinger Rudolf Knoll.
Her first year as a professional opera singer launched June into the limelight of the Salzburg Opera House, where she sang six leading roles in six different operas in her very first season. Her European career included no less that thirty three leading roles in opera, operetta and musical productions across Europe. Audiences loved her, and the most knowledgeable professional critics praised her fabulous vocal and performance skills. In particular, June has a deep connection with Mozart’s music, and is highly regarded for her distinctive renditions of his most difficult compositions. She sang Mozart’s operas and Lieder in festivals all over Europe, often in the company of celebrated singers such as Hans Hopp, Ciaire Watson, Sylvia Geszty, Werner Hollweg, and other well known artists. Notable also is the fact that June is not only celebrated for her magical vocal skills, but also for the quality of her acting and the way she puts her heart and soul into every performance.
South African Career…
June has a deep love of southern Africa, and has made her home here, dedicating herself to the development of arts in South Africa and to the musical education of its youth, including those from disadvantaged communities.
She recently released a wonderful CD ‘Diva in Africa, Classically Zulu.’ This exiting work, which held a spot in the classical Top Twenty play list for many months, is now enjoyed my music lovers all over the world. Using the latest production techniques, this exciting CD blends her superb classical voice with Zulu artists, performing a heady mixture of traditional Zulu music and great classical songs. The result is a moving and beautifully poignant celebration that integrates artistic abilities across communities.
June has performed for Nelson Mandela and many other African leaders, including FW de Klerk. She is welcomed as a classical recording artist on South African TV and Radio as well as appearing in many varied concerts and productions, private soirees and corporate events in South Africa and beyond. She has performed regularly as soloist with the Pretoria Bach Choir, under the leadership of Maestro Bruno Peyer, singing major Oratorio pieces such as Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and JS Bach’s St. John’s Passion.
June is currently working on several new CDs presenting music from across the world, using sources as diverse as traditional African song, the ‘Lieder’ of Mozart, and many contemporary sounds. This promises South African music lovers a rare treat as she combines her crystal clear, trained voice with more current music in pursuit of her love of the vocal arts.
June is a dedicated teacher, much loved by her students, and with a passion for supporting the artistic abilities of those who might not otherwise be able to develop their talents. She leads the June Kraus International Academy for the Performing Arts, and is currently establishing a competition to enhance and showcase the singing abilities of young performers; the first competition is scheduled for 2018/2019.