Psalm 23 for mixed choir and orchestra, op. 14
“Pilgrim’s Song” for baritone and string orchestra, based on text from Psalm 121
“Our Father” for counter tenor and string orchestra
Johann Sebastian Bach
“Christen, ätzet diesen Tag” (Christians, engrave this day) – Cantata no. 63 for soloists, boys choir and orchestra, BWV 63
(Zum 1. Weihnachtstag)
“Dwadzieścia kolęd” (20 Christmas carols) for soprano, girls choir and orchestra
“Une Cantate de Noël”
for bass-baritone, choir of children, mixed choir, organ and orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since 2017. He has meanwhile extended his contract until 2027. In parallel, he has been General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich since 2021.
After receiving training at the Moscow Conservatory The conductor, pianist and musicologist Vladimir Jurowski emigrated to Germany in 1990. Here he continued his studies at the music conservatories in Dresden and Berlin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the British Wexford Festival with Rimski-Korsakov’s Mainacht and in the same year at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Nabucco. Subsequently he was, among other things, First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997- 2001) and Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001-2013). In 2003 Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and has been its Principal Conductor since 2007 until 2021. He was also Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra Yevgeny Svetlanov of the Russian Federation until 2021, Artistic Director of the International George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. He works regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the ensemble unitedberlin.
Vladimir Jurowski has conducted the major orchestras of Europe and North America, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
He is a recurring guest conductor in in London, Berlin, Dresden, Luzern, Schleswig-Holstein und Grafenegg as well as at the Rostopowitsch-Festival. Although Vladimir Jurowski is invited as a guest conductor by top orchestras from all over the world, in future he would like to concentrate his activities on that geographical area which is acceptable to him from an ecological point of view.
In 2022/2023 he will perform with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in concerts in various cities in Germany, Italy and Antwerp in the Netherlands. The joint CD recordings of Vladimir Jurowski and the RSB began in 2015 with Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3, followed by works by Britten, Hindemith, Strauss, Mahler and soon again Schnittke.
Vladimir Jurowski has been the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, including various international record prizes. In 2016, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Prince Charles at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards named him Conductor of the Year. In summer 2020, Jurowski was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Romanian President in recognition of his work as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival.
Olga Pasichny - Soprano
Olga Pasichnyk (Pasiecznik wurde in der Ukraine geboren. Sie studierte Klavier und Musikpädagogik im heimatlichen Rivne sowie Gesang am Konservatorium in Kiew und an der Chopin Academy of Music in Warschau. 1992 wirkte sie als Solistin an der Warschauer Kammeroper.
Mit größtem Erfolg sang sie Rollen in Opern von Monteverdi, Pergolesi, Gluck, Händel, Mozart, Weber, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Debussy und Tschaikowsky, und in Werken zeitgenössischer Komponisten in Europa, Australien, Kanada, Japan und den USA.
Olga Pasichnyk gibt zahlreiche Konzerte bei internationalen Musikfestivals und in den großen Konzert- und Theaterhäusern, wie der Opéra National de Paris – Opéra Bastille, Palais Garnier, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre Châtelet, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Berliner Konzerthaus, Teatro Real, Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), Bayerische Staatsoper, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Theater an der Wien, Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria), Grand Théâtre de Genève, Finnish National Opera, Flemish Opera und Polish National Opera. Eine Zusammenarbeit verbindet sie mit dem belgischen und polnischen National Philharmonic Orchestra, dem Polish National Radio Orchestra, RTVE, Orquesta Nacional de España (Spain), Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra, orchestras Sinfonia Varsovia (Poland), National Philharmonic of Russia, of Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence), Wiener Symphoniker, L’Orchestre de Radio France, L’Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Colonne (Paris), Das Neue Orchester (Cologne), La Grande Ecurie et La Chambre du Roy and Les Musiciens du Louvre – Grenoble (France), The English Concert, European Union Baroque Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Vocale, Collegium Vocale Gent, Collegium Novum Zürich, Orchestra of 18th Century, unter dem Dirigat von H. Bicket, I. Bolton, F. Brüggen, J.-C. Casadesus, M. Creed, R. Jacobs, R. Goodman, H. Holliger, Ph. Herreweghe, K. Kord, J.-C. Malgoire, J. Maksymiuk, A. de Marchi, M. Minkowski, P. McCreesh, J. Nelsson, P. Neumann, K. Ono, S. Oramo, A. Parrot, K. Penderecki, T. Pinnock, M. Soustrot, A. Spering, C. Spering, M. Viotti, A. Wit und M. Zanetti.
Olga Pasichnyk ist Preisträgerin der International Vocal Competition in s’Hertogen-bosch (1994, 2. Preis), der Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki (1999, 2. Preis) und The Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition (2000, 3. Preis, Publikumspreis und Sonderpreis Oratorium). Sie erhielt 1997 und 2004 den Fryderyk, den höchsten Preis der polnischen Phonoindustrie, in der Kategorie „Beste Soloeinspielung“ mit Werken von Szymanowski und Lutoslawski, 1999 den Orfeusz beim Warsaw Autumn Festival und 2001 den Golden Cross of merit of Poland sowie 2004 den A. Hiolski’s Preis für die beste weibliche Opernrolle der Mélisande in Debussys Pelléas et Mélisande an der Polish National Opera.
Im Jahr 2005 wurde sie vom Magazin „Opernwelt“ als beste Opernsängerin in der Rolle der Almirena (Rinaldo) und 2009/2010 in der Rolle der Roxana (Król Roger) nominiert. 2006 erhielt Sie den Münchner Opernfestspiel-Preis und 2011 den Award of the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage sowie 2012 den Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
Olga Pasichnyk nahm über 50 CDs und DVDs für unterschiedlichste Labels auf, u.a. DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM, Harmonia Mundi, NAXOS und OPUS 111.
Jan Petryka - Tenor
Born in Warsaw into a family of musicians, Jan Petryka grew up in Linz, Upper Austria. Acquiring a solid base of music education at the Adalbert Stifter Gymnasium, he had a successful start as a cellist in Andreas Pözlberger’s class at the Bruckner Konservatorium Linz, winning numerous prizes in music competitions. He continued studying cello in Graz with Tobias Stosiek, graduating in 2008. Simultanously, he started taking singing classes with Gertrud Schulz, and successfuly applied for the singing department of „Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst“ in Vienna, where he graduated his Lied/Oratorio studies (Rotraud Hansmann/ Marjana Lipovšek) with distinction in 2012.
From his hearly days as a student, Jan Petryka has been involved in numerous projects, exploring Vienna‘s rich world of sacred music and Lied. Throughout countless performances he acquired experience and repertoire in that field, and had established himself early as a popular concert and oratorio singer.
The collaboration with renowned ensembles, including“ Arnold Schoenberg Chor“(led by Erwin Ortner), „Radiosymphonieorchester Wien“, „Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona“, „Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg“ (Ivor Bolton), Bruckner Orchester Linz (Dennis Russel Davies), „Les Musiciens du Louvre“ (Marc Minkowski), Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra (Uros Lajovic) strenghtened his position as an established european singer. In the city of his birth he made a memorable debut, singing J.S.Bach’s „Chirstmas Oratorio“ with the Warsaw Chamber Opera choir and orchestra. At his first „Lucerne Festival“ appearance Jan Petryka embodied the title role in Haendel’s „Belshazzar“, conducted by Marcus Creed.
Jan Petryka performed on numerous opera stages, as the „Wiener Staatsoper“ (W. Hiller: „Traumfresserchen“), „Teatro Communale die Ferrara“ (F. Bertoni: „L’Orfeo“) and „Theater an der Wien“(F. Schubert: „Lazarus“). As a member of the studio of Operá Lyon Jan Petryka seized the important opportunity to sing „Tamino“ and „1st armoured man“ in W.A. Mozart’s „Magic Flute“, as well as „Pietro“ and „Jüngling“ in Franz Schreker’s „Die Gezeichneten“.
An important pillar of Jan Petryka’s work is the epoch of Baroque. „Bach Consort Wien“, „Orchester der Wiener Akademie“, „L’Orfeo Barockorchester“, „Concerto Stella Matutina“, „La Chapelle Rhenane“(Strasbourg), „Solamente Naturali“ (Bratislava), „Collegium Vocale Luzern“, as well as “Arte dei Suonatori”(Wroclaw) are some orchestras of this genre, which appreciate Jan Petryka’s skills in style and coloratura. Numerous projects with the world-renowned ensemble “Cinquecento Renaissance Vokal” inprove his understanding of polyphony and early music, and expand his horizons of expression. His intense work on Lied and vocal chamber music led to important cooperations with Robert Holl, Helmut Deutsch, Pierre Laurent Aimard, Roger Vignoles, Matthias Lademann and David Lutz. Petryka gave his successful debut with a variety of Schubert‘s works at „Oxford Lieder Festival“, accompanied by Julius Drake, Sholto Kynoch and Deirdre Brenner. Being guest at other relevant festivals (“Internationaal Liedfestival Zeist”, “Brahmsfest Mürzzuschlag” or “Festival Cully Classique”) he succeeded to convince many audiences of his talent and devotion to Lied.
Forthcoming engagements in the season 2018(2019 comprise an extensive European tour with Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble with Mozart’s Requiem in Baden-Baden, Basel, Berlin, Brussels and Dortmund, Athens and Barcelona, Bologna and Pavia, Bach’s Magnificat in Tokyo as well as Gottfried von Einems “Der Prozess” in concert version at the Wiener Konzerthaus. As a recitalist, he will also join the prestigious Schubertiade Festival in Hohenems for chamber music ensemble recital.
His particular passion for contemporary music is expressed by close relations and regular work with some of its leading composers. Johanna Doderer, Kurt Schwertsik, Elisabeth Naske, as well as Tristan Schulze have contributed their works to Jan Petryka’s repertoire and dedicated many of them to this versatile lyrical tenor.
Christopher Purves - bass baritone
Highlights of his 2018/19 season include a return to Dutch National Opera as Creon in Enescu Oedipe in an iconic production by La Fura dels Baus. He also returns to Glyndebourne as Méphistophélès in a new Richard Jones staging of Berlioz La Damnation de Faust, and Opernhaus Zurich for Barry Kosky’s production of Die Gezeichneten conducted by Valdimir Jurowski.
Recent operatic highlights include Goloud in Stefan Herheim’s new production of Pelléas et Mélisande for Glyndebourne, the title role in Richard Jones’ new production of Don Giovanni for English National Opera, The Protector Written on Skin for the Royal Opera House, title role in Barrie Kosky’s production of Saul at the Adelaide Festival, Alberich Götterdämmerung for Houston Grand Opera, Gamekeeper The Cunning Little Vixen and the title role Saul for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, his debut at the Opera de Paris in Schoenberg Moses und Aron, Alberich Götterdämmerung at the Bayerische Staatsoper and in Siegfried with Canadian Opera Company and Houston Grand Opera, title role Gianni Schicchi at Opera North, Sharpless Madama Butterfly in his house debut at Chicago Lyric Opera, Balstrode Peter Grimes at Teatro alla Scala and Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore at the Salzburger Festspiele.
On the concert platform, recent highlights include a critically acclaimed Alberich in Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, Peasant in Schoenberg Gurrelieder with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, Acis and Galatea with La Nuova Musica, Mozart Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, St John Passion at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, St Matthew Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music, Elgar The Kingdom at the First Night of the BBC Proms with Sir Andrew Davies and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Masaaki Suzuki and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig; a European tour of Handel’s Messiah with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d’Astree. A keen recitalist, Purves works regularly with pianist Simon Lepper, and has appeared at the Aldeburgh Festival, Opera North and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge.
Purves has a great affinity for contemporary repertoire and has created roles in a number of notable premieres, most recently singing Walt Disney in the world premiere of Phillip Glass’ The Perfect American at Teatro Real Madrid and ENO. He also premiered George Benjamin’s Written on Skin to widespread critical acclaim and for composer Sir James Macmillan, Purves has created roles in The Sacrifice at Welsh National Opera, Ines de Castro at Scottish Opera and Parthenogenesis at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Purves’ extensive discography includes the title role in Le nozze di Figaro for Chandos, Handel Messiah and Saul with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan and Ricci’s La Prigione di Edimburgo for Opera Rara, Written on Skin with George Benjamin and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; and Mozart’s Requiem with Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Early in 2018 Purves’ second volume of Handel’s Finest Arias for Base Voice, was released on Hyperion with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen, to great critical acclaim, following the huge success of his debut solo disk in 2012.
Countertenor & Altus
Andreas Scholl - Countertenor & Altus
Born in Germany, Andreas Scholl’s early musical training was with the Kiedricher Chorbuben choir. He later studied under Richard Levitt and René Jacobs at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious ECHO Award for his composition for Deutsche Grammophon’s audio-book of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Nightingale.
Andreas has released a series of extraordinary solo recordings: the most recent being Wanderer – a disc of German Lied in partnership with pianist Tamar Halperin. Other notable releases include Bach cantatas with kammerorchesterbasel; O Solitude – an all-Purcell album with Accademia Bizantina, which won the 2012 BBC Music Magazine award; Arias for Senesino, Heroes – a disc of arias by Handel, Mozart, Hasse and Gluck; Robert Dowland’s A Musicall Banquet; Vivaldi Motets with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra; and Arcadia – a collection of rare and unpublished cantatas by composers from Rome’s Arcadian Circle. All of these recordings are released on Decca.
Andreas’ recorded work also includes Handel’s Solomon and Saul with Paul McCreesh for Deutsche Gramophon, and for Harmonia Mundi, Vivaldi Stabat Mater; Caldara’s Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo; and Crystal Tears – lute and consort songs by John Dowland. Andreas’ DVD releases include productions of Giulio Cesare (for both Decca and Harmonia Mundi), Rodelinda (Warner) and Partenope (Decca).
Operatic roles include the title role in Giulio Cesare at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the 2012 Salzburger Festspiele (opposite Cecilia Bartoli) and Bertarido (Rodelinda) at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Metropolitan Opera (opposite Renée Fleming). His concert performances have included appearances with Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Freiburger Barockorchester, the Academy of Ancient Music and at the 2005 Last Night of the Proms – the first counter-tenor ever to have been invited.
The Berliner Singakademie is one of the most important Oratorio Choirs in Germany. Performing choral symphonic works and a-cappella concerts, it is one of the leading musical institutions of the German capital.
The Choir was founded in 1963. Conceptually and artistically it belongs within the tradition of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, which was founded in 1791 by Carl Friedrich Fasch and Carl Friedrich Zelter. As a result of the division of Berlin, the old Sing-Akademie had to limit its activity to the western part of the city. This was particularly true after the 1961 construction of the Berlin Wall, through which the division of the city was solidified. Under these circumstances, the harpsichordist and politician Hans Pischner took the initiative in re-establishing a Singakademie for the eastern part of Berlin. The intention was to preserve the musical heritage of the oratorios of the GDR from the 18th and 19th centuries and not leave it solely to church choirs and professional choirs.
Since „bourgeois“ clubs were not allowed in the GDR, the choir needed an institutional connection. Pischner, who had become artistic director of the Deutsche Staatsoper in 1963, made a connection possible with the Opera. For the Berliner Singakademie this was a stroke of luck because not only could they rehearse in the premises of the Staatsoper, but also it led to sponsorships of some of the prominent vocal soloists from within the choir. Furthermore, Pischner managed to win over the then most famous choral conductor of the GDR, Helmut Koch, first to be director, and then artistic director. Koch held this position until his death in 1975; his successor was Dietrich Knothe. In 1989, Achim Zimmermann was appointed director of the Berliner Singakademie.
Since 1984, the majority of the Berliner Singakademie’s concerts have taken place in the Konzerthaus Berlin, the former Schauspielhaus (Playhouse) in the Gendarmenmarkt square. Other venues include the Berliner Philharmonie and its chamber music hall, the Nikolaikirche in Berlin-Mitte and the Gethsemanekirche in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg.
From the beginning, in addition to numerous works by different composers, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel and, above all, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy took up a large space in the repertoire of the choir. Achim Zimmermann is dedicated to continuing this tradition, as well as to cultivating 20th century choral music, a practice that was begun by his predecessor Dietrich Knothe, who made space for composers such as Honegger, Eisler, Martinů, Martin and Britten within rehearsal and concert output. Furthermore, attention is also devoted to contemporary music, as well as to early music, where the Berliner Singakademie is increasingly working with special ensembles such as the Ensemble WUNDERKAMMER. In addition to the performance of choral symphonic works, the choir attaches great importance to performing an a capella concert at least once a year.
In 2002, the oratorio Medea in Corinth by Georg Katzer (libretto by Christa and Gerhard Wolf) premiered; a re-performance took place in 2015. In 2014, Das Glück by Helmut Zapf, named after the eponymous poem by Friedrich Schiller, was premiered. Both are commissioned works of the Berliner Singakademie.
The Berliner Singakademie has already performed in many countries: guest appearances in the former Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia were followed after 1989 by concert tours to Spain, France, Israel, Scotland, Italy, Japan and Brazil. More recently, in 2015 the choir performed in South Africa (including, amongst others, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis) and in 2017 performed in Latvia (including Mendelssohn’s Oratorio Paulus).
In Berlin, the choir works together with outstanding vocal soloists and almost all major orchestras in the city. Permanent partners are the Konzerthausorchester (Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra), the Komische Oper Berlin (Berlin Comic Opera) and the Kammerakademie Potsdam (Potsdam Chamber Orchestra).
Collaborations have also occurred with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker. The choir has also worked together with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Killill Petrenko, Helmuth Rilling, Vladimir Jurowski, Paul McCreesh, Peter Schreier and Markus Poschner. The Berliner Singakademie also collaborates with other oratory choirs, especially with the Berlin Philharmonic Choir. Since 2005, both choirs have been coming together at intervals for the performances of those choral symphonic works that require a very large ensemble.
The Berlin Girls Choir was founded in 1986 at the protestant Lindenkirche in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. It is the oldest and largest choir school for girls in Berlin, and today it is part of the Academy of Music City West. Around 180 girls and young women, aged between 5 and 28, are singing in five groups. The girls in the concert choir (13 to 22 years) as the school’s target rehearse twice a week and also get voice training or singing lessons.
The choir’s repertoire comprises polyphonic literature for equal voices from all eras. A special focus lays on premieres of contemporary compositions. The girls regularly take part in projects of well-known Berlin concert choirs, radio choirs and orchestras and already performed under Hans-Christoph Rademann, Claudio Abbado, Ingo Metzmacher, Roger Norrington and Charles Dutoit. The choir groups also contribute to the Sunday concert series of the Berlin choir association at the Chamber Music Hall and to the vocal festival chor@berlin at Radialsystem V.
Moreover, the concert choir participates in international competitions and festivals where it gained several 1st and 2nd prizes. The Berlin Girls Choir also maintains partnerships with girls choirs from all over the world, Concert tours recently took it to Japan (2012), Denmark and Sweden (2015), Israel (2016) and Cyprus (2017).
The Berlin Girls Choir has already recorded seven CDs of its own.
Sabine Wüsthoff - Chorus Master
Since 1998 the Berlin Girls Choir has been directed by the conductor, composer and musical pedagogue Sabine Wüsthoff. Born in Berlin, she successfully completed an education as a sports and gymnastic teacher, before she graduated studying music at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media which she finished with a state examination.
In workshops and master courses, she specialized as choir director and orchestra conductor. Besides the Berlin Girls Choir, Sabine Wüsthoff also conducts the Schöneberg chamber orchestra which was founded by her, as well as the vocal ensemble Canto Berlin.
She regularly gives courses for choir directors and conductors with the focus on body action and creativity. In 2003, Sabine Wüsthoff obtained the conductors’ prize of the International Johannes-Brahms-Competition Wernigerode, and in 2008, she won the first prize in a competition of composers of the RIAS Chamber Choir. In 2015, the Berlin choir association assigned the Mendelssohn-Medal to her for outstanding merits for choir music in Berlin.
Knaben des Staats- und Domchores Berlin
Kai-Uwe Jirka - Chorus Master
Kai-Uwe Jirka is a professor of choral conducting and the director of the “Staats- und Domchor” at the “Universität der Künste Berlin”. Since 2006, he has also served as artistic director of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin.
He prepared choirs for productions under the artistic direction of Kent Nagano, Claudio Abbado and Sir Simon Rattle. In cooperation with the lautten compagney he has led the premieres of many lesser-known 18th century works from the archive of the Sing-Akademie.
Another focus of his work lies in the field of contemporary music. In recent years, he has conducted premieres of works by composers like Luke Bedford, Jörg Birkenkötter and Katia Tchemberdji.
The perfect mood-setter for Christmas Eve
Concert introduction: No pre-concert talk
Emmanuel Tjeknavorian & Anna Vinnitskaya
Chatschaturjan, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgski
Hensel-Mendelssohn, Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Anna Rakitina & Behzod Abduraimov
Janáček, Prokofiev, Dvořák