Concert broadcast to the Zeiss-Grossplanetarium
Concert from November 12th 2023 at Philharmonie Berlin
Ludwig van Beethoven
für Soli, Chor und Orchester D-Dur op. 123
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 performed 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.
Miah Persson - Soprano
Since her operatic debut as Susanna Le nozze di Figaro in 1998, Swedish soprano Miah Persson has distinguished herself as one of the world’s principal Mozart interpreters, leaving a lasting legacy on those lyric soprano roles for which she has become most celebrated: Susanna, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Sophie Der Rosenkavalier , Poppea L’Incoronazione di Poppea and later Fiordiligi Cosi fan Tutte , Donna Elvira Don Giovanni and Contessa Le nozze di Figaro. Having ‘added a burnish of gold to the silvery soprano that served her so well in Mozart roles’ (The Sunday Times), Miah has now ‘cemented her place as one of the most intelligent Strauss sopranos of our time at the peak of her powers’ (Bachtrack), with impactful role debuts as the Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier and Countess Capriccio.
In the 2021-22 season Miah made her house and role debut as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Semperoper Dresden, followed by Countess Almaviva in Netia Jones’ new production at the Opéra National de Paris. Equally as treasured a performer on the concert platform, she performed Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with both the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta and at Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin conducted by Simone Young; Mahler Symphony No. 2 with Orchestre National de Lyon and Stockholm Swedish Radio Orchestra and Mahler Symphony No. 4 at the BBC Proms with BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Ryan Bancroft. Highlights of the 2022-23 season include a return to the role of the Governess Turn of the Screw with Budapest Festival Orchestra in Budapest and Vicenza; Countess Almaviva in the first revival of Opéra National de Paris’ new production of Le nozze di Figaro at the Palais Garnier; the role of Solomon’s Queen in a tour of Handel’s Solomon with Harry Bicket and The English Concert, performing at Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, San Francisco, London and Madrid; Missa Solemnis with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; Haydn’s Creation with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal cond. Bernard Labadie and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Orchestre National de Lyon cond. Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider. Miah also returns to Michel van der Aa’s Blank Out, a chamber opera for soprano and 3D film, for performances at Zellerbach Hall, Cal Performances Berkeley and at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam.
Throughout her distinguished career, Miah has performed Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte , Gretel Hansel und Gretel and Pamina Die Zauberflöte at the Metropolitan Opera; Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro and Zerlina Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; title role L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Governess Turn of the Screw at Teatro alla Scala; Fiordiligi, Sophie and Susanna at the Wiener Staatsoper; Governess, Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira and Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress at the Glyndebourne Festival; Donna Elvira at the Theatre Champs Elysées and the Liceu Barcelona; Fiordiligi at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, New National Theatre Tokyo, Bayerische Staatsoper, in Stockholm and for a Deutsche Grammophon recording at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; Iris Sunken Garden for Dallas Opera and L’Incoronazione di Poppea at Carnegie Hall. She also created the central role in Michel van der Aa’s Blank Out for the Netherlands Opera with performances in Amsterdam, Rome and the Park Avenue Armory, New York.
In concert, Miah has sung Bach Mass in B Minor at Teatro La Fenice; Bach St Matthew Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic; Beethoven 9 with the London Symphony Orchestra cond. Vladimir Jurowski at the BBC Proms; Brahms Requiem with the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Gulbenkian Foundation and the London Philharmonic; Peer Gynt with the Vienna Symphony; Nelson Mass at the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg; The Seasons with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic; Mahler 2 with the MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, London Symphony, Teatro alla Scala and the Philharmonie Luxembourg; Mahler 4 with the Basque National Orchestra, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Orchestre National de Lille; Des Knaben Wunderhorn for the Gulbenkian Foundation; Mozart Requiem with the LA Philharmonic; Schumann Faust Szenen with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Vier letzte Lieder with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orkester Berlin, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Montreal Symphony Orchestra; The Creation at the Verbier Festival as well as recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Pierre Boulezsaal, Spivey Hall, the Schubert Club of St Paul, Cal Performances at Berkeley, Vancouver Playhouse and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Miah Persson was appointed Hovsångerska, Court Singer, by H.M. the King of Sweden in 2011.
Samantha Hankey - Alto
With “much elegance and youthful tone” (Financial Times), mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey is increasingly lauded for her powerful stage presence, paired with a voice admired for its “dusky focus and hypnotic allure.” (The Times).
Hankey’s 2023-2024 season marks debuts in leading roles at the Royal Opera House (Dorabella, Così fan tutte), Detroit Opera (Fox, The Cunning Little Vixen), and Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Santuzza, Cavalleria Rusticana). She performs as soloist with Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette (Met Live in HD) and Opernhaus Zürich as Dorabella in Così fan tutte.
Last season, Hankey appeared in Ainadamar at Scottish Opera, made debuts at Santa Fe Opera (Mélisande, Pelléas et Mélisande) and Chicago Lyric Opera (Hänsel, Hänsel und Gretel), performed her Carnegie Hall recital debut, and starred as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at The Met (Live in HD). She held a Fest contract at the Bayerische Staatsoper from 2019-2021 and has performed at Den Norske Opera, The Dallas Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Bard Festival, Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She co-developed the lead roles in David Herzberg’s The Rose Elf and The Wake World.
Hankey received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, followed by multiple prizes at the Glyndebourne Cup and Operalia Competitions, a Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and more.
Sebastian Kohlhepp - Tenor
The German tenor Sebastian Kohlhepp is one of the most established and versatile singers of his generation and is a much sought-after guest on international stages. In the 2022/23 season, engagements will take him to the Bavarian State Opera (‘Cosi fan tutte’), the Vienna State Opera (‘Die Zauberflöte’) and the Salzburg Easter Festival (‘Tannhäuser’). A special highlight will be his debut at La Scala in Milan, where he can be seen in early 2023 as Narraboth in Strauss’ ‘Salome’. Born in Limburg an der Lahn, Sebastian Kohlhepp received his first musical training in the boys’ choir there. His studies with Hedwig Fassbender in Frankfurt/Main were followed by permanent engagements at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Vienna State Opera and the Stuttgart Opera. He has been freelancing since the 2017/18 season.
Among the most important stations of the past years are, among others. his debut at the Zurich Opera House (Don Ottavio), Lehár’s ‘Giuditta’ and ‘Schön ist die Welt’ at the Bavarian State Opera, Tamino at the Semperoper Dresden, Castellucci’s ‘Requiem’ at the Palau de les Arts Valencia, Ferrando at the Dutch National Opera Amsterdam, his role debut as David in ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’ at the Salzburg Easter Festival, Belmonte at the Mozart Week Salzburg, Jason (‘Medea’) at the Stuttgart Opera and Tamino at the Theater an der Wien. Sebastian Kohlhepp is also in demand internationally as a concert singer. He works regularly with renowned orchestras such as the Staatskapelle Dresden, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphoniker Hamburg, Gürzenich Orchester Köln, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Collegium Vocale Gent, RIAS Kammerchor, NDR Chor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Collegium 1704, Gaechinger Cantorey and the conductors Ivor Bolton, Sylvain Cambreling, Teodor Currentzis, Adam Fischer, Pablo Heras-Casado, Philippe Herreweghe, Manfred Honeck, Kent Nagano, Andris Nelsons, Helmuth Rilling, François-Xavier Roth, Christian Thielemann, Lorenzo Viotti and Franz Welser-Möst. Invitations have taken him to the Salzburg Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, the Philharmonies of Paris, Berlin, Cologne and Essen, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Tonhalle Zurich, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Brucknerhaus Linz, Maison de la Radio Paris, NOSPR Katowice, Boston Symphony Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, the Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festivals and the Menuhin Festival Gstaad.
Numerous CD, DVD and radio recordings document Sebastian Kohlhepp’s versatile work. Most recently, a new recording of Bach’s ‘Mass in B minor’ (conducted by René Jacobs) was released on the French label Harmonia Mundi.
Tareq Nazmi - Basso
The bass Tareq Nazmi studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich with Edith Wiens and Christian Gerhaher and privately with Hartmut Elbert. First as a participant in the Opera Studio, then as a member of the ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera.
Bavarian State Opera, where he performed numerous different roles. In the 2022/23 season, Tareq Nazmi is expecting his role debut as Gurnemanz (Parsifal) at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as well as his house debut at the Vienna State Opera as King Heinrich (Lohengrin). He will also be heard as Hunding in a concert Ring under Marek Janowski in Dresden, returns to the Bavarian State Opera as Sarastro and appears at the Salzburg Mozart Week under Daniel Barenboim, with the Musikkollegium Winterthur under Roberto Gonzales- Monjas or the NDR Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck. Among the most important engagements of past seasons are his role debuts as Filippo II in Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Theater St. Gallen, as Banco in Verdi’s Macbeth at Antwerp Opera and as King Henry in a concert performance at the Tokyo Spring Festival, as well as Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, a tour of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem under the musical direction of Teodor Currentzis, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic under Daniel Barenboim or Beethoven’s Missa solemnis in Munich under Kirill Petrenko. In 2018, Tareq Nazmi was heard as the narrator in a new production of The Magic Flute with the Vienna Philharmonic under Constantinos Carydis at the Salzburg Festival, where he returned in the summer of 2022, this time as Sarastro. In 2017 he made his debut as Zaccaria in Verdi’s Nabucco in St. Gallen. As a sought-after concert soloist, Tareq Nazmi has a broad repertoire ranging from Bach to Beethoven, from Haydn to Brahms and from Mozart to Dvorak. He has worked with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Orchestre de Paris under Daniel Harding, the Orquestra Gulbenkian under Alain Altinoglu, the WDR Sinfonieorcher under Jukka-Pekka Saraste, the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin under Manfred Honeck or the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble under Thomas Hengelbrock. He has also performed under Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst and Kent Nagano. As a lied singer, Tareq Nazmi could recently be heard together with Gerold Huber at the Schubertiade Hohenems, in Munich, Cologne or at London’s Wigmore Hall. In 2023 he will perform Schubert’s Winterreise in Tokyo.
With around 60 concerts annually, numerous CDs and three Grammys, Rundfunkchor Berlin is one of the world’s foremost choruses. Its wide-ranging repertoire, flexible and richly nuanced sound, flawless precision and enthralling delivery have made it the chosen partner of the major orchestras and conductors in its home city but also internationally, where it functions as a musical ambassador for Berlin in the great concert halls of the world. It is so much more than just a concert and studio chorus.
Along with its symphonic choral central repertoire, Rundfunkchor Berlin is constantly forging new paths by means of projects that burst the bounds of the classical concert format and allow choral music to interact with other art forms. The choreographic realization of the Brahms Requiem as “human requiem” by Jochen Sandig with Sasha Waltz & Guests represents a milestone. Following acclaimed performances in Brussels, Taipei and Hong Kong, the work was performed during the 2016-17 season in Berlin, New York and South America. In Christian Jost’s LOVER, a music-theatre piece premiered in 2014 in Berlin’s Kraftwerk, Western symphonic choral music meets a traditional Asian percussion ensemble. In its most recent project, “cosmic lights”, in 2016, Rundfunkchor Berlin presented a multimedia programme based on celestial phenomena including the Northern Lights.
Rundfunkchor Berlin is constantly developing new and unusual ways of experiencing choral music and stimulating choruses all over the world to follow its lead. In formats such as the Sing-Along Concert in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Liederbörse (Song Exchange) for Berlin’s school choirs and the project Hand in Hand, it is working intensively with committed amateur choirs. With its International Master Class for choral conducting and the Academy and Schola for young singers, it is fostering the next generation of professionals. And to help make singing an intrinsic component of the primary school day, it created the initiative SING! in 2011.
Founded in 1925, the chorus celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015. Since its inception, it has been shaped by conductors like Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe (1982-93), Robin Gritton (1994-2001) and Simon Halsey (2001-15). At the beginning of 2015-16 season, Gijs Leenaars assumed the position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Director. Simon Halsey retains his ties to Rundfunkchor Berlin as Conductor Laureate and Guest Conductor. Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre GmbH Berlin and is sponsored by Deutschlandradio, the German Federal Republic, the state of Berlin and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.
Gijs Leenaars - Chorus Master
As of the 2015/16 season Gijs Leenaars has taken up his post as new Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Rundfunkchor Berlin.
Ever since he successfully cooperated with outstanding conductors such as Simon Rattle, Christian Thielemann, John Eliot Garniner and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
In October 2017 he took over the musical direction for the genre crossing Concert performance “LUTHER dancing with the gods” with music by Bach, Nystedt and Reich in Berlins new Pierre Boulez Saal, the choir’s very first collaboration of Rundfunkchor Berlin with the renowned director Robert Wilson.
Moreover he directed a celebrated a capella programme in Autumn 2016 at the White Light Festival of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York as well as the choirs first-ever Tour through South America to Brasil, Chile and Argentina with the Brahms and Mozart-Requiem as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Born in 1978 in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Leenaars is regarded as one of the most exciting choral conductors of the younger generation. He studied the piano, choral and orchestral conducting as well as singing in Nijmegen and Amsterdam. Directly upon completing his studies he embarked on a collaboration with the Netherlands Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor) in Hilversum.
From 2012 to 2015 he was the ensemble’s Principal Conductor, working with such leading conductors as Mariss Jansons, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink and Valery Gergiev. He is a regular guest conductor of the Collegium Vocale of Ghent, Cappella Amsterdam and Netherlands Chamber Choir
and has also conducted orchestras including the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, The Hague Philharmonic and Turin Philharmonic.
One of his special interests is contemporary music: Gijs Leenaars conducted the Dutch premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s „Vigilia” and prepared the choral works of György Kurtág with the Netherlands Radio Choir for a complete recording under Reinbert de Leeuw. His strikingly imaginative programming brings together the classics of the choral repertoire with seldom performed works from all periods.
Enjoy symphony concerts with a view of the starry sky in the Zeiss Grand Planetarium – heavenly sounds in the truest sense of the word.