El Niño – A Modern Christmas Oratorio
“El Niño” – Christmas oratorio for soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass-baritone, three counter-tenors, children’s choir, mixed choir 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.
Rosemary Joshua - Soprano
Welsh soprano Rosemary Joshua made her Royal Opera debut in 1994 as Poussette (Manon) and has since sung Countess Olga Sukarev (Fedora), Woglinde and Woodbird (Der Ring des Nibelungen), Lisette (La rondine in concert), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Angelica (Orlando), Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) and Despina (Così fan tutte).
Joshua was born in Cardiff and sang with local youth choirs as a child. She studied at the Royal College of Music and began her career with English National Opera. Joshua is particularly known for her interpretations of Handel heroines, her roles including Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare in Egitto), Ginevra (Ariodante), Nitocris (Belshazzar), Poppea (Agrippina) and Semele for companies including ENO, Bavarian State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and the Aix-en-Provence and Innsbruck festivals, among others. Other engagements include the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen for La Scala, Milan, Opéra national du Rhin and Dutch National Opera, Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for La Scala, Anne Trulove for La Monnaie, Brussels, and Glyndebourne, Oscar and Helen in the world premiere of Trojahn’s Orest for Dutch National Opera, Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) with Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) for Welsh National Opera and Bavarian State Opera.
Joshua has performed in concert with period instrument orchestras and ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Gabrieli Consort and The English Concert, and with symphony orchestras worldwide.
Verena Usemann - Mezzosopran
Hamburg-born mezzo-soprano Verena Usemann performed a great variety of the lyrical mezzo repertoire as an ensemble-member of the Landestheater Coburg 2010-2017. She appeared as Rosina (Der Barbier von Sevilla), Varvára (Káťa Kabanová), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Olga (Yevgény Onégin) as well as in the leading role of Handel’s Rinaldo.
During the 2013/2014 season Verena was nominated for “Nachwuchssängerin des Jahres” (young artist of the year) by Opernwelt for her performances of Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande) and Orpheus (Orfeo ed Euridice).
Following maternity leave, she returned to the stage in 2016 as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Dido (Dido and Aeneas) and was critically acclaimed for her interpretations of Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro ) and The Raven by Toshio Hosokawa (German premier).
From 2008-2010 Usemann was engaged at the Theater für Niedersachsen (Hildesheim) where she started building up her repertoire with Frau Reich (Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor), Mercedes (Carmen), Zaida (Il Turco in Italia), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Prinz Orlowsky (Die Fledermaus), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel) and Magdalene (Die Meistersinger).
Usemann also appeared as Hänsel with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in Doha and as Dorabella (Cosí fan tutte) at the Opernfestival Gut Immling.
The young mezzo-soprano takes special interest in contemporary music. In December 2018, she jumped in a Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin production at the Konzerthaus Berlin under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski singing the mezzo part of John Adams´ “El Niño“.
She has performed with the LINOS-Ensemble, the ensemble risonanze erranti as well as with the Kammerensemble für Neue Musik Berlin and made her debut with the NDR symphony orchestra in „Moses and Aron“ (A. Schönberg) 2017 at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Verena Usemann studied in Leipzig (Regina Werner-Dietrich), Vienna (Claudia Visca) and Berlin (Prof. Robert Gambill) and graduated summa cum laude. The foundations of her musical education were years of training in cello and piano as well as her membership of the children’s choir at the Staatsoper Hamburg.
Since 2018 she has been working freelance and is based in Berlin.
Davóne Tines - Baritone
“In a just world, one in which fame was proportionate to talent, Davóne Tines would be as big a name as Kanye West” proclaimed KQED following concerts given with the San Francisco Symphony. Breakout performances were given on both sides of the Atlantic in 2015-16 when Davóne Tines made a Dutch National Opera debut in the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars. The bass-baritone was exalted by The Los Angeles Times as “the find of the season,” for performances of works by Caroline Shaw and Kaija Saariaho with the Calder Quartet and with members of ICE at the Ojai Music Festival.
Performances of 2018-19 include the world premiere of The Black Clown by composer Michael Schachter with a libretto adapted from the Langston Hughes poem by Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter; presented by the American Repertory Theater, The Black Clown – in a production directed by Zack Winokur – is a music theater experience that animates a black man’s resilience against America’s legacy of oppression by fusing vaudeville, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Hughes’ verse to life onstage. Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains returns to Davóne Tines’ calendar in performances at the Teatro Real and Lincoln Center and John Adams’ El Niño serves his debut with Vladimir Jurowski conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. The artist reprises his acclaimed portrayal of Ned Peters in the European premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West at Dutch National Opera and he assays the title role of Henze’s El Cimarrón in a new production by Zack Winokur at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in collaboration with the American Modern Opera Company. Davóne Tines makes a debut at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the world premiere of Fire Shut Up In My Bones by the creative team of Terance Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons and symphonic appearances of the season include concerts with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, and Aram Demirjian leading the Kansas City Symphony.
Davóne Tines made a San Francisco Opera debut in 2017-18 in the world premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West, a debut at the Opéra national de Paris in Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars, and a debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the role he originated in a production of Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing directed by multi Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus. He bowed in performances of Handel’s rarely staged serenata, Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo at National Sawdust in a new production by Christopher Alden that examined parallels between an 18thcentury telling of Ovid’s mythological tale and our own contemporary aesthetic driven by power, class, race, and the cruelty of thwarted desire. Other appearances of the season included a debut at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Coming Together by Frederic Rzewski and Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri, both under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a fully-staged production by Peter Sellars.
Highlights of past seasons include John Adams’ El Niño under the composer’s baton with the London Symphony Orchestra in London and in Paris as well as with Grant Gershon conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bruckner’s Te Deum with Christopher Warren-Green and the Charlotte Symphony, Kaija Saariaho’s True Fire with the Orchestre national de France, and a program exposing the Music of Resistance by George Crumb, Julius Eastman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Caroline Shaw with conductor Christian Reif and members of the San Francisco Symphony at SoundBox. On the opera stage, Davóne Tines has debuted at Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in a new production of Oedipus Rex led by Leo Hussain and at the Finnish National Opera in Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars.
Davóne Tines is a founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) and the recipient of the 2018 Emerging Artists Award given by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He was graduated from Harvard University and received a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.
Daniel Bubeck - Countertenor
American countertenor Daniel Bubeck has emerged as a singer of international distinction. Making his professional debut to critical acclaim in the world premiere of John Adams’s El Niño at the Théâtre Musical de Paris-Châtelet, directed by Peter Sellars, Mr. Bubeck has performed El Niño in over twenty productions on four continents. In 2012 Mr. Bubeck was honored to premiere another role in John Adams’ Passion oratorio,The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. In 2013 he performed the work in an international tour of a staged version directed by Peter Sellars as well as recorded the work for Deutsche Gramophone.
Throughout his career Mr. Bubeck has been a featured soloist with such esteemed orchestras as the London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, BBC Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester-Berlin, Radio Filharmonisch Holland, Adelaide Festival, St. Louis Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Estonian National Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony and Royal Flemish Philharmonic. He has had the extreme privilege of collaborating with world-renowned conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Christopher Hogwood and Nicholas McGegan.
Upcoming performances include a new production of Adams’ Gospel According to the Other Mary at the English National Opera, directed by Peter Sellars, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles and Handel’s Messiah with the Charlotte Symphony and Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Hawaii Opera Theater.
Recent performances include El Niño at the 2014 Spoleto Festival USA, Hobart Baroque Festival, Ravinia Festival and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
A noted Handelian, Mr. Bubeck has interpreted numerous operatic and oratorio roles including Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo, Solomon, Arsamene (Serse), David (Saul), Guido (Flavio) Armindo (Partenope), Tauride (Arianna in Creta), Didymus (Theodora), Fernando (Rodrigo), Israel in Egypt and Messiah for companies including New York City Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Opera Mission, Carmel Bach Festival, St. Thomas Fifth Ave and Opera Vivente.
Other career highlights include excerpts from Phillip Glass’ Akhnaten with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by John Adams, Henze’s Das verratene Meer with the Tokyo Symphony, the role of Oberon in Britten’sA Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Princeton Festival, the American Premiere of Lost Objects with Concerto Köln, music by David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon, a recital tour in China with the Suzaka Trio,Messiah and St. Matthew Passion with American Bach Soloists, Carmina Burana in São Paulo, Brazil and New York City Opera’s VOX series.
Daniel Bubeck can be heard on recordings of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, (Deutsche gramophone), El Niño (Nonesuch CD /Art Haus Musik DVD),The New Four Seasons with Musica Sequenza (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Sony Music) and on the soundtrack of the Warner Brothers thriller,I Am Legend, music by James Newton Howard.
A native of Wilmington, Delaware, he holds Doctorate and Masters degrees in voice from Indiana University, a Performance Diploma and Opera Certificate from Peabody Conservatory and a Bachelors of Music from the University of Delaware. During the 2013/14 school year Dr. Bubeck was on the voice faculty of Alabama University in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Brian Cummings - Countertenor
Brian Cummings, countertenor, sang the premiere of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary in 2012 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. He made his professional debut in the premiere of John Adams’ El Niño in Paris and has appeared in performances of this piece throughout the world including Carnegie Hall, English National Opera, the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Estonian National Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, the Adelaide Festival, the Tokyo Symphony and most recently at the Spoleto Festival USA.
He has worked under such conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Robert Spano, David Robertson, John Adams, Tõnu Kaljuste and Kent Nagano. He recently appeared in the title role of Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Opera Fuoco under David Stern. Mr. Cummings collaborates regularly with director Timothy Nelson including singing the role of David in Charpentier’s David et Jonathas, Hamor in Handel’s Jephtha, and Iarbo/Corebo in Cavalli’s Didone. He has also appeared as a soloist at the Washington and Bloomington Early Music Festivals. He has sung with Paul Hillier in Theatre of Voices and the Pro Arte Singers and can be heard on their recordings for harmonia mundi as well as the recording and DVD of El Niño.
In France, he sings with ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, Opera Fuoco, Ensemble Entheos, and Les Muses Galantes. Mr. Cummings currently resides in Paris where he studies with Guillemette Laurens. He studied Early Music at Indiana University working with Paul Elliott, Paul Hillier, and Nigel North. Recent engagements include John Adams’ El Niño and Gospel According to the Other Mary with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra in Amsterdam, Strasbourg and Cologne, the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphohny.
Steven Rickards - Countertenor
American counter-tenor, Steven Rickards, studied at the Baroque Performance Institute with Russell Oberlin in 1976. He is the first counter-tenor to receive a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Indiana University receiving the Performer’s Certificate in 1979. In 1981 Rickards received a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship and a Rotary International Grant for continued studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He also studied in Aldeburgh with Sir Peter Pears and Robert Spencer. He is currently completing his doctorate at Florida State University.
Steven Rickards, has received international acclaim as one of America’s finest counter-tenors. His appearances for the 1998-1999 season include performances throughout the USA and Spain with Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices; George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with the Portland Baroque Orchestra and the Indianpolis Chamber Orchestra; J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Miami Bach Society; J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) with the Barum Bach Choir in Oslo, Norway; J.S. Bach Cantatas BWV 102 and BWV 104 with the Dayton Bach Society and the American premiere performance of Michael Nyman’s Self-Laudatory Hymn of Inanna and Her Omnipotence with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Steven Rickards has become well known for his interpretations of the music of J.S. Bach. His frequent appearances with Joshua Rifkin and The Bach Ensemble include performances of the Magnificat (BWV 243) at Grant Park in Chicago and numerous performances of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) including those in Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Festival of Perth in Australia, and the Tage Alter Musik in Regensburg, Germany. He also performed J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with Joshua Rifkin at the Royal Albert Hall in London, a Promenade concert recorded by the BBC. Other performances of J.S. Bach’s works include the Mass in A (BWV 234) with Vocalisten Frankfurt in Germany and performances of the Christmas Oratorio with the Winchester Cathedral Choir in Brazil, a live broadcast of the work for National Public Radio with the Smithsonian Chamber Players. In 1997 he performed St. John Passion (BWV 245) with the Regensburger Domspatzen in Berlin and Munich, Germany.
Steven Rickards is also is frequently heard singing the works of G.F. Handel. He appeared in the Boston Early Music Festival’s production of Teseo in 1985. He also participated in several Handelian productions with Concert Royal including Alessandro at Alice Tully Hall and Terpichore in the role of Apollo with performances in New York, Dallas and Puerto Rico. He performed Balshazzar with Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire, Samson with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and Solomon with the Miami Bach Society. He also sang in productions of Partenope with Opera Omaha and Siroe at Merkin Hall in New York. Rickards has become well known for his creative interpretation of G.F. Handel’s Messiah which he has performed with leading Baroque orchestras including Toronto’s Tafelmusik, Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. Other performances of the oratorio include performances with modern orchestras in many major American cities as well a performance at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.
Highlights of the past few seasons include several 20th century premiere performances of Baroque works, including Matthew Locke’s Psyche in London with the English Opera Society, conducted by Philip Pickett; J.A. Hasse’s L’Olimpiade in Dresden with the Kammerchor Stuttgart; and the American premiere of Mondonville’s De Profundis at Harvard University. He celebrated his Australian debut in the Brisbane Biennial Festival with New York’s Ensemble for Early Music, performing the medieval Daniel and the Lions to sell-out crowds and rave reviews. He has also appeared with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque (1985-2000), Basically Bach and His Majesty’s Clerkes, Waverly Consort, Chanticleer (1985-1990), Capriole, American Bach Soloists, Gabrieli Consort , New London Consort, The King’s Noyse, Ensemble Oubache, Theatre of Voices (1990-1998), New York Baroque Dance Co. (1985-2008), Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra (1987-2010), Chorworks (an instructor of vocal studies and a counter-tenor performer with the ensemble: 2008-1010), Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis since 1994, counter-tenor in the Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, director of an annual music camp, “The Power of Song,” for your singers age 6-12, vocal instructor for the boys and girls of the choir); the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and such orchestras as the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has sung at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York and in France as a soloist with The Festival Singers under the direction of Robert Shaw.
Steven Rickards’s interest in contemporary music has inspired composers to write works for him. He created the role of Trinculo in the premiere of John Eaton’s opera The Tempest at the Santa Fe Opera in 1985. Since then he has premiered works by Alan Ridout and Allyson Applebaum. In October 1993 Rickards performed the world premiere of Ladislav Kubik’s Der Weg, an homage to Franz Kafka, at the Academy of Music in Prague.
With Lutenist Dorothy Linell, Steven Rickards has toured extensively throughout the USA and Central America giving concerts and master classes on Elizabethan song. They have been artists in residence at the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of Costa Rica. In the summer of 1989 they performed at the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s national convention in Los Angeles. In September 1991 they made their debut in the Wratislawia Cantans Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, and have also performed in festivals in Denmark and England. Their second solo album, Songs of Thomas Campian is soon to be released on the Naxos label.
Steven Rickards has now completed several recordings: several J.S. Bach’s Cantatas with Joshua Rifkin for Decca Records, J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) for the Smithsonian Institution, G.F. Handel’s opera Siroe for Newport Classic, G.F. Handel’s Messiah with Apollo’s Fire for Onda, several J.S. Bach’s Cantatas and the Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) with the American Bach Soloists for Koch, the Dietrich Buxtehude Project Vol.1 Sacred Cantatas for PGM, a recording of music by Henry Purcell and Benjamin Britten with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir for VAI, the Berlin Mass of Arvo Pärt with the Theatre of Voices directed by Paul Hillier for Harmonia Mundi, and an album of John Dowland songs entitled “Flow My Tears and Other Lute Songs” for Naxos.
Steven resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, and teaches singing at the University of Indianapolis where he has been Instructor of Vocal Studies (since August 1996) and Director of the Vocal Arts Institute/Adjunct Professor of Voice/ (since 1997). He has also been on the faculty of Butler University, where he taught singing and served as the vocal consultant to the Indianapolis Children’s Choir (1994-2010), and has served as Instructor of Vocal Studies (since August 1994) and Adjunct Professor of Voice (since 1995). In summer 2001 he served on the faculty of the Summer Music International Summer School at Ardingly College in England. He was Tutor at AIMS International Music School (2005-2013); Teacher at Private Vocal Studio (since 1988; Teacher of high school, middle school students and adults). Hae President and Founder (2009) of Echoing Air in Indianapolis, a dynamic ensemble specializing in the repertoire of the English Baroque, with an emphasis on chamber works featuring countertenor voices with Baroque ensemble. Since August 2010, he is also Instructor of Vocal Studies at Marian University Indianapolis.
Händel Children’s Choir of the Georg Friedrich Händel High School
Händel Children’s Choir of the Georg Friedrich Händel High School
Der Rundfunk-Kinderchor wurde 1955 von Manfred Roost ins Leben gerufen und entwickelte sich unter seiner Leitung, wie in zahllosen Rundfunk- und Schallplattenproduktionen bezeugt, schnell zu einem der führenden Kinderchöre der DDR.
1974 wurde der DEFA Kinderfilm „Bunnebacke“ gedreht, bei dem der Chor mitspielte. Im Jahr 1975 fand eine Chorreise nach Artek (Sowjetunion, Halbinsel Krim) statt. Der Chor sang u.a. auf der Eröffnungsfeier des neuen Friedrichstadt Palastes. Um 1973 – 1975 erhielt der Chor einen Nationalpreis.
In den letzten Jahren bestritt das Ensemble – neben dem traditionellen Weihnachtskonzert im Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt – viele chorsinfonische Aufführungen, Rundfunk- und CD-Produktionen mit Werken von Bach bis Bernstein, insbesondere aber auch von zeitgenössischen Komponisten. Die Zusammenarbeit mit renommierten Dirigenten wie Zubin Mehta, Michael Gielen, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Kent Nagano oder Claudio Abbado trug dabei ebenso zur Stilsicherheit des Chores bei wie die Auftritte mit dem Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, den Berliner Philharmonikern, dem Rundfunkchor Berlin oder dem RIAS-Kammerchor.
Konzertreisen führten den Chor bisher in viele Länder Europas, nach Japan, Taiwan und in die USA. Im Januar 2002 übernahm Carsten Schultze die Leitung des Rundfunk-Kinderchores.
With round about 60 concerts per season, CD-recordings and international guest performances the Rundfunkchor Berlin is one of the world’s outstanding choral ensembles. Three Grammy® Awards alone mark the success of the ensemble. The exceptional breadth of its repertoire, an unmistakable warm, richly nuanced sound, absolute precision and delight in experimentation all contribute to making it one of the chosen partners of international orchestras and conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, or Yannick NézetSéguin. It is the permanent partner of the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as of Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester and their Principal Conductors.
Rundfunkchor Berlin’s experimental project series has attracted great worldwide attention. In collaboration with artists from diverse disciplines, the chorus breaks down the classical concert formation and adopts new modes of choral music for a new audience. The interactive scenic version of Brahms’s »Ein deutsches Requiem« staged by Jochen Sandig and a team of Sasha Waltz & Guests – »human requiem« – became a milestone within the choir’s experimental repertoire with guest performances in New York, Hongkong, Paris, Adelaide and Istanbul. In its project »LUTHER dancing with the gods« the choir cooperated with director Robert Wilson and reflected upon Luthers impact within the arts in an extraordinary concert performance with music by Bach, Nystedt and Reich in march of 2017. In the season 2020/21 the Rundfunkchor Berlin presented the transdisciplinary project THE WORLD TO COME based on Beethovens »Missa solemnis«. Directed by Tilman Hecker, contemporary music genres are fusing with the masterpiece by Beethoven, guiding the audience on a musical journey into the world of tomorrow. National and international Artists including Moor Mother, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, Planningtorock, Colin Self and Birke J. Bertelsmeier, came together to realize the heart of the new season in Berlin’s Vollgutlager.
With its community projects for various target groups – the big Sing-along Concert in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Festival of Choral Cultures for international choirs and the Liederbörse (Song Exchange) for children and young people – Rundfunkchor Berlin invites people of all ages to become immersed in the world of singing. Its long-term education programme SING!, encourages singing in Berlin’s elementary schools as an ongoing staple in everyday classes. With its Academy and Schola for young professional singers as well as the Berlin International Masterclass for highly qualified young choral conductors it supports the next generation.
Founded in 1925 the choir celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015. Since its foundation the ensemble was shaped by conductors including Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe, Robin Gritton and Simon Halsey. As of season 2015/16 Gijs Leenaars has taken up his post as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Rundfunkchor Berlin. Simon Halsey was appointed Conductor Laureate and will retain his ties to the ensemble as regular guest conductor.
Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of RundfunkOrchester und -Chöre gGmbH Berlin (Shareholders: Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin and Radio BerlinBrandenburg).
Technik und Sound Design
Mark Grey - Technik und Sound Design
The music of American composer Mark Grey has been commissioned or premiered by such organizations as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, National Opera of Belgium La Monnaie | de Munt Opera, Carnegie Hall, CalPerformances, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Kronos Quartet, Berkeley Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, California Symphony, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Meet The Composer and others, along with festivals at Ravinia, Cabrillo, OtherMinds, Perth International, and Spoleto.
Mr. Grey has been commissioned by the National Opera of Belgium La Monnaie | de Munt Opera to write an evening length grand opera to premiere in March 2019 in Brussels. The subject of the opera will be Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – to commemorate the novel’s 200-year anniversary. A 35-minute symphonic version of the opera was premiered by the Atlanta Symphony in 2016 and co-commissioned by the Berkeley Symphony.
San Francisco Chronicle picked „Frankenstein Symphony“ in its top five classical music choices for 2016. The world premiere of his latest chamber symphony, Fantasmagoriana, was performed in 2017 at Disney Concert Hall and co-commsioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Jacaranda Music.
In 2016, a solo violin work for Jennifer Koh premiered at the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial. In 2013-15, several other commissions were awarded by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others.
During a two-month period in the spring of 2011, Mr. Grey received three world premieres in three of the world’s great concert halls. The first work was for soprano Jessica Rivera and The MEME Ensemble, titled Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels), a Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances and Meet The Composer co-commission, which premiered at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. The libretto for this work was created by poet Niloufar Talebi. The second work, titled „Mugunghwa“ (Rose of Sharon), for violinist Jennifer Koh, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and chamber orchestra premiered at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Finally, Mr. Grey was commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to write a fanfare for orchestra celebrating Robert Spano’s tenth anniversary as Music Director and Donald Runnicles’ tenth anniversary as Principal Guest Conductor.
Grey was the Phoenix Symphony’s Composer-In-Residence for their 2007/08 season. He composed a 70-minute oratorio, Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio, for baritone, chorus of 130 singers, and full orchestra, which premiered in February 2008. The story of the oratorio was based on a Navajo creation mythology story. The residency was funded by Meet The Composer and the League of American Orchestra’s Music Alive! program. In September 2007, a 10-minute full orchestra work was premiered during the residency period, titled „The Summons“. The oratorio was recorded for Naxos Records and released March 2009. Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratoriohas also been performed at the Colorado Music Festival in July 2008 and in Salt Lake City in May 2009 with the Salt Lake Choral Artists.
Other recent commissions include works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival, Kronos Quartet, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Leila Josefowicz, Paul Dresher Ensemble, the California EARUnit, and Joan Jeanrenaud (former Kronos Quartet cellist).
Grey was listed by the „The Los Angeles Times – Faces to Watch“ 2006, Classical Music Section, by Mark Swed.
„Bertoia I and II“, a two movement composition, was included as part of Kronos’ evening length program Visual Music, which has been performed at Theatre de la Ville (Paris), Sydney Opera House (Australia), Perth International Music Festival (Australia), Barbican Centre (London), Het Muziktheater (Amsterdam), Carnegie Hall (New York City), Royce Hall (Los Angeles) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco).
During her 2005/2006 season, violin prodigy Leila Josefowicz toured Grey’s San Andreas Suite for solo unaccompanied violin as part of her recital program. Performances have been worldwide, including Barbican Centre in London, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall in November 2005 and Ravinia Festival in the summer of 2006. As well, she recorded the recital program for Warner Classics, released April 2005. In the summer of 2006, Ms. Josefowicz premiered Grey’s violin concerto titled Elevation at the Colorado Music Festival with conductor Michael Christie, and then at the Cabrillo Music Festival with conductor Marin Alsop.
In April 2009, Molly Morkoski premiered a new solo piano work titled A Rax Dawn at Symphony Space in New York City. In August 2009, Areon Flutes premiered a new flute quartet titled „The Alluring Wave“ at the 2009 U.S. National Flute Convention.
In July 2005, Michael Christie premiered a new work for orchestra titled „Pursuit“, as part of the Colorado Music Festival.
Grey’s music can be heard on Naxos (Enemy Slayer), Joan Jeanrenaud’s debut CD Metamorphosis on New Albion Records, NPR/Nonesuch Records/Carnegie Hall radio series Creators at Carnegie, and Warner Classics (Josefowicz, San Andreas Suite).
Grey is an Emmy Award winning sound designer who made history as the first sound designer for the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall (On the Transmigration of Souls, 2002, which also won the Pulitzer Prize in Music) and the Metropolitan Opera (Doctor Atomic, 2008; Nixon in China, 2011; Death of Klinghoffer, 2014; The Merry Widow, 2015; Bluebeard’s Castle/Iolanta, 2015; L’Amour de Loin, 2016). He has collaborated intimately with composer John Adams, and several others, for nearly three decades. He designed and toured extensively with Kronos Quartet for nearly 15 years. Mr. Grey’s association with Lyric Opera of Chicago has encompassed seven productions since 2007, most recently „My Fair Lady“ (2017), „The King and I“ (2016), „The Merry Widow“ (2015-2016), and „Carousel“ (2015). He has designed productions for the Park Avenue Armory in NYC, St. Matthew Passion with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and directed by Peter Sellars, and Kaija Saariaho’s Circle Map with the New York Philharmonic in 2016, among several others. His sound design creations have been seen and heard throughout most major concert halls, HD simulcast theaters and opera houses worldwide.
During his attendance at the California State University at San Jose, both B.A. and M.A. degrees were awarded in Composition and Electro-Acoustic Music under the direction of former International Computer Music Association President and electro-acoustic music pioneer Allen Strange, along with composer Pablo Furman. Two unique musical lifestyles began to develop in composition and technical areas. While working as the first editorial intern at Keyboard Magazine, publishing technical materials and a monthly column from 1990 through 1996, he began to receive several awards for solo, chamber, orchestral and electronic composition.
Inspired by international sources, John Adams tells the story oj Jesus’ birth and childhood
Concert introduction: Pre-concert talk with Steffen Georgi: 6.45 pm, Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Saal
Mensch, Musik! #6 – Return to the Unknown
Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Martinů, Mamlok, Fujikura
Karina Canellakis & Augustin Hadelich
Beethoven, Ligeti, Lutosławski
Radio concert with Frank Strobel
Weill, Eisler, Hindemith, Schnittke
Concert broadcast to the Zeiss-Grossplanetarium
Kurtág, Mozart, Rachmaninoff