From Heaven above to Earth I come – The RSB Christmas Concert
Vladimir Jurowski, soloists and the Vocalconsort Berlin
Alternative concert - subject to change
Johann Sebastian Bach Magnificat D-Dur BWV 243 für Soli, Chor und Orchester
(mit vier weihnachtlichen Einlagesätzen)
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Sinfonie für Streichorchester Nr. 2 D-Dur
Igor Stravinsky “Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her” – Choral-Variationen für Orchester nach Johann Sebastian Bachs BWV 769
Ralph Vaughan Williams “On Christmas Night” – A masque loosely based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol für Mezzosopran, Bariton, Chor und Orchester
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Sophie Klußmann - Sopran
Alice Lackner - Sopran
Daniel Taylor - Altus
Stefan Gähler - Tenor
Christian Oldenburg - Bariton
Tobias O. Hagge - Basso
Vocalconsort Berlin - Choir
This concert is an alternative concert. The originally planned programme can be found in the RSB Season Brochure 2020/2021 (german).
Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since autumn 2017. The conductor, pianist and musicologist Vladimir Jurowski takes on all challenges whether they be stylistic, technical or music-historical.
After receiving training at the Moscow Conservatory Vladimir Jurowski emigrated to Germany in 1990. Here he continued his studies at the music conservatories in Dresden and Berlin – conducting with Rolf Reuter; correpetition and song accompaniment with Semion Skigin. 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 and will stay on until summer 2021. He is also Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra Yevgeny Svetlanov of the Russian Federation until summer 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. With the start of the 2021/2022 season, Vladimir Jurowski will take on one of the most prestigious roles in German musical life in addition to his engagement with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, by becoming General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, a position for which he signed a contract in 2018.
Vladimir Jurowski is in high demand around the world as a guest conductor. He 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. As a guest conductor, Vladimir Jurowski conducted Prokofiev’s Semyon Kotko with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest of the Netherlands in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, made his debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden, debuted with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, performed with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival and conducted a unique project with the London Sinfonietta in Moscow to mark the UK-Russian Year of Culture. Together with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin he performed in Japan in spring 2019 and at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest in autumn 2019.
The first joint CD by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin from 2015 immediately marked a milestone. Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3 was followed in 2017 by a Strauss/Mahler recording and a CD of violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith with soloist Arabella Steinbacher. Further studio recordings and RSB concert recordings on CD will follow in 2020/2021.
Vladimir Jurowski has been the recipient of numerous awards for his achievements, including various international record prizes. In 2018, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards named him Conductor of the Year. In 2016, he was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Prince Charles at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2020, Jurowski will be awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Romanian President in recognition of his work as Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival.
Alice Lackner - Sopran
The young mezzosoprano Alice Lackner is internationally acclaimed as an opera, concert and song performer.
Alice Lackner studied with Prof. Kunz-Eisenlohr at the Musikhochschule Köln/Aachen until 2015 and worked with teachers such as Brigitte Fassbaender, Gerd Uecker, Robert Holl and Ulrich Eisenlohr. She received a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and won prizes at the “Podium junger Gesangssolisten” competition in Essen (2015), the “cantatebach!” competition in Greifswald (2017) as well as the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg (2019).
Alice Lackner worked as a soloist with orchestras such as the Rundfunksinfonieorchester Berlin, the Russian National Orchestra Kaliningrad, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Oder), or the L’Orfeo Barockorchester. In June 2019, she gave her debut in the Berlin Philharmonie with Lili Boulanger’s “Psalm 130: Du fond de l’abîme”. In September 2019, she performed the “Stimme der Ungeborenen” in Richard Strauss’ “Die Frau ohne Schatten” at the Musikfest Berlin and the George-Enescu-Festival Bukarest, together with the Rundfunksinfonieorchester, the Rundfunkchor Berlin and Vladimir Jurowski.
Her core repertoire on the concert stage includes J.S. Bach’s cantatas and oratorios, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in c-minor, Mendelssohn’s Eliah as well as Händel’s Messiah. Recent performances have also included lesser known concert repertoire such as Requiems by Duruflé or Suppè, the Membra Jesu Nostri (Buxtehude) or the Sieg des Glaubens (Ries).
As an opera singer, Alice Lackner recently performed the role of Nancy (Martha/Flotow) as a laureate of the Rheinsberg Kammeroper Festival. Furthermore, while still in her studies, she performed various soloist parts at the Theater Aachen, in operas such as Rusalka (Dvořak), Les Brigands (Offenbach) and Jenufa (Janaček).
Alice Lackner works on a regular basis with the pianist Imke Lichtwark in Berlin. Next to their standard repertoire of German romantic songs, they set their focus on foreign-language repertoire (such as Slavic or French) as well as contemporary music.
Futhermore, she recently founded the Berlin-based trio meZZZovoce, with which she explores repertoire for three mezzosoprano-voices from the renaissance up to contemporary music.
Alice Lackner holds a Master’s degree in sociology and is working as a research assistant at the ZOiS (Centre for East European and International Studies) Berlin .
Daniel Taylor - Altus
Acclaimed in the press for his “radiant power and emotion” (The Telegraph) and “sheer seductive beauty” (Gramophone Magazine), Canadian countertenor Michael Taylor began singing as a treble at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, where he also studied the violin and piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. After graduating with a degree in Physics and Neuroscience from McGill University, he took up further vocal studies in Montreal with a focus on Early Music. Michael subsequently came to Germany to pursue a specialisation in opera performance with Prof. KS Jeanne Piland as well as with several of Europe’s most talented Early Music specialists, including Andreas Scholl, Sara Mingardo and Michael Hofstetter. He is a prize-winner of the International Voice Competition Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg in Germany and the Gürel International Singing Competition in Istanbul, as well as a grant-holder of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers.
Michael made his debut at the Lincoln Center in New York as a soloist in Handel’s MESSIAH, in London’s Cadogan Hall in the title role of Hasse’s DEMETRIO with Opera Settecento, and in Izumi Hall Osaka as a soloist in Bach’s ST. MATTHEW PASSION; he has performed on opera stages around the world with renowned companies such as the Hamburg State Opera, Opera Atelier Toronto, Lucerne Opera, Mainz State Opera, Halle Opera and the Venice Biennale. Highlights of his wide-ranging operatic repertoire include Goffredo (RINALDO), Tolomeo (GIULIO CESARE), Corindo (L’ORONTEA), Pisandro (IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA), Orfeo (ORFE ED EURIDICE), Artemis (PHAEDRA), L’Ospite (LUCI MIE TRADITRICI), Prince Go-Go (LE GRAND MACABRE) and Oberon (A MIDSUMMERNIGHT’S DREAM). Michael’s most recent album “Cantates pour Luther” featuring Bach’s Reformation Cantatas, is now available on the ATMA Classique Label worldwide.
Stefan Gähler - Tenor
The german tenor, Stephan Gähler, began his musical education in 1985 as a member of the Dresdner Kapellknaben at the local catholic cathedral in Dresden. Although he studied transport science and geography, he never abandoned his passion for singing. From 2003, he graduated from private singing studies with Professor Margret Trappe-Wiel in Dresden.
As a soloist, Stephan Gähler is mainly engaged in early music, his repertoire includes the concerto literature of the Renaissance through the Baroque to early Classical period. The cantatas, the Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV248) as well as the part of the Evangelists in the great Passions of J.S.Bach and George Frideric Handel’s Messiah should be mentioned here in the first place.
Mr. Gähler has always felt particularly drawn to singing in singly occupied solo ensembles with the focus on literature of the 16th to 18th centuries with music such as Lassus, Schütz, Schein, Buxtehude or Monteverdi. This includes especially the cooperation with the Cappella Sagittariana Dresden, Ensemble Amarcord Leipzig, Cappella Augustana Bologna, Ensemble Sette Voci of the renowned dutch Bass Peter Kooij or in the versatile acting Athesinus Consort Berlin wich dedicates its work to many styles of classical music.
Christian Oldenburg - Bariton
Christian Oldenburg studied opera singing and dancing, and worked with Renate Faltin, Scot Weir, Julia Varady, and Wolfram Rieger at the Hanns Eisler University Berlin. He attended master classes given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Neil Semer, Elio Battaglia, Lucio Gallo, Snezana Brzakovic, Peter Konwitschny, and Willy Decker.
His operatic repertoire comprises roles such as Hans Scholl in Udo Zimmermann’s „Die Weisse Rose“, Papageno in „Die Zauberflöte“ , Albert in „Massenet’s Werther” , Eduard in Hindemith’s „Neues vom Tage“ , and Falke in „Die Fledermaus“ (Theater Lüneburg), Donner in „Der Ring an einem Abend“ production directed by Philippe Arlaud for Bayreuth, Gilberto in Donizetti´s „Enrico di Borgogna“ (Vadstena Summer Opera Festival, Sweden), the title part in Ristori’s Calandro at the Music Festival Potsdam/Sanssouci within the Young Baroque Opera Project under the baton of Olof Bomann, his debut as Don Giovanni at the Wernigeröder Schlossfestspiele, Germany, Haushofmeister in Strauss’ „Capriccio“ (Opéra de Lyon), Boris in „Moskau Tscherjomuschki“, „Hans im Glück“ , Kilian in „Der Freischütz“ , Mittlerer Bruder/König in „Der gestiefelte Kater“ , and Un servo in „Luci mie traditrici“ (all at Staatsoper Berlin).
He has collaborated with orchestras such as Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Oder, Staatskapelle Berlin, Dresdner Philharmonie, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and Hamburger Symphoniker.
Recent engagements include Spinelloccio/Amatio di Nicolao in „Gianni Schicchi“ for Szczecin Opera, Finocchio in the world premiere of Sciarrino’s „Ti vedo, ti sento, mi perdo“ with Teatro alla Scala and Staatsoper Berlin, „Carmina Burana“ with Collegium Musicum Symphony Orchestra, Haushofmeister in Strauss’ „Capriccio“ for La Monnaie Brussels, and the title part in „Hans im Glück“ at Staatsoper Berlin.
Current season comprises Wächter der Stadt in „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ with the RSB, Josef K. in Glass’ „The Trial“, Mercutio in „Roméo et Juliette“ , and Spinelloccio in „Gianni Schicchi“ for Szczecin Opera among others.
Vocalconsort Berlin - Choir
The Vocalconsort Berlin was formed in 2003 by arts and cultural managers Volkert Uhde and Markus Schuck, and in the same year successfully debuted Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music under the direction of René Jacobs.
The Berlin-based ensemble specializes in music of the early and high baroque, but frequently presents romantic and contemporary works as well. The variability and flexibility of this group allows the ensemble to perform equally well as a solo quartet or a large chamber choir with multiple solo parts, thereby making the choir perfect for concert performances as well as staged productions such as opera.
The Vocalconsort’s homogeneous and dynamic sound has led the group to work together with well-known directors such as Marcus Creed, Pablo Heras-Casado, René Jacobs, Daniel Reuss, Olof Bomon and Ottavio Dantone and excellent ensembles such as the Kammerorchester Basel, the Akademie für alte Musik, Accademia Bizantina, the Sharoun Ensemble and Ensemble musikFabrik. On stage, Vocalconsort Berlin has cooperated with internationally successful directors and choreographers such as Sasha Waltz, Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Barrie Kosky and Luc Perceval.
The Vocalconsort Berlin has given guest performances at such events as the Berlin-based “zeitfenster–biennale alter musik” festival, the “Zermatt Festival” and the Berlin Staatsoper’s Cadenza baroque festival, as well as in the renowned concert halls of Antwerp and Gent, Ferrara, Amsterdam, Brussels, Tel Aviv, Barcelona, London, Paris, Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, the Handel Festival Halle, the Cité de la Musique Paris, the Rheingau Music Festival, and the Musikfest Bremen.
In 2005, the opera “Dido & Aeneas” by Henry Purcell premiered in Luxembourg starring Sasha Waltz as choreographer. The production has enjoyed international success with over 50 performances on three continents. Since 2006 the Vocalconsort Berlin has served as the house ensemble to Sasha
Waltz & Guests, the Ensemble Kaleidoskop and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin at the RADIALSYSTEM V venue. In 2007, the opera “Medea” by Pascal Dusapin premiered in Luxembourg starring Sasha Waltz as choreographer, with performances taking the Vocalconsort to the Netherlands and France, and even to Australia. In 2008, the Vocalconsort Berlin received the “German Record Critic’s Award” for its debut double CD “Hugo Distler – Geistliche Chormusik op. 12, Weihnachtsgeschichte op. 10” (“Hugo Distler – Sacred Choral Music opus 12, Christmas Story opus 10”). In 2009, the Vocalconsort Berlin participated in “DIALOGE 09”, a project designed by Sasha Waltz to mark the reopening of the Neues Museum Berlin. The CD “ODE for the birthday of QUEEN ANNE” with the famous “Dixit Dominus” HWV 232, which was recorded together with Andreas Scholl and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
under Marcus Creed, was released by “harmonia mundi france”. In 2011, “harmonia mundi france” also released a highly acclaimed recording of Bach’s
motets, which was also conducted by Marcus Creed. In May 2011, the Vocalconsort participated in the world premiere of “Matsukaze”, an opera by Toshio Hosakawa. A Sasha Waltz production conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado, further performances have since taken place in Warsaw, Luxembourg, and at the Staatsoper im Schillertheater in Berlin. Also in May 2011, the Vocalconsort participated in the successful scenic adaptation of “Die Jahreszeiten” by Haydn at the O.T. Theater in Rotterdam, which was directed by Miriam Koen and Gerrit Timmers.
Wed 23 December 2020 - 7 pm Philharmonie Berlin
- from € 20
- Konzert ohne Einführung
Tickets for concerts until December 2020 can be obtained from the RSB-Webshop and the RSB visitor service in person, by phone, post, fax or by e-mail:
RSB Visitor Service
Charlottenstrasse 56 (2nd floor)
Telephone: 030 202 987 15
Fax: 030 202 987 29
E-mail: tickets@rsb-online. de
Information for the individual price categories can be found here.
Around the concert
Concert goers must carry a current identity card or an appropriate official document such as a passport with them.
All concert halls (Philharmonie, Konzerthaus, Kühlhaus, silent green and Villa Elisabeth) require the wearing of mouth-nose protection until the end of the concert.
General distance and hygiene measures
Please observe the general distance and hygiene measures: Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres to other people, cough and sneeze in the crook of your arm, use the disinfectant dispensers and stay at home if symptoms of illness occur.
Route directions & parking location
It is easy to access the Philharmonie by public transport:
Buses M84, M85, N2 to Kulturforum or Varian-Fry-Str. or Potsdamer Platz + 4 minutes walk, 200 to Philharmonie
Underground U2 to Potsdamer Platz + 10 minutes walk
S-Bahn (city railway) S1, S2, S25, S26 and regional trains to Potsdamer Platz + 10 minutes walk
Current information: due to building works around the Philharmonie, traffic is being diverted in the area of Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße and Tiergartenstraße. For further information, please consult the website of the Philharmonie.
There are a limited number of charged parking spaces on the site of the Philharmonie:
per hour or part-hour 2.50 Euros
day maximum 20.00 Euros
lost ticket 20.00 Euros
evening rate 7 pm to 5 am 7.00 Euros
Sunday flat rate 6.00 Euros
Please also use parking possibilities in the Sony Center (entrances Ben-Gurion- and Bellevuestraße) as well as Potsdamer Platz Arkaden (entrance to underground parking on Reichpietschufer) and in the car park on Schöneberger Ufer. All these are public parking areas belonging to the City of Berlin, on behalf of which they are administrated by APCOA Autoparking GmbH.
The public parking areas on Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße (on the western side of the Philharmonie) provide a limited number of identified parking spaces for the disabled. Unfortunately, it is generally not possible to reserve parking spaces.
On your ticket you will find detailed information about the block, the staggered admission time and the colour of the path that will lead you to your block. Admission is via various entrances. The walkways and hall entrances throughout the building are coloured - see admission plan:
Seats on the right side of the hall: Enter via the box office foyer
- Path to Block A / B on the right via stairs, box office foyer - green
- Path to Block C, D right via stairs, box office foyer - blue
- Path to block E, F, G, H and K on the right via stairs box office foyer - purple
Seats on the left side of the hall: Enter via the garden and east entrance
- Path to block A and B on the left via stairs outside stairs buffet - red
- Path to block C, D left over stairs outside stairs buffet - yellow
- Path to block E, F, G, H and K left over stairs outside stairs buffet - orange
Please note that late or re-admission is not possible.
Philharmonie: Barrier-free accessibility
If possible, disabled visitors and wheelchair users use the eastern entrance. The elevators may be occupied by a maximum of 2 guests as well as a front of house staff member to guide the elevator.
Philharmonie: In the concert hall
There is no free choice of seats. The staff of the Philharmonie will assign you a seat within your block in the order in which you arrive. Here you will find the hall plan of the Philharmonie.
In order to be able to trace the exact seating position of a concert visitor, notes / pencils are placed on all seats for entering personal data or distributed at the doors to the hall. After the concert, the notes are collected or can be thrown into specially placed boxes.
All concerts take place without a break and last about 60 to 90 minutes.
Cloakrooms are not available in any of the concert halls. You can take your jackets and bags up to A4 size with you into the concert halls.
At the moment, there will be no catering on offer in any of the concert halls.
Introduction / Pre-Concert Talks
Concert introductions cannot currently take place at the venue. Nevertheless, you have the opportunity to watch the concert introductions by our dramaturge Steffen Georgi on video a few days before the concert on the concert website. You can find out whether there is a concert introduction on the concert webpages in our concert calendar.
The programmes can be downloaded digitally on the concert webpages of the RSB about two days before the concert and are also available free of charge on the concert evening.