“Mache dich auf, werde Licht”
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
„Saint Paul“ – Oratorio for soli, choir and orchestra, Op. 36
Ralf Sochaczewsky - Conductor
Ralf Sochaczewsky received conducting lessons under Christian Grube and Marc Piollet at the Berlin University of the Arts. Later he studied choir conducting under Jörg-Peter Weigle and orchestral conducting under Prof. Reuter at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”.
He directs the Berlin choir Cantus Domus, with which he won a 1st prize at the Berlin Choir Competition in 2017 and a 3rd prize at the 8th Choir Competition of the Deutscher Musikrat in Dortmund . From 1998 to 2012, he conducted the Ensemberlino Vocale choir and successfully participated in choir competitions (1st prize at Chorfest Bremen (Bremen Choir Festival) 2008).
He regularly works with choirs like the Berlin Vocalconsort, the Cappella Amsterdam, the RIAS Kammerchor, and the Berliner Rundfunkchor.
In 2016, he conducted the European premiere of the oratorio “Anthracite Fields” by Julia Wolfe, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015, with the DR Vocalensemble and Bang on a Can-All Stars.
Ralf Sochaczewsky has performed with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the National Radio Orchestra Bucharest, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Minsk Philharmonic. He conducted operas at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Opera National du Rhin, and the Lithuanian National Opera.
Ralf Sochaczewsky collaborated with various pop groups and artists such as Stargaze and André de Ridder, Bon Iver, Damien Rice, Lisa Hannigan, and Tocotronic. With Cantus Domus, he is a regular guest at festivals such as HaldernPop and KalternPop.
He teaches choral conducting at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”. For his great service to the Berlin choir scene, the Chorverband Berlin awarded him the Geschwister Mendelssohn Medal in 2017.
Sophie Klußmann - Soprano
With a voice that is warm, wide-ranging and dark-hued, and commanding a repertoire that extends from the baroque to the present day, German-born soprano Sophie Klussman is in demand as a concert singer, as a recitalist and on the opera stage.
In recent seasons her engagements have included a world tour of Mozart concert arias with Martin Haselböck and the Wiener Akademie, and performances and recordings of 20th century music with the Berlin’s Scharoun Ensemble, the pianist Oliver Triendl and a variety of other partners. Over her career to date she has collaborated with such conductors as Marek Janowski, Ingo Metzmacher, Helmuth Rilling, Michael Gielen, Michael Sanderling, Karl Heinz Steffens and, in the field of historically informed performance, Marcus Creed, Václav Luks and Attilio Cremonesi. Her career has taken her to such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Zurich Tonhalle, Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, New York City Center and the Concert Hall of the National Grand Theatre Beijing.
Sophie Klussmann numbers Thomas Quasthoff, Dunja Vejzovic, Margreet Honig and Klesie Kelly-Moog among her mentors. From 2009 to 2011 she was a member of the Halle Opera, singing a variety of soprano role, and in Halle and at the Komische Oper Berlin she gave the world premieres of two operas by the composer Christian Jost. In 2013, at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, she covered Anna Netrebko in the role of Donna Anna, while 2016 brought her debut as Micaëla (Carmen) in Wuhan, China. She also enjoyed a long-term international collaboration with American actor John Malkovich on the theatre pieces The Giacomo Variations and The Infernal Comedy.
Sophie Klussmann is a keen interpreter of song and chamber repertoire and in 2015 her first solo CD, devoted to songs by Karl Weigl, was released on the Capriccio label.
Verena Usemann - Alto
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.
Thomas Michael Allen
Cantus Domus - Choir
Cantus Domus was founded 25 years ago by Lena Schoenfelder. This great, at the time almost audacious idea of forming a choir at the Haus der Jugend in Berlin-Zehlendorf was inspiring and forward-looking. On its way into the present, the choir – from the beginning under the artistic direction of Ralf Sochaczewsky – has enriched and inspired many people. Over the years, musical encounters and collaborations have taken the choir to many cities in Germany and to Belarus, Poland, Nicaragua, England, Norway, France, Georgia and the Netherlands. In the process, Cantus Domus has been accompanied by a great cultural curiosity, diverse forms of musical expression and impressive concert formats.
The Corona pandemic and its accompanying restrictions have dramatically affected the musical and cultural landscape. Like countless choirs in this country and around the world, Cantus Domus has had to cancel planned concerts and concert tours. Due to the restrictions, the choir has unfolded new formats of choral, rehearsal and recording work and thus also allowed its entire artistic creative process to take place in new ways. In a short period of time, unique digital cooperation projects have been carried out with artists such as Shara Nova, Gaby Moreno, the Georgian women’s choir Tutarchela, Nicholas Müller, Grainne Hunt and Mohannad Nasser.
Cantus Domus opens up new approaches to choral music for its audiences with immersive productions and innovative collaborations. As a classical concert choir, it often seeks ways beyond common performance routines, for example by performing in unusual concert venues (J. S. Bach: “B Minor Mass”, Kraftwerk Berlin, 2015) or by involving the audience in its concerts (J. S. Bach: “St Matthew Passion”, Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, 2018). One of the choir’s trademarks is the format of the so called Concept Concerts, which was developed by Paul Liebrecht in 2008 and has been constantly refined. Here Cantus Domus regularly stages elaborately choreographed and musically demanding performances in unusual spaces (Arthur Honegger: “Le Roi David” in the Vollgutlager of the Alte Kindl Brewery in cooperation with choreographer Christoph Winkler, 2017; “Synthesis” for choir, synthesiser and DJ in the Kindl Centre for Contemporary Art and Culture, 2015 or “Singingpool” in the Stadtbad Steglitz, 2008).
In the last four years before the Corona pandemic, since the premiere of a choral opera staged and excellently reviewed by Cantus Domus (Frank Schwemmer: “Macbeth”, 2016, directed by C. Rindfleisch, libretto: U. Küchler/J. Fraune), Cantus Domus performed in five countries and cooperated with around 40 orchestras, partner choirs and bands in around 50 performances and concerts. Inspiring international encounters have recently taken place with Wood River from New York, Vox Humana (Oslo), Fahmi Alqhai and the Accademia del Piacere (from Spain, Syria and elsewhere) as well as with the Georgian choirs Shavnabada and Tutarchela. In 2018, Cantus Domus and Bang on a Can All-Stars (New York) gave the German premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer Prize for Music-winning oratorio Anthracite Fields in Berlin.
Cantus Domus has worked with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB) and Vladimir Jurowski (2019), the Kammerakademie Potsdam and Antonello Manacorda (2018), the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Neeme Järvi (2018), the Konzerthausorchester Berlin (2013), the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Jonathan Nott (2012), and the Rundfunkchor Berlin and Simon Halsey (2007), among others.
In addition to its numerous concerts with large ensembles, Cantus Domus also performs with various chamber ensembles in smaller projects. In the process, the choir increasingly moves into the border areas between classical and indie/pop, for example with performances at festivals such as People, Kaltern Pop and Haldern Pop, as well as collaborations with Bon Iver, Charlotte Greve, Damien Rice, Helga Davis, Kjartan Sveinsson, Kurt Wagner, Lisa Hannigan, Loney Dear, Mads Brauer, Shara Nova, Stargaze, The Slow Show and Tocotronic, among others.
Junger Chor Zürich
Junger Chor Zürich
The Young Choir Zurich was founded in December 2015. The new ensemble promises young voices and ambitious programmes. The focus is on the pure and unaccompanied voice. Conducted by Lisa Appenzeller, the Young Choir Zurich is mainly dedicated to a cappella programmes that lead on a journey through different styles, epochs and cultures. The concerts of the Young Choir Zurich are particularly focused on unusual venues, making them exceptional sound experiences.
ATTENTION: Concert cancelled