New Year’s Eve Concert
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op. 125 with final choral of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”
Karina Canellakis - Conductor
Karina Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after conductors of her generation. The principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has been principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra since 2020 and principal guest conductor of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB) since 2019.
In the 2021/2022 season she made her debut with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the HR Symphony Orchestra and returned to the San Francisco Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. In the summer of 2021, she made her debut with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood and with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival. On the opera stage, she conducted a new production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. With her Netherlands Radio Orchestra she gave a guest performance of Janáček’s “Kát’a Kabanová” at the Concertgebouw. She conducted the second act of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the third act of Wagner’s “Siegfried” with the Vienna Symphony at the Bregenz Festival. Previous operatic experience includes Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”, “The Magic Flute”, “Le Nozze di Figaro”, David Lang’s “The Loser” and Peter Maxwell Davies’ “The Hogboon”.
Since winning the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016, Karina Canellakis has appeared with orchestras around the world, including London, Philadelphia, Hamburg, Montréal, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Detroit. She was the first woman to conduct the First Night of the BBC Proms in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2019. She was also the first woman to be entrusted with the Nobel Prize Concerto with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic in 2018.
Karina Canellakis began her career initially as a violinist and chamber musician until she was encouraged by Sir Simon Rattle to devote herself to conducting. For two years she had been a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Academy. Born and raised in New York City, she can nevertheless draw on diverse family lines in various European countries.
Louise Alder - Soprano
Louise Alder studied at the Royal College of Music’s International Opera School where she was the inaugural Kiri Te Kanawa Scholar. She won the Young Singer Award at the 2017 International Opera Awards and the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at the 2017 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She also won the 2015 inaugural Young British Soloists’ Competition, and is the recipient of Glyndebourne’s 2014 John Christie Award.
In the 2022/23 season include Fiordiligi in a new production of Così fan tutte for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, and a return to the Glyndebourne Festival as Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress.
Recent successes have included Susanna in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro for the Opernhaus Zürich; Susanna and Sophie Der Rosenkavalier for the Wiener Staatsoper; Susanna, Marzelline Fidelio and Gretel Hänsel und Gretel at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich; Musetta La bohème for the English National Opera; Cleopatra Giulio Cesare for the Theater an der Wien, Zerlina Don Giovanni and the title role in La Calisto for the Teatro Réal, Madrid; Zerlina for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Sophie, Zerlina and Lucia The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne; Ilia Idomeneo and Pamina Die Zauberflöte for Garsington Opera and Gilda Rigoletto, Susanna, Pamina, Despina Così fan tutte, Cleopatra Giulio Cesare, Romilda Serse, Sophie, Gretel and the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen for Oper Frankfurt.
On the concert platform she sings Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle and his Symphony No. 4 with the Bayerisches Statsorchester/Vladimir Jurowski, Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Jakub Hrůša and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Kirill Petrenko. Previous highlights include Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Ulster Orchestra/Daniele Rustioni at the BBC Proms, the title role in Theodora at the BBC Proms and at the Kozerthaus in Vienna with Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen; the title role in Semele on tour with the Monteverdi Choir/Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Gardiner, Messiah with the New York Philharmonic/Harry Bicket, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Tokyo Philharmonic/Jonathan Nott, and Mozart Arias at the Salzburg Mozartwoche with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Daniel Harding.
Louise is a passionate recitalist, appearing at Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, the Musikverein in Graz, Oper Frankfurt, Madrid’s Fundación Juan March and the Fundación Privada Victoria de los Ángeles in Barcelona, Birmingham’s Barber Institute, the Bath Mozart Festival, Snape Maltings, the Brighton and Oxford Lieder Festivals and in the Perth Concert Hall with pianists Helmut Deutsch, Joseph Middleton, Gary Matthewman, Julius Drake and Roger Vignoles.
Her recordings include Chère Nuit: French Songs featuring songs from Ravel to Yvain (Chandos), The Russian Connection programming songs by Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Medtner and Britten (Chandos) and a disc of Strauss Lieder, Through Life and Love, (Orchid Classics), with pianist Joseph Middleton; Lucia The Rape of Lucretia (Opus Arte) and Silandra in Cesti’s L’Orontea (OEHMS Classics/Oper Frankfurt).
Sophie Harmsen - Alto
Sophie Harmsen travelled extensively at an early age, her parents being German diplomats, and continues this in her professional career as an internationally successful and acclaimed mezzosoprano.Concerts and Opera productions have enabled her to experience some of the worlds most beautiful concert halls and opera houses as the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Teatro Real in Madrid, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Wien, Philharmonie de Paris, Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Sophie is frequently and recurringly invited to perform with symphony orchestras such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, SWR Symphonieorchester, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester (Constantinos Carydis), Swedish Royal Symphony Orchestra (Daniel Harding), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (Andreas Spering), Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest (Jos van Veldhoven), Orchestre National de Paris (Vaclav Luks), musicAeterna (Teodor Currentzis), Konzerthausorchester Berlin (Iván Fischer), Düsseldorfer Symphoniker (Ádám Fischer), NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (Thomas Hengelbrock) and the Freiburger Barockorchester (Jeremie Rhorer).
In the past years Sophie has continually extended her repertoire. After numerous concerts, solo recitals and CD recordings with some of the the most celebrated baroque ensembles she is glad to now feel equally at home in more romantic repertoire. Concerts and CD recordings with Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder (Kent Nagano), Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde as well as the “Rückert Lieder” (Markus Stenz), Dvorak’s Requiem (Philippe Herreweghe), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Frieder Bernius, René Jacobs) and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Teodor Currentzis, Pablo Heras-Casado) are now equally represented in her calendar. Many of her CD recordings have received awards, for example Bruckner’s Missa Solemnis with the RIAS Kammerchor (Diapason d’Or) and the complete recording of J.S. Bach’s Luther Kantaten with Christoph Spering (Echo 2017).
After her beginnings at Cape Town Opera with roles including Hermia (Britten, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Graf Orlowsky (Strauss, Die Fledermaus), Mercedes (Bizet, Carmen) and Cherubino (Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro) she expanded her repertoire performing Annio (Mozart, La Clemenza di Tito) at the Teatro Real Madrid, Dorabella (Mozart, Cosi fan tutte) at the Opéra de Dijon and the Opéra de Luxembourg, Stephano (Gounod, Romeo et Juliette) at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Argene (Myslivecek, L’Olimpiade) at the opera houses Prague, Caen and Theater an der Wien to now singing repertoire by Richard Strauss (Octavian, Der Rosenkavalier). In her work with renowned directors such as Robert Wilson, Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann, William Kentridge and Andreas Dresen she was able to hone her already convincing and much praised acting skills.
Sophie is a frequent performer at international festivals. The Salzburger Festspiele, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Rheingau Musikfestival, International Händelfestspiele Göttingen and Halle and the Bachfest Leipzig, amongst many others.
This season she looks forward to her debut as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier in the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg, a return to the Hamburgische Staatsoper and Ballett John Neumeier for Bach’s B Minor Mass, a tour of Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with Christophe Rousset, her first Verdi Requiem with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Philippe Herreweghe, Mahlers Das Klagende Lied at the Mahler Festival Leipzig with the Gewandhausorchester and Dennis Russel Davies and Mendelssohn’s Walpurgisnacht with SWR Synfonieorchester under Pablo Heras-Casado.
Sophie Harmsen studied at the University of Cape Town and with Prof. Dr. Edith Wiens, has been mentored by Tobias Truniger for many years and now lives in Berlin with her family.
Andrew Staples - Tenor
A prolific concert performer, Andrew has appeared with the Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Sir Simon Rattle; the Orchestre de Paris, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding; the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the ScottishChamber Orchestra with Robin Ticciati; the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, the Orcherstre Métropolitain and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; the Accademia Santa Cecilia with Semyon Bychkov; and the Staatskapelle Berlin with Daniel Barenboim.
Andrew made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Jacquino Fidelio, returning for Flamand Capriccio, Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Tichon Katya Kabanova and Narraboth Salome. He has also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, the National Theatre Prague; La Monnaie Brussels; the Salzburger Festspiele; Hamburgische Staatsoper, Theater an der Wien, the Lucerne Festival and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Recent and future engagements include his Metropolitan Opera debut as Andres Wozzeck, Nicias in concert performances of Thais with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Das Lied von der Erde with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Budapest Festival Orchestra. Further future engagements include returns to the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Bayerischer Rundfunk Munich.
Michael Nagy - Basso
The Stuttgart-born baritone with Hungarian roots began his musical career with the Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben and studied singing, song interpretation and conducting with Rudolf Piernay, Irwin Gage and Klaus Arp in Mannheim and Saarbrücken. In master classes he received important impulses from Charles Spencer, Cornelius Reid and Rudolf Piernay, who accompanies him to this day.
Important repertoire roles such as Papageno (Magic Flute), Conte (Le nozze di Figaro), Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Valentin (Faust), Jeletzki (Pique Dame), Marcello (La Bohème), Albert (Werther), Frank/Fritz (Die dead city), Dr. He was able to work on Falke (Die Fledermaus) at the two former parent houses, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Oper Frankfurt, as well as the title role in Britten’s Owen Wingrave or Jason in Reimann’s Medea. He remains connected to these two houses: Frankfurt most recently as Spielmann (Humperdinck: Die Königskinder), Berlin most recently as Count Tamare (Schreker, Die Gezeichten) and Eugen Onegin in a guest performance at the Edinburgh Festival.
In the concert area, tried and tested repertoire is mixed, including Brahms’ Requiem in Neumarkt under Thomas Hengelbrock and on tour in Spain, Mahler’s Songs of a Journeyman with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under chief conductor Jakob Hrusa, Mendelssohn’s Elias with the Chorwerk Ruhr at the Ruhrtriennale or the Requiem by Gabriel Fauré under Risto Joos in Groningen with the premiere of Sciarrion’s Piogge diverse in Dresden, the premiere of Héctor Parra’s Wanderwelle under the direction of Andris Poga at the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne or the performance of the unknown oratorio Prophecy and Fulfillment under the direction of Duncan Ward at Basel Symphony Orchestra.
A central form of concerts are recitals for the artist. With a selected repertoire he performs in Copenhagen, among other places, together with Gerold Huber and Malcolm Martineau (Schubert’s Winterreise and Brahms’ Liebesliederwalzer).
The 2021/2022 season promises to be varied again: at the Bavarian State Opera there will be a revival of Braunfels Die Vögel (director: Frank Castorf, conductor: Ingo Metzmacher) and a new production of Strauss’ Capriccio (director: David Marton, Conductor: Lothar Koenigs); at the Vienna State Opera Michael Nagy makes his debut as Conte in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro under Adam Fischer as well as in a concert version of Haydn’s L’Orfeo (Kreonte) at the Tonhalle in Düsseldorf (conducted by Adam Fischer) and in Lyon the role of Dr . Falcon in Strauss – The Bat under Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider. In the summer of 2021, he briefly attracted the party of Don Alfonso in Christof Loy’s Così fan tutte production at the Salzburg Festival, conducted by Joana Mallwitz.
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).
Gijs Leenaars - Choirmaster
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.
Hensel-Mendelssohn, Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Anna Rakitina & Behzod Abduraimov
Janáček, Prokofiev, Dvořák
Jonas Kaufmann – Waldbühnen-Concert
Leoncavallo, Puccini, Lehár, Strauß (Sohn), Erwin