Christian Immler

From the Tölzer Knabenchor as a boy alto to singing as a soloist at major concert halls all over the world, German baritone Christian Immler has spent years making music of the highest quality. Having studied at the Guildhall in London with Rudolf Piernay, Christian won the International Nadia et Lili Boulanger Competition in Paris in 2001, launching his baritone career.

Although also known for singing Handel, Haydn, Mozart and, increasingly, Mahler, running down the spine of Christian’s career has been the music of J S Bach. Having sung the B minor Mass, St John Passion and St Matthew Passion with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, he has also performed these works with Philippe Herreweghe, Daniel Harding, Michel Corboz, Jos van Veldhoven, Leonardo García Alarcón (receiving a ‘Diapason d’Or’ for ‘Music for Weddings’ by Bach and Böhm) and Ensemble Pygmalion (‘Editor’s Choice’ in the Gramophone for Masses BWV 233/236).

Christian’s musical interests and talents are very broad. Recent projects have included Handel’s Dixit Dominus with Concentus Musicus and Ivor Bolton, Krenek’s Orpheus with Lothar Zagrosek (Berlin Konzerthaus), Mozart’s C minor Mass with Giovanni Antonini (Salzburg Festival), the world premiere of Hellstenius’s The moon eats humans (Bergen Festival), C. P. E. Bach’s Magnificat with Ottavio Dantone, Christmas Oratorio with Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, Weill’s Berliner Requiem at the Lucerne Festival, Krenek’s Reisebuch with Radio Svizzera Italiana and Graziella Contratto, Mahler Songs with the Ensemble Symphonique de Neuchâtel, Handel’s Messiah with Masaaki Suzuki, Telemann Cantatas with Andrew Parrott, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle (Vancouver Festival) and Fauré’s Requiem with the Gulbenkian Orchestra.

As a recitalist, Christian has been hailed as one of the foremost Lieder singers of his generation, applauded for his particular interest in 20th Century ‘Emigré Composers’ such as Zemlinsky, Korngold, Eisler, Schreker and Gál. He has presented their works – as well as core Lieder repertoire by Schubert, Schumann and Wolf – in leading recital venues, such as the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Frick Collection in New York and the Salzburg Mozarteum, the latter with pianist Helmut Deutsch. Their CD Modern Times was recently awarded both the ‘Diamant d’Opéra’ and the prestigious ‘Diapason Découverte’.

Alongside his concert work, Christian’s operatic career has been flourishing. His most recent roles were Docteur Itard/Vicaire in the world premiere of Fénelon’s JJR (directed by Robert Carsen) and Dodo/Frog Footman/Mock Turtle in Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He has also sung Seneca (Poppea) at the Boston Early Music Festival, Förster (Cunning Little Vixen) for the Wiener Kammeroper, Ubalde (Armide) at New Israeli Opera, Achis (David & Jonathas) conducted by William Christie and Pharnaces in Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Christian will return to the BEMF in 2013 to sing Consalvo in Handel’s Almira.

His recordings include Bach B Minor Mass, Schubert Sakuntala (‘Diapason d’Or’), Continental Britons (five stars in BBC Music) and Albeniz’s Henry Clifford, all released to wide critical acclaim. Christian is professor of voice at the Conservatoire in Lausanne/Fribourg.

Dominik Wörner

The German bass-baritone, Dominik Wörner, studied church music in Stuttgart (A-exam), with a DAAD-scholarship music science and harpsichord in Fribourg, and as a Warlomont-Meadow-Scholarship holder organ and singing (both soloist diploma) in Berne with Professor Jakob Stämpfli. He has also participated in master-classes with Julia Hamari, Klaus-Dieter Kern, Horst Günther and Rudolf Piernay. Already during his studies he gave concerts in Switzerland, Poland, UK and Germany. He was finalist at the Bund Singing Competition 2000. In 2002 he won the 1st Prize for singing and a special prize of the Leipziger Baroque Orchestra at the XIII International Bach Competition in Leipzig.

With the great oratorio parts as Dominik Wörner’s subject he arose in his homeland and abroad. Invitations to different Festivals (Flanders-Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Bachfest Leipzig, London Proms, Händel-Tage Halle, Tanglewood, Tokyo Suntory Hall, etc.) he has co-operated with various conductors (such as Philippe Herreweghe, Thomas Hengelbrock, Christophe Coin, Carl Saint Clair) and orchestras (such as Orchester des Collegium Vocale Gent, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Capella Istropolitana).

In this year (2003) Dominik Wörner performed Marienvesper by Monteverdi for the Belgian television with the Collegium Vocale Gent under Philippe Herreweghe, J.S. Bach’s Peasant (BWV 212) & Coffee (BWV 211) Cantatas with Ensemble Baroque de Limoges under Christophe Coin in Milan for RAI 3, and Mozart’s C minor Mass with the Orchestre of the Champs of Élysées Paris in a European tour, which included London, Edinburgh, Rome, Lisbon and Porto.

Further Dominik Wörner was invited to the opening concert of Bachfest Leipzig with theThomanerchor under George Christoph Biller, sang Haydn’s Schöpfung with the Berliner Bachakademie at the Berlin’s Philharmonie, appeared at the Göttinger Händelfestspiele in a rediscovered Bach Cantata, and gave at Bachwoche Ansbach a solo recital with works of J.S. Bach,Felix Mendelssohn, Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

With the Baroque ensemble Gli Scarlattistihe Dominik Wörner recorded Marienvesper by Monteverdi and Schütz’ Exequien, and only recently he took up a further production with Rosenmüller program. With Capriccio he produced Bußpsalmen Lassos with the Tölzer Knabenchor. The performance of contemporary music is an important request for him, about which witness several premieres of works composers wrote for him, such as Canticum Canticorum by Marco Sofianopoulo and Lamentatio and Triptychon by Werner Jacob with Sebalder Nachtkonzert Nürnberg as a production the Bavarian Broadcast.

Dominik Wörner dedicates himself passionately to the singing of Lieder. Past year he made a tour of Schubert’s Winterreise interpreted with hammerflügel. To celebrate the 200th birthday of Franz Lachne he sang Lieder by the composer for bass, violoncello and Hammerflügel, Gustav Mahler’sKindertotenlieder with the Berner Symphonieorchester in Casino Bern, and a cycle of Turrini songs of Arthur Dangel.

The Bern’s press wrote of Dominik Wörner’s interpretation of Christ role in J.S. Bach’s Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) in Berner Münster this year: ‘Meanwhile Dominik Wörner left the lasting impression: With his warming, contentful and sovereign Christ he sang himself to the public in the heart”

In addition Dominik Wörner is founder and artistic director of his own concert series, the Kirchheimer Konzertwinters, in his homeland.

Peter Kooij

Peter Kooij started his musical career at 6-years-old as a choir boy and sang many solo soprano-parts in concerts and recordings. He started his musical studies however as a violin student.
This was followed by singing tuition from Max van Egmond at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, which led to the award of the diploma for solo performance.
He has been an active soloist in many concerts all over the world in the most important concert-halls like Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Musikverein Wien, Carnegie Hall New York, Royal Albert Hall London, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Berliner and Kölner Philharmonie, Palais Garnier Paris, Suntory and Casals Hall Tokyo, where he performed with famous conductors like Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Sigiswald Kuijken, Roger Norrington, Michel Corboz and Iwan Fisher.
His wide repertoire contains all kind of music from Schütz to Weill and he has made over hundred CDs for Philips, Sony and Virgin Classics, Harmonia Mundi, Erato, EMI and BIS. His recordings in the complete series of Bach cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan have received wide acclaim. His performances of Bach’s cantatas and Passions are unusually sympathetic, assisted by a soft-grained timbre and an eloquent verbal delivery.

Peter Kooij is the artistic director of the “Ensemble Vocal Européen”. From 1991 to 2000 professor at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. From 1995 to 1998 Lehrauftrag at the Musikhochschule in Hannover. Since 2000 a guest teacher at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. He was invited to give master classes in Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Finland and Japan.