Pianist Manuel Lange

Manuel Lange

The Berlin-born pianist studied piano with Oleg Maisenberg in Stuttgart and with Hans Leygraf in Salzburg and Berlin. He also regularly took part in the song master classes of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Aribert Reimann and Wolfram Rieger. He won first prize for piano accompaniment at the international Paula Lindberg Salomon competition “Das Lied” in 1997 and the special award for the best piano accompaniment at the 1998 Hilde Zadek singing competition in Passau, as well as the Bayreuth scholarship from the Richard Wagner Association in Berlin and the Hanns Eisler Prize at the Hanns Eisler Music Academy.

After six years as a solo coach at the Komische Oper Berlin, he was appointed vocal repertoire professor at the Berlin University of the Arts at the beginning of the 2005/06 winter semester. In July 2010, Manuel Lange was appointed professor for song accompaniment and song design at the Detmold University of Music.

In 2006 he founded the Berlin concert series MEISTERLIED, which is primarily dedicated to the German romantic art song, together with the baritone Sebastian Noack, with whom he has had a longstanding artistic collaboration. Together with the soprano Anne Schwanewilms, Manuel Lange gave recitals at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Dresden Semperoper, the Théatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, ​​the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg and the Frankfurt Opera. He also performed as a song accompanist for Mojca Erdmann, Maria Bengtsson, Lothar Odinius, Stella Doufexis, Anna Korondi, Hermine May and Dagmar Schellenberger. His own master classes for song composition and accompaniment in vocal master classes (Brigitte Fassbaender, Mirella Freni, Francisco Araiza, Roman Trekel) complement his work.

In addition to his song work, Manuel Lange has recently returned to the solo repertoire, for example he was heard last season with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt under the direction of Wolfgang Wengenroth with Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto and played with the Junge Ensemble Berlin as well as Grieg’s piano concerto with the Junge Philharmonie Erlangen.

Sopranistin Anne Schwanewilms fotografiert von Studioline

Anne Schwanewilms

Anne Schwanewilms is recognised as one of the leading interpreters of the works of Richard Strauss. Her extensive repertoire covers roles such as Arabella, Ariadne („Ariadne auf Naxos“), Chrysothemis („Elektra“), Feldmarschallin („Der Rosenkavalier“), Empress („Die Frau ohne Schatten, Danae („Die Liebe der Danae“), Elsa („Lohengrin“), Elisabeth („Tannhäuser“), Desdemona („Otello“), Marie („Wozzeck“) and Madame Lidoine („Dialogues des Carmélites“). She has appeared at many of the major opera houses of the world including Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, New York and Tokyo. At the Semperoper Dresden, Anne Schwanewilms enjoyed a great success as Arabella and Chrysothemis under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann, roles which she reprised at the Vienna National Opera under the baton of Ulf Schirmer and Franz Welser-Möst. Anne Schwanewilms is a regular at the Bayreuth and the Salzburg Festivals, where her performances as Carlotta in „Die Gezeichneten“ by Franz Schreker and as the Empress in Richard Strauss’ „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ were particularly significant. Engagements in 2017 included Marschallin („Der Rosenkavalier“) in Munich, Elisabeth („Tannhäuser“) at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and Eva in the new production of „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ at the Bayreuth Festival in 2017.

Anne Schwanewilms appears regularly with conductors such as Christian Thielemann, Zubin Metha, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Stefan Soltesz, Vladimir Jurowski, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Simone Young, Christoph Eschenbach and Riccardo Chailly. Her prolific concert career takes her to the foremost halls of Europe and she appears regularly with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France.

One of the leading exponents of Lied, Anne Schwanewilms has appeared in recital at the Wigmore Hall London, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at the Lincoln Center New York and at the Edinburgh Festival. She is a member of the jury of the international Louis Spohr-Competition and leads masterclasses. A British music critic described her as a ‘veritable sound painter’. Accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, Charles Spencer and Roger Vignoles, Anne Schwanewilms has set artistic standards with her interpretations of songs by Schumann, Wolff, Wagner, Liszt, Mahler, Strauss and Schönberg. Music critics praise her unfailing sense of the subtlest details of phrasing, lustre and suppleness of voice and great technical expertise. „Recitals are my staging“, Anne Schwanewilms said once in an interview. „Here I can create something from the beginning with very simple means – the voice and the piano.“

Anne Schwanewilms has a comprehensive discography. Her opera recordings include DVDs of „Die Gezeichneten“ (Salzburg Festival, Kent Nagano, DSO, 2005), „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ (Salzburg Festival, Christian Thielemenn, Vienna Philharmonic), „Der Rosenkavalier“ (Fabio Luisi, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, 2007) and „Dialogues des Carmélites“ (Simone Young, Hamburg State Opera, 2008). In addition, she has presented a Richard Strauss CD („Vier letzte Lieder“ and excerpts from „Der Rosenkavalier“, „Capriccio“ and „Arabella“, Markus Stenz, Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra), a Richard Wagner CD with „Tristan and Isolde“, „Tannhäuser“ and the „Wesendonck-Lieder“ (Cornelius Meister, RSO Vienna) as well as several recital discs including works by Liszt, Mahler, Schumann, Wolff, and Schönberg. In May 2016 her CD „Schöne Welt…“ with Lieder by Schubert, Schreker and Korngold has been released.

A recipient of many awards, in 2015 she received a GRAMMY Award nomination for her CD recording of Richard Strauss’ „Elektra“ with Christian Thielemann. Her recording of „Wozzeck“ with Hans Graf and Houston Symphony Orchestra received the ECHO Klassik Award 2017 and a GRAMMY Award nomination.

Schauspielerin Nicole Averkamp

Nicole Averkamp

Nicole Averkamp studied acting at the renowned Otto Falckenberg School in Munich. During her training, she already played at the Münchner Kammerspiele. This was followed by engagements at the theaters in Dortmund, Mannheim, Basel, Darmstadt and Osnabrück. She has been a permanent member of the Theater Heidelberg ensemble since the 2011/12 season. Here she was seen in the roles of Klytaimnestra, Maria Stuart, Lola Blau, Arkadina and Fräulein Schneider in the musical “Cabaret”. She is currently in Bunbury, Michael Kohlhaas, and as Véronique in “Carnage” at the stage of the Heidelberg Theatre. Nicole Averkamp is also a sought-after speaker for audio books and readings.

Mariana Popova

A special interest in musical dialogue brought German-Bulgarian pianist Mariana Popova at an early age to an intensive study of chamber music and song accompaniment alongside her solo career. Marian Popova’s concert activity has taken her to nearly all European countries, China, Russia and the United States. As an accompanist, chamber musician and soloist, she has been invited to the Summit Music Festival in New York, the Aarhus Festival of Contemporary Music (Denmark), the Varna Summer Festival (Bulgaria), the Heures Musicales de Biot (France), the Castelló Festival (Spain), the Hamburger Klangwerktagen and to the Schwetzingen Music Festival. In a series of Liederabend recital in Hamburg, which she conceived for the Schumann anniversary in 2010, the pianist performed core works by Robert and Clara Schumann together with eight vocal partners. She has taken part in various CD productions and also made numerous radio and television recordings in Bulgaria (BNT), Germany (NDR,SWR,MDR) and France (Radio France). In the summer of 2012, Mariana Popova was invited by the German Foreign Office to record a CD of song compositions from all the Baltic countries to celebrate the German presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

Mariana Popova studied piano with Evgeni Koroliov and chamber music with Niklas Schmidt at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. At the Franz Liszt Musikochschule she studied vocal accompaniment with Karl-Peter Kammerlander. She received significant artistic impulses from teachers like Oxana Yablonskaya, Dalton Baldwin, Bruno Canino, Gernot Kahl and Menahem Pressler. Among the young pianist’s major international successes were prizes at the Maria Canals International Music Competition in Barcelona, Spain, the Köster Classical Chamber Music Competition and the Elise Meyer Competition in Hamburg, and together with soprano Lini Gong at the Concours international de musique de chambre in Lyon, France. In 2010, with mezzo-soprano Judith Thielsen, she was awarded the second prize and the special award for contemporary song in the Lied Division of the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach, Austria. Further, Mariana Popova was a fellow of the Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation, the Budge Foundation, Yehudi Menuhin’s project Live Music Now and the French Schlumberger Foundation.

Mariana Popova has been a collaborative pianist for vocal masterclasses with Brigitte Fassbaender, Reri Grist, Angela Denoke, Margreet Honig, Edda Moser and Robert Holl. Since 2007, she has been a lecturer for vocal accompaniment at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. In 2013, Mariana was invited to be a guest lecturer at the Shanghai Conservatory in China and offer courses in art song performance.

Boglárka Pecze

Boglárka Pecze, born in 1986 in Hungary, began to play the clarinet aged 9. Until 2004 she studied at the national conservatory for music, dance and art in Pécs, and since 2005, she has lived in Germany.

She studied with Reiner Wehle at the Music University Lübeck and, in 2009/10, was scholarship holder at the IEMA (International Ensemble Modern Academy, Frankfurt), where she graduated with a postgraduate qualification in new music supervised by Nina Janßen.

She is the recipient of numerous international prizes, including the DAAD prize in 2011,the Stockhausen prize 2010 ans 2011 and a scholarship at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, 2013.

Numerous solo and chamber music performances have taken Boglárka Pecze throughout Europe, Asia and the USA, for example, in performances at the Contemporary Music Festival in Huddersfield, the Salzburger Festspiele and the Internationales Musikfestival Shanghai.

She has performed as a guest with Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Linea und Ensemble Resonanz.

Her work is enriched through regular and intensive collaboration with composers such as H. Lachenmann, P. Eötvös, J. M. Staud, M. Illés and G. Aperghis. In addition, she has taken part in numerous premieres.

She won the Hermann and Milena Ebel award in 2012 and the Berenberg cultural award in 2014 with Trio Catch, of whom she is a founding member. The trio has also been selected by the European Concert Hall Organisation to take part in its “Rising Stars” series and will perform in some of the most important concert halls across Europe during the 2015/16 season.
Trio Catch’s debut record was published by col legno.

Tora Augestads

Tora Augestad’s versatility inspires composers, theatre directors and conductors. By commissioning new works and through the collaboration with her various ensembles she continuously seeks new challenges and the exchange of artistic ideas. She knows how to be theatrically convincing and how to engage her vocal capabilities, which defy easy classification, in a compelling manner.

Born in Bergen in 1979, the singer/actress Tora Augestad studied classical music and jazz singing in Oslo and Stockholm, devoting herself principally to repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. While studying in Berlin and Munich she intensified her involvement in German music before graduating in cabaret singing from the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

Tora Augestad has become a regular guest in her native Norway and the rest of Europe, sharing the podium with musical partners such as the Ensemble Modern (Weill’s Three Penny Opera), Ensemble Contrechamps (Gardner’s No Thanks), Klangforum Wien (Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil), Remix Ensemble (Berio’s Folksongs), Finnish Chamber Orchestra (Paus’ Hate Songs), NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (Widmann’s Dunkle Saiten), Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne (Manoury’s Lab.Oratorium), the Bamberg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins), NRK Norwegian Radio Orchestra (Hillborg’s …lontana in sonno…), the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Hellstenius‘s As if the law is everything) and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. She performed the premiere of an opera she commissioned herself at the Bergen Festival 2015: Cecilie Ore’s Adam & Eve.

The collaboration with the Swiss director Christoph Marthaler, which began in 2010 with the premiere of Beat Furrer’s Wüstenbuch, has become a constant in Tora Augestad’s artistic life. After the success of Marthaler’s Meine faire Dame, a take on My Fair Lady, at the Theater Basel in 2012 with guest appearances in Naples, Avignon, Edinburgh and Paris, the homage to Verdi’s Lo Stimolatore Cardiaco in Basel and the Zurich Opera House production of Sale with music by Handel followed. The staged Lieder recital King Size went on tour to cities including Hamburg, Prague, Moscow, Geneva, Turin, Rotterdam, London (Royal Opera House), Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo and Jerusalem. The production Last Days. An Eve was performed at the Wiener Festwochen 2013, the Festival d’Automne Paris and at the Staatsoper Berlin. Recent productions at the Volksbühne Berlin included Hallelujah, Bekannte Gefühle, Gemischte Gesichter and Tessa Blomstedt gibt nicht auf, which was also invited to Mexico in 2016. In 2017, Mir nämeds uf ois was presented at the Schauspielhaus Zurich and in 2018 the Charles Ives-tribute Universe, Incomplete at the RuhrTriennale followed, for which she has been nominated Singer of the Year 2019 by Opernwelt.

In 2004, Tora Augestad founded the ensemble MUSIC FOR A WHILE, made up of high-class musicians from the Norwegian jazz scene. After the release of their CD Weill Variations, the singer was awarded the renowned Lotte Lenya Prize in 2008. Their album Graces That Refrain followed in 2012 and the CD Canticles of Winter in 2014. The ensemble has already appeared at the Kurt Weill Festival Dessau, Bergen International Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Dresden Music Festival, Handel Festival Halle, Musikfest Stuttgart and the Kissinger Sommer. Her BOA TRIO released its debut album mOOn Over tOwns in 2013 and has performed at the Ultima Festival Oslo, Radialsystem Berlin, Klangspuren Schwaz and Wien Modern. Her first ECM CD Rumi Songs was released in 2016. The solo-CD Portraying Passion (LAWO Classics, Oslo Philharmonic featuring works by Weill, Ives and Paus) has been nominated by the German Record Critics’ Award as best recording 2019 and been chosen as star/recording of the month by Fono Forum and Opernwelt magazine. It also has been awarded the Spellemannprisen 2019, the Norwegian Grammy. In 2019, her latest CD DIALOGUES has been released at Grappa.

In the season 2020/21, Tora Augestad will return to the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne for a New Year’s Concert with conductor Joshua Weilerstein at the Kölner Philharmonie and to the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for Reinbert de Leeuw‘s Im wunderschönen Monat Mai for the inauguration festival of the new Munch Museum Oslo. She will also present the Handel-programme As on a Sunshine Summers Day together with the Lautten Compagney Berlin at the Mercatorhalle Duisburg as well as Marthaler‘s King Size at the Théâtre Les Celestins Lyon and the Landestheater Bregenz i.a..

Tora Augestad was co-artistic director of the Hardanger Music Festival in Norway between 2015-2020. She was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2015, the most important cultural prize in Scandinavia, and was awarded as Performer of the Year by the Norwegian Composer Society in 2018.