Salzburg Easter Festival: Concert for Salzburg

Philippe Herreweghe Conductor
Maximilian Schmitt Evangelist
Günter Haumer Jesus
Dorothee Mields Soprano
Damien Guillon Altus
Robin Tritschler Tenor
Krešimir Stražanac Jesus
Collegium Vocale Gent

Johann Sebastian Bach

  • »St John Passion«, BWV 245
  • 29.03.2018
    18:00 Uhr
    Salzburg, Großes Festspielhaus

Philippe Herreweghe

Philippe Herreweghe was born in Ghent and studied at both the university and music conservatory there, studying piano with Marcel Gazelle. During this period he started conducting and founded Collegium Vocale Gent in 1970. He was invited by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, who had noticed his innovative work, to participate in their recordings of the complete cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Herreweghe’s energetic, authentic and rhetorical approach to baroque music was soon drawing praise. In 1977 he founded the ensemble La Chapelle Royale in Paris, with whom he performed music of the French Golden Age. From 1982 to 2002 he was artistic director of the Académies Musicales de Saintes. During this period, he founded several new ensembles with whom he made historically appropriate and well-thought-out interpretations of repertoire stretching from the Renaissance to contemporary music. They include the Ensemble Vocal Européen, specialised in Renaissance polyphony, and the Orchestre des Champs Élysées, founded in 1991 with the aim of playing pre-Romantic and Romantic repertoire on original instruments. Since 2009, Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent have been actively working on the development of a large European-level symphonic choir. 


Philippe Herreweghe continually seeks out new musical challenges, and has been very active performing the great symphonic repertoire, from Beethoven to Stravinsky. Since 1997 he is principal conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic. He is also in great demand as a guest conductor with orchestras such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig the hr-Sinfonieorchester Franfurt, the Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra or the Scottish Chamber Orchestra or the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich.

Philippe Herreweghe has received numerous European awards for his consistent artistic imagination and commitment. In 1990 the European music press named him Musical Personality of the Year. 1994 he was awarded the Belgian order of Officier des Arts et Lettres, and in 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Leuven. In 2003 he received the French title Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Lastly, in 2010 the city of Leipzig awarded him its Bach-Medaille for his great service as a performer of Bach. In 2017 Philippe Herreweghe will receive an honorary doctorate at Ghent University.

Maximilian Schmitt

Maximilian Schmitt discovered his passion for music at a very early age, as a member of the Regensburg Cathedral Choir. He later studied song under Anke Eggers at Berlin’s University of the Arts and was taught by Roland Hermann. In 2005 and 2006, he was a member of the young ensemble at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

Maximilian gained his first stage experience as a member of Munich’s Opera Studios, before joining the ensemble at Mannheim’s National Theatre for the next four years. In 2012, he made his debut as Tamino at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam in Simon McBurney’s celebrated production under the direction of Marc Albrecht. The climax and finale of his 2016/2017 season was his debut at the Scala in Milan as Pedrillo in Mozart’s »Die Entführung aus dem Serail« under Zubin Mehta.

In addition to his passion for opera, concert singing is also of great importance to Maximilian Schmitt. His widely-diversified repertoire stretches from Monteverdi via Mozart to Mendelssohn, guesting for famous directors such as Franz Welser-Möst, Daniel Harding, Thomas Hengelbrock, Fabio Luisi, Andres Orozco Estrada, Trevor Pinnock, René Jacobs and Robin Ticciati, and orchestras such as Berlin’s Academy for Ancient Music, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Bayerischer Rundfunk and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, the Vienna Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra. Maximilian Schmitt is also a regular guest at various Parisian orchestras (Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble orchestral de Paris, Orchestre National de France), and even had the opportunity to play music at one of Claudio Abbado’s final concerts at the Lucerne Festival. A close partnership with Philippe Herreweghe allows Maximilian Schmitt to consistently display his wide repertoire.

Dorothee Mields

Dorothee Mields is one of the leading interpreters of 17th- and 18th-century music and is beloved by audiences and critics alike for her unique timbre and moving interpretations. Her flawless technique and the ethereal clarity of her voice also make her ideally suited for works by contemporary composers like Beat Furrer, Gérard Grisey, Hans Werner Henze and Pierre Boulez.

She appears regularly with the Collegium Vocale Gent, Bach Collegium Japan, Netherlands Bach Society, Freiburger Barockorchester, RIAS Kammerchor, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, L’Orfeo Barockorchester, Lautten Compagney and Klangforum Wien under such conductors as Stefan Asbury, Ivor Bolton, Frans Brüggen, Pierre Cao, Beat Furrer, Paul Goodwin, Philippe Herreweghe, Wolfgang Katschner, Gustav Leonhardt, Emilio Pomárico, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Ludger Rémy, Peter Schreier, Andreas Spering, Christoph Spering, Stephen Stubbs, Masaaki Suzuki and Jos van Veldhoven.

Dorothee Mields is a welcome guest at international festivals, including the Leipzig Bach Festival, Suntory Music Foundation Summer Festival in Japan, Boston Early Music Festival, Flanders Festival, Vienna Festival, the Handel Festival in Halle, Niedersächsische Musiktage and Musikfest Bremen.

Since autumn 2016, Dorothee Mields teaches voice a the Royal Conservatory The Hague.

Damien Guillon

Damien Guillon begann his musical knowledge in 1989 at the Maîtrise de Bretagne supervised by Jean-Michel Noël. He received a full music education from his youngest age and quickly sang as solo soprano in many baroque oratorios as well as Opera master pieces.

Then, he became a member of the Maîtrise du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles directed by Olivier Schneebeli, where he improved his vocal technique and deepens his research about early music interpretations with Howard Crook, Jérome Corréas, Alain Buet, Noëlle Barker. He studied continuo, harpsichord and he is in 2014 admitted at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis to receive the teaching of Andreas Scholl.

Currently, his vocal and musical qualities earned him invitations to perform with conductors as famous as William Christie, Paul McCreesh, Hans-Christoph Rademann, François Xavier Roth, Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki and Philippe Herreweghe with whom he pursues a close and intense musical relationship.

His repertoire ranges from songs of the English Renaissance to Baroque oratorios and operas by Claudio Monteverdi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedirch Händel, Henry Purcell among others. 

Damien Guillon is now frequently invited as a conductor: he conducted Caldara’s »Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo« with Les Musiciens du Paradis, Bach’s Magnificat with the Café Zimmermann and the Chamber Choir of Rouen as well as Bach’s Cantatas with the Collegium Vocale Gent in Saintes Festival etc.

Robin Tritschler

Acclaimed for his »radiantly lyrical« voice, Irish tenor Robin Tritschler has garnered praise from critics and audiences for his performances. In concert, Robin has appeared with many leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Vladimir Jurowski), L’Orchestre National de Lyon (Yutaka Sado), Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (Edo de Waart), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Philippe Herreweghe), the Moscow Virtuosi (Vladimir Spivakov), and the BBC Philharmonic (Juanjo Mena). With the RTE Concert Orchestra, Robin Tritschler performed the Messiah before Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Vatican State, and gave the UK premiere of CPE Bach’s St John Passion with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits. 

With Welsh National Opera, Robin’s operatic roles include Count Almaviva (»Il barbiere di Siviglia«, Nemorino (»L’elisir d’amore«), Narraboth (»Salome«), Ferrando (»Così fan tutte«), Don Ottavio (»Don Giovanni«) and Belmonte (»Die Entführung aus dem Serail«). He recently made his debut with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in »Wozzeck«, and with Garsington Opera as Ferrando. 

Robin also enjoys performing contemporary opera, creating the tenor roles in Roger Waters’ Ça Ira and Will Gregory’s Piccard in Space, and appearing in Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream (WNO) and productions of John Cage’s Europeras 1 & 2 and Louis Andriessen’s De Materie with the RuhrTriennale Festival. 

Robin frequently appears in recital at London’s Wigmore Hall with leading accompanists Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, Iain Burnside and Julius Drake. He has also performed recitals at many other renowned venues such as the Köln Philharmonie, Het Concertgebouw, and the Kennedy Centre (Washington DC), and at the Aldeburgh Festival, Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Klavierfest Ruhr and the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. In 2012 Robin was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist and has broadcast extensively with their orchestras, including appearing at the BBC Proms. 

Krešimir Stražanac

Krešimir Stražanac, was born in Osijek, Croatia. He studied voice an art song interpretation at the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart and privately with Jane Thorner Mengedoht and Hanns-Friedrich Kunz.

After the studies, Mr. Stražanac joined the Zürich Opera roster as an ensemble member. He appeared as Baron Tusenbach in the opera house premiere of Péter Eötvös's »Three Sisters«, Ping in »Turandot«, Harlequin in »Ariadne auf Naxos«, Don Fernando in »Fidelio« and Dr. David Livesey in the world premiere of Frank Schwemmer's »Die Schatzinsel« under the batons of such conductors as Nello Santi, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Peter Schneider, Franz Welser-Möst, Carlo Rizzi, Bernard Haitink and Placido Domingo. In 2017 he had his debut at the Bavarian State Opera Munich with the role of Pietro Fléville in the new production of Umberto Giordanos «Andrea Chénier«.

The bass-baritone won the International Cantilena Competition in Bayreuth and the International La Voce Competition of Bavarian Radio and Television as well as the International Hugo Wolf Competition in the composer's birthplace (Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia). He earned further prizes at the International Paula Salomon Lindberg Competition in Berlin and the Opera Competition of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.

During the 2016/2017 season he made his debuts with the Collegium Vocale Gent and Orchestre du Champs-Elysées under the baton of Philippe Herreweghe, with the hr Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, the Gürzenichorchester and the Münchner Rundfunkorchester. Besides this, he also appeared with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Bamberger Symphoniker and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. 

Collegium Vocale Gent

Collegium Vocale Gent was founded in 1970 on Philippe Herreweghe’s initiative by a group of friends studying at the University of Ghent. They were one of the first ensembles to use new ideas about baroque performance practice in vocal music. Their authentic, text-oriented and rhetorical approach gave the ensemble the transparent sound with which it would acquire world fame and perform at the major concert venues and music festivals of Europe, the United States, Russia, South America, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. Since 2017 the ensemble runs its own summer festival Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi in Tuscany, Italy.

In recent years, Collegium Vocale Gent has grown organically into an extremely flexible ensemble whose wide repertoire encompasses a range of different stylistic periods. Its greatest strength is its ability to assemble the ideal performing forces for any project. Music from the Renaissance, for example, is performed by a small group soloists. German Baroque music, particularly Johann Sebastian Bach’s vocal works, has been a speciality of the group and is still the jewel in its crown. Today Collegium Vocale Gent performs this music with a small ensemble in which the singers take both the chorus and solo parts. Collegium Vocale Gent is also specializing in the Romantic, modern and contemporary oratorio repertoires, performed with the symphonic choir up to 80 singers.

Besides using its own baroque orchestra, Collegium Vocale Gent works with several historically informed instrumental ensembles to perform these projects, including the Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Freiburger Barockorchester and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. It also works with prominent symphony orchestras such as deFilharmonie (Royal Flemish Philharmonic), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The ensemble has worked with Ivor Bolton, Marcus Creed, Reinbert de Leeuw, Iván Fischer, René Jacobs, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kaspars Putnins, Jos van Immerseel, Paul Van Nevel, James Wood and many others leading conductors.