Guest Concert in Kaliningrad

Christian Thielemann Conductor
Christiane Karg Soprano
Christoph Pohl Bass
State Opera Chorus Dresden

Johannes Brahms

  • »Ein deutsches Requiem«, Opus 45
  • 27.05.2018
    19:00 Uhr
    Königsberg, Dom

Christian Thielemann

Principal Conductor

The 2017 / 2018 season is Christian Thielemann’s sixth as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he occupied until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra. 

Christian Thielemann has contributed to the birthday celebrations for Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss with numerous Staatskapelle concerts in the Semperoper and on tour. His programmes have also featured a wide range of music from Bach to Henze, Rihm and Gubaidulina. He conducted new productions of »Manon Lescaut«, »Simon Boccanegra«, »Elektra« and »Der Freischütz« in Dresden as well as »Parsifal«, »Arabella«, »Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci«, »Otello« and »Die Walküre« in Salzburg. 

Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. Following his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000, he has returned every year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations. In 2010 he was appointed the festival’s Musical Advisor, and in June 2015 he became its Music Director. Much in demand as a versatile concert conductor, he has collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras in Amsterdam, London, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, and has also performed in Israel, Japan and China. 

As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. His most recent ventures have been the recordings of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies nos. 4 and 6, the complete cycle of the symphonies and solo concertos of Johannes Brahms as well as the operas »Der Freischütz«, »Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci« and »Elektra« for CD or DVD. Alongside the New Year’s Eve Concerts of 2010 to 2013, he has already released many CDs and DVDs with the Staatskapelle featuring symphonic works by Beethoven, Liszt, Bruckner, Reger, Pfitzner and Busoni. He has recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic. 

Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In May 2015 he was awarded the Richard Wagner prize by the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the prize of the Semperoper Trust in October 2016.

Christiane Karg

Born in Feuchtwangen, Bavaria, Christiane Karg studied singing at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at the Music Conservatory in Verona.

In 2006 she made her auspicious debut at the Salzburg Festival and has returned to sing Amor »Orfeo ed Euridice« with Riccardo Muti and Zerlina »Don Giovanni« with Yannick Nezet-Seguin. At the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich she has sung Ighino »Palestrina«, at the Komische Oper Berlin, Musetta »La bohème« and Norina »Don Pasquale«, and at the Opera de Lille, Anne Trulove »The Rakes Progress«.

Christiane Karg is a committed and distinguished recitalist and has made excellent recital debuts at the Vienna Musikverein, Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Wigmore Hall and Edinburgh Festival. Other recent appearances include the Mozarteum Salzburg, Philharmonie Essen, Philharmonie Köln, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and Innsbruck.

Christoph Pohl

After his first vocal experiences in Hannover’s Boys Choir Christoph Pohl was a member of the renowned a cappella vocal group »Modell Andante« for eight years. He then studied opera singing at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hannover with Carol Richardson-Smith, and was in the song class of Justus Zeyen. From 2003 until 2005, Christoph Pohl was a member of the Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera where he performed in several productions, including his debut as Papageno.

Christoph Pohl has won several national and international competitions, a.o. the International Schumann Song Competition 2008.  In the same year, he was awarded with the Christel Goltz Prize by the Semper Opera Foundation.

In September 2005 Christoph Pohl became member of the Semperoper Dresden, where he regularely appears in major baritone roles. He sang for the first time and very successfully Posa (»Don Carlo«) as well as Heerrufer (»Lohengrin«) and Lescaut in a new production of »Manon Lescaut«, both under the direction of Christian Thielemann. His first Germont (»La traviata«) followed in January 2014. His debut with Spielmann (»Königskinder«) and especially Eugene Onegin became an emotional highlight. 

In addition to his obligations in Dresden Christoph Pohl appeared in guest performances as Wolfram and Zurga at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as Ottokar at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, as Papageno at the Oper Leizpig, and several times at the Bayerische Staatsoper München, among others in the new production of Eötvös' »The tragedy of the devil«. 

The Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas wrote his new opera »Morgen und Abend« especially for Christoph Pohl, the world premiere in London Covent Garden in 2015 was highly acclaimed by both public and critics. The production moved to Berlin Deutsche Oper in 2016. 

State Opera Chorus Dresden

Had it not been for Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden’s opera chorus would not have been founded, or at least not on October 8, 1817. It was Weber who obtained royal approval for this initiative; after all, it was his artistic mission (and personal ambition) to establish a German opera company alongside the tradition-steeped Italian opera. Besides suggesting other reforms for the staging of opera, he argued that it was now essential to have a regular choir. The choir started to participate in the traditional Palm Sunday concerts as early as 1827. Major landmarks in its history include the performances in 1846, 1847 and 1849 of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the later Kapellmeister Richard Wagner, who was forced to flee Dresden shortly after the last-mentioned performance.

Currently comprising 89 singers, the Dresden State Opera Chorus has now become one of Europe’s finest opera choruses and has been acclaimed as such in virtually every premiere review in recent years. This preservation of tradition, coupled with a growing awareness of quality, is indebted to such artists as Joseph Metzner, Wilhelm Fischer, Karl Maria Pembaur, Ernst Hintze, Gerhart Wüstner, Franz Peter Müller-Sybel, Hans-Dieter Pflüger, Matthias Brauer and Pablo Assante, who have led the choir through difficult times to the present day. The Dresden State Opera Chorus is currently directed by Jörn Hinnerk Andresen, who since assuming his post in 2014 has maintained and developed such qualities as tonal coherence, refinement and reliably consistent precision.

The State Opera Chorus of today has to a significant degree been shaped by its collaboration with the conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli, who died far too early and dedicated much time and effort to developing the choir’s artistic potential. Nowadays, the choir frequently demonstrates its qualities in operatic productions and concert performances. Radio, television and CD recordings bear further testimony to the immense prowess on account of which the State Opera Chorus is much sought after in many places besides Dresden: the choir receives invitations to perform at festivals, on tours and in concerts and has since 2013 worked together with the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Salzburg Easter Festival, which has been directed by Christian Thielemann ever since. October 8, 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Dresden State Opera Chorus.