We are pleased to announce the winners of the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award – Competition for counter tenor 2011:
- 1st prize: Christopher Ainslie (South Africa)
- 2nd prize: Andrew Rader (USA)
- 3rd prize: Jan Jakub Monowid (Poland)
1st prize: Christopher Ainslie (South Africa)
South African countertenor Christopher Ainslie has rapidly established himself amongst the leaders in his voice type. Since moving to the UK in 2005, he has appeared twice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at Glyndebourne, Opera de Lyon, Drottningholm, the Göttingen Handel Festival, and in July 2011 made his US debut at Central City Opera. He also recently gave his debut recital at the Wigmore Hall, presenting repertoire ranging from Dowland through to Mahler and Britten.
Studying with Mark Tucker, Ainslie is an exponent of the bel canto rather than the English choral tradition, and his expressive, colourful and dramatic singing continually attracts critical acclaim. He won the 2011 Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award for countertenors, was the first countertenor to win the Richard Tauber competition at the Wigmore Hall (2008) and won the Michael Oliver Prize in the 2007 Handel Singing Competition.
Opera performances include the title roles in Amadigi, Tamerlano, Poro and Artaxerxes, Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Arsace in Partenope, Medoro in Orlando, Alessandro in Tolomeo, Ruggiero in Alcina, Fourth Innocent in The Minotaur and the Voice of Apollo in Death in Venice. His upcoming roles include Eustazio in Rinaldo (Glyndebourne on Tour) and Helicon in Caligula (English National Opera).
Equally at home on the concert platform, Ainslie’s performances in Bach’s and Handel’s oratorios have been described as ‘movingly eloquent’, ‘emotionally involved’, ‘beautifully toned’ and ‘sung with affecting directness’.
2nd prize: Andrew Rader (USA)
Andrew Rader is a graduate of the Early Music Institute of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. He is currently living in Indiana where he is a staff member of the Choir of Men and Boys for Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in Indianapolis. He is a member of LIBER: Ensemble for Early 11
Music, performing with the group throughout the United States and Europe. Recently, he was awarded 3rd prize in the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award 2011 in Lugano, Switzerland. In addition, he is a regular performer with Magnificat Baroque in Berkeley, California.
Sharing the stage with ARTEK, Marion Verbruggen Trio, AVE, Music’s Re-creation, and Archetti, he has sung on the Chicago, Bloomington, Berkeley and Boston Early Music Festivals during recent seasons. Also, he is a founding member and co-director of Vox Reflexa, a chamber vocal ensemble geared toward bridging the gap between ancient and new music day through chant melodies and texts. Within this ensemble Mr. Rader is the director of the Vox Reflexa Consort, the portion of the ensemble specifically crafted for the performance of early works.
His stage experience includes IU Opera Theater’s production of Händel’s Giulio Cesare (for which he sang the title role under the baton of Maestro Gary Thor Wedow and stage direction of Tom Diamond) and the role of Oberon in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other solo engagements include: St. John Passion, Come, Ye Sons of Art, and Fire and Ice: Michelangelo the Writer in Nashville, TN; Vivaldi Gloria, St. John Passion, and Chichester Psalms in Indianapolis; Charpentier’s Orphée, Carissimi’s Jephte, and Schütz’ Weihnachts-Historie in California; and Bach’s Cantata, BWV 80 (“Ein feste Berg”) in Magdeburg, Germany.
3rd prize: Jan Jakub Monowid (Poland)
He was a student of Professor Jerzy Artysz at Warsaw Academy of Music. He began his concert work while still a student, taking part in performances of works by such composers as Bach, Pergolesi, Handel, Liszt and Britten, in Poland and abroad. His debut on the operatic stage came in 2004, as Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Warsaw Chamber Opera, which he joined on completing his studies.
He also works with the Operetka Music Theatre of Mazovia and the Baltic Opera in Gdańsk. Besides numerous chamber concerts featuring early and contemporary music, he has sung such parts as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Ramiro in La finta giardiniera and Farnace in Mitridate, re di Ponto (all by Mozart), the titular role in Rossini’s Tancredi, Goffredo in Rinaldo and Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare (both by Handel) and Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. He has taken part in music festivals in Poland, Germany and France.
He has recorded discs featuring works by Polish composers (the ‘opera omnia’ of both Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki and Stanisław Sylwester Szarzyński) and also Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
The Jury of 2011
Maestro Gianni Bergamo
Gianni Bergamo was born in Milan, Italy in 1941, attended primary school in Italy and Liceo in Switzerland. After a degree in Economy (1964) at the Catholic University of Milan, he dedicated himself to the study of music with Tissoni (harmony and composition), D. Maffeis (organ) and N. Sanzogno (orchestra conducting) at the Conservatory of Bergamo, Italy.
From 1964 to 1994 has been a businessman with his own import-export, real estate and finance companies, though at the same time he has remained close to music and to its world.
In 1990 he created the Cultural Association “Gli Amici Cantori”, first as a chorus alone, then later accompanied by an orchestra. He has given many concerts in Italy with them, preferring the symphonic-sacred repertoire (masses, oratories, passions, etc.). At present, he lives in Santiago del Chile.
Daniel Gloger (*1976) completed his Voice studies with a Masters Degree under Prof. Donald Litaker at the Music Conservatory in Karlsruhe in 2005, and is awarded a scholarship from Akademie Schloss Solitude nearby Stuttgart between 2009 and 2011.
His wide-ranged repertoire is documented in CD-recordings with the Ensemble 2e2m of Paris, the EuropaChorAkademie, members of www.stock11.de and the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart.
As a soloist, he has performed at renowned Festivals such as Knechtstedener Tage für Alte Musik, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Pfingsten Barock of the Salzburger Festspiele, Wien Modern, the Festival Printemps des Arts in Monte Carlo, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Schwetzinger Festspiele and the Stuttgart Eclat festival.
He debuted at the Salzburger Festspiele 2009 as Vagaus in Antonio Vivaldi’s oratorio „Juditha triumphans “ and appears in 2010 as the title role in Bernhard Lang’s new opera „Montezuma“ at the Nationaltheater Mannheim and in Chaya Czernowin’s „Pnima“ at the Staatstheater Stuttgart.
Gloger is a permanent member of the Neuen Vocalsolisten Stuttgart.
She studied musicology, germanistics and theatre.
Already during her studies, she made a stage for production and dramaturgy at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg.
After further collaborations at Gelsenkirchen and Wuppertal, she was employed by Claus Helmut Drese at the Opernhaus Zurich, where she was responsabile above all for the productions whose scenic language is particularly difficult for the participants. Among all directors with whom she has collaborated, she was particularly influenced by Robert Wilson and Ruth Berghaus. She was invited to work at the Wiener Festwochen, Salzburger Festspiele, Théâtre du Châtelet, Teatro Real in Madrid, Megaron Mousikis in Athens, Styriarte in Graz and Metropolitan Opera in New York. From 2000 to 2004 she collaborated with Jürgen Flimm for the «Ring des Nibelungen» at the Bayreuth Festival. In 2003/04 she worked with the light designer Adreas Fuchs for the creation of a halfscenic «Ring» that was internationally admired at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund.
Since summer 2004, she is the director of the international opera laboratori at the Opernhaus Zurich, with whose ensemble she performer among others «Albert Herring» by Britten, «Der Konsul» by Menotti, «Mamelles de Tiresias» by Poulenc, «Die Bettleroper» (Gay/ Britten), «La Didone» by Cavalli, «Così fan tutte» as guest in Heilbronn and Mühlacker, and also «Die lustigen Nibelungen».
The countertenor Kai Wessel was born in Hamburg and studied music theory (Prof.R.Ploeger), composition (Prof.Dr.F.Döhl), and voice (Prof.U.v.Garczynski, concert examination passed with honours) at the Lübeck Academy of Music. During his Lübeck years Wessel was also an external student in the field of baroque performance practice at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (René Jacobs).
Wessel received numerous prizes between 1984 and 1990, including the special prize of the German Theater Society for the best interpretation of a contemporary work (Berlin, 1988) and a prize at the Musica Antiqua Competition of the Flanders Festival in Bruges. He received fellowships from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and the DAAD (studying under Peter Kooj in Hilversum/Holland). Wessel has served as an assistant to René Jacobs in the production of operas by P.A.Cesti, F.Cavalli and C.W.Gluck for the International Festival Week of Early Music in Innsbruck, for the WDR Radio, and at the Hamburg State Opera.
As one of the leading countertenors Wessel is invited to music festivals all over the world (Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Schwetzingen, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Tokyo, San Francisco, a.o.) and to numerous opera houses (Freiburg, Basel, St.Gallen, Barcelona, Nice, Berlin a.o.) where he took part in stage-productions by Herbert Wernicke (in Theodora and Giulio Cesare by G.F.Handel, Aus Deutschland by Mauricio Kagel, Wie liegt die Stadt so wüste with the music by H.Schütz/M.Weckmann and Actus tragicus with the music by J.S.Bach), Joachim Schlömer (as Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice by Chr.W.Gluck), Claus Guth (in Schwarzerde by Klaus Huber), Peter Oskarson (in Luci mie traditrici by Salvatore Sciarrino), Gilbert Déflo (in Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi), John Dew (in Hippolyte et Aricie by Jean Philippe Rameau) a.o. He has been involved in performances, radio broadcasts, amore than sixty recordings under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, William Christie, Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhard, Ton Koopman, Michael Schneider, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Martin Haselböck, Reinhard Goebel, Konrad Junghänel, Michael Hofstetter, Nicholas McGegan, Sigiswald Kuijken, Michel Corboz, Hans-Werner Henze, Arturo Tamayo, Hermann Max, and others.
Kai Wessel is teaching voice and baroque performance practice at the Superiour Highschool of Music Cologne/Germany, and regularly giving summer-classes in Germany and Austria.