Angelika Kirchschlager - Biography
Austrian mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager enjoys an international career as one of the most important vocal artists before the public today dividing her time between recitals and opera in Europe, North America and the Far East. She is internationally recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of Richard Strauss and Mozart. In title roles of operas such as Pelleas et Melisande, Sophie’s Choice and The rape of Lucretia she shows the vast variety of her voice. As a celebrated recitalist and concert performer her repertoire reaches from Bach, Berlioz, Brahms, Debussy, Dvorak, Korngold, Mahler, Mendelssohn and Ravel to Rossini, Schubert, Schumann, Weill and Wolf.
For her outstanding contributions to the Vienna State Opera the Austrian government awarded Ms. Kirchschlager the title of Kammersängerin in June 2007. In November 2009 she became an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2013 she won the BBC Music Magazine Award for her recording of Liszt and received the prestigious European Cultural Award for her contributions to classical music on stage and as a teacher keeping the fascination of classical music alive for the younger generation.
Angelika Kirchschlager’s 2014-2015 season is once again filled with first class engagements including opera, concerts and recitals:
She begins it with her second Lieder tour through Austria accompanied again by pianist and organist Robert Lehrbaumer with performances in smaller towns and villages and the intention to bring the songs to the people. Two years ago Angelika Kirchschlager had an overwhelming success when she carried out her own idea of singing without a fee for audiences in smaller cities which normally do not have the opportunity to attend performances in the famous Austrian cultural centers. This year she sings in churches with organ. After the tour finale at the Vienna concert house and a recital at the Liszt Festival in Raiding she sings Schubert recitals with James Sherlock in Champs Hill and Oxford where she also gives a master class. In early November she goes on tour with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra conducted by H.K. Gruber and concerts of Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins in Örebro, Stockholm, Neumarkt, Tuttlingen, Vienna and Düsseldorf.
Remaining performances of the year include a recital at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, concerts with the Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich, at the Vienna Musikverein and at the Festspielhaus in St. Pölten, Austria, as well as a gala concert with song writer and singer Konstantin Wecker. Angelika Kirchschlager kicks off the New Year with a concert of Wesendonck Lieder at the Salzburg Mozarteum followed by a master class in Madrid. She then returns to Berlin for a recital at the Konzerthaus accompanied by Sarah Tysman. At the end of the month she sings Mahler´s Rückert Lieder with the Orchestre de Radio France in Paris.
She then looks forward to two exciting opera productions at the Theater an der Wien. First will be H.K. Gruber´s Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald. Ms. Kirchschlager already starred in the world premiere of this newly written opera last summer at the Bregenz Festival. Second will be Darius Milhaud´s opera La mère coupable. In between, she sings a concert at Christian Altenburg´s Festival “Loisium”.
Following performances till the end of the season include a Lieder Gala at the Musikverein in Graz accompanied by pianist Helmut Deutsch, a concert with Konstantin Wecker and Julian Gillesberger at the Johannes Church in Lucerne, Switzerland, recitals with Julius Drake at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, with Simon Lepper in Paris and Rufus Wainright in Ludwigsburg, a concert with the Philharmonia Schrammeln at the Vienna Musikverein, a recital at the Strauss Festival in Garmisch as well as a concert and recital at London´s Wigmore Hall. Also this season, Ms. Kirchschlager gives another master class at the Sommer Oper Bamberg.
Among her latest recordings are the above mentioned album of Liszt accompanied by Julius Drake on Hyperion, a Lieder CD (Preiser Records) as well as her recording “Seligkeit” featuring Schubert, Mahler and Brahms with the Philharmonia Schrammeln on Deutsche Grammophon. In 2010 she released the ECHO Award winning recording of Schumann Lieder (Sony), Mahler Lieder (Quinton Records) for the composer’s 150th birthday, a Brahms album (Hyperion Records) and a CD of Lieder by Joseph Marx (cpo). In addition she is part of a two volume CD of Volkslieder (Sony) where she is featured together with many other famous classical singers.
Her discography further includes Lieder by Hugo Wolf (Sony), an Operetta album (Sony) recorded with Simon Keenlyside, an album of Christmas carols, Händel Arias and the duet lieder album “First Encounter” with Barbara Bonney, “Women’s Lives and Loves” (lieder by Schumann and Loewe with Dame Felicity Lott) on Hyperion, Le Nozze di Figaro (René Jacobs, conductor) on Harmonia Mundi as well as the Sony releases of Bach Arias, 'When night falls' a collection of classical and popular lullabies and her highly acclaimed debut album of Lieder by Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler and Erich Korngold.
On DVD Ms. Kirchschlager can be seen as Sesto in the highly-acclaimed Glyndebourne production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare on Opus Arte; as Cherubino on Le Nozze di Figaro (René Jacobs, conductor) on Bel Air, as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier from the Salzburg Festival (Semyon Bychkov, conductor) on TDK and as Sophie in the Royal Opera House release of Nicholas Maw’s opera Sophie’s Choice. Ms. Kirchschlager won three ECHO KLASSIK as well as a GRAMMY Award.
Born in Salzburg, Angelika Kirchschlager enrolled at the Vienna Music Academy in 1984 where she studied voice with Professor Gerhard Kahry and the late Viennese baritone Walter Berry. Today Ms. Kirchschlager teaches herself at international master classes. She makes her home in Vienna.