Sweat of the Sun

based on »Conquest of the Useless« by Werner Herzog

Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale; financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation
A co-production of the Munich Biennale and Theater Osnabrück
cooperation with the Festival Operadagen Rotterdam

composition: David Fennessy; director: Marco Štorman; dramaturge: Katharina Ortmann; set and costume: Jil Bertermann; Sound design/develompement of instrument: Zoro Babel; video: Ole Heinzow; Orchestra: Münchener Kammerorchester; Conductor: Alexander Liebreich;

The German director Werner Herzog shot the film »Fitzcarraldo« in 1982. Herzog comments on the shoot in a diary, which was published under the title »Eroberung des Nutzlosen«. The messianic pathos of language and images that describe the events in the diary is in contrast to the awareness of the uselessness of the project. The music theater piece »Sweat of the Sun« is a zoom shot on the head of a demoniac. The radical subjective perspective of the text »Eroberung des Nutzlosen« is intensified, broken up, and expanded into a three-dimensional depiction of space, scene, and sound in the music theater piece »Sweat of the Sun«. The performance forms a »landscape« consisting of orchestra, actors, vocalists, and audience: the tale of the protagonist unfolds out of this landscape - it ›is‹ more or less his tale.

David Fennessy composition

David Fennessy (b. 1976 Maynooth) began his musical life as guitarist in a school rock band but had no formal musical training until the age of fifteen when he decided to study classical guitar. He became interested in composition whilst studying for his undergraduate degree at the Dublin College of Music. In 1998 Fennessy moved to Glasgow to study for his Masters Degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with James MacMillan. He was later invited to join the composition faculty and has held a teaching post there since 2005.

Fennessy was shortlisted for the Gaudeamus Music Prize in Amsterdam in both 2000 and 2006 and was a finalist for the Philharmonia’s composition prize in 2004. His music has been chosen to represent Ireland at the International Rostrum of Composers.

In 2006/2007 Ensemble Modern awarded Fennessy a scholarship to study at their prestigious International Academy in Frankfurt. A Dewar Arts Award (Scotland) enabled him to live in Germany for 12 months where he created several works in close collaboration with the musicians of the Academy.

In 2010, he composed BODIES, written for the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and La Rejouissance – La Paix commissioned by Ensemble Modern for their 30th Anniversary celebrations, and also received a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award. This British award, providing significant support over three years, aims to give artists the freedom to develop their creative ideas and contribute towards their personal and professional growth. In 2010/2011 he was a Fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart.

Fennessy’s music theatre work Pass the Spoon – a collaboration with director Nick Bone and visual artist David Shrigley – was premièred in Glasgow in November 2011. The creation of the work was made possible by a Vital Sparks Award from Creative Scotland.

Following a first contract with Universal Edition for his orchestral work This is How it Feels (Another Bolero), David Fennessy signed a major agreement in 2011 for his main catalogue of works.

Recent significant works include 5 Hofer Photographs for solo violoncello and Haupstimme, a work for solo viola and ensemble premiered by Garth Knox with Rednote Ensemble at last year’s Huddersfield Festival. Since 2012 he has been working on a trilogy of large scale works based on the diaries of the German film director Werner Herzog written during the production of the 1982 movie Fitzcarraldo.

Fennessy’s music has been performed nationally and internationally by many groups including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, Hebrides Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the RTE Concert Orchestra.

Marco Štorman director

Marco Štorman, born in 1980 in Hamburg, finished his studies in direction at the Otto-Falckenberg-Schule in Munich in 2005. He was an assistant to, among others, Christoph Schlingensief; Jossi Wieler; Andreas Kriegenburg; Stephan Kimmig; and Schorsch Kamerun. He received various scholarships and in 2006 he founded the group Kulturfiliale. In 2011 he shot his first film, »Juliaugust,« which won an award at the 9th berlin film awards. In collaboration with the Goethe Institute he produced municipal installations in Melbourne and Adelaide in 2011 and 2013. He works as a freelance director at, among other institutions, Thalia Theater in Hamburg; Schauspiel Hannover; Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus; and Junge Oper Stuttgart.



Jil Bertermann stage and costume design

Jil Bertermann studied art with an emphasis on set design at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (HFBK). After she received her diploma she worked for Opera Stabile at Staatsoper Hamburg, as well as for Rokokotheater Schwetzingen. The feature film TEENAGE RESPONSE by Eleni Ampelakiotou, for which she designed the sets, was shown in the official program of the 59th Berlinale. From 2009-2012 she was an assistant set designer at Münchner Kammerspiele. At Kammerspiele she designed the sets for, among other productions, GLEIS 11 (»Track 11«) and MÜNCHEN/DIYARBAKIR by Christine Umpfenbach; THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? by Susanne Kennedy; HOTEL EUROPA by Johan Simons; HOLT MICH HIER RAUS (»Get me out of here«) and the city project MÜNCHEN KOMPLETT (»Complete Munich«) by Schorsch Kamerun; and DAS WAR AUF EINER LICHTUNG DA SIE ZUM ERSTEN MAL GELD DAFÜR NAHM (»It was in a clearing when she took money for it for the first time «) by Malte Jelden. She lives in Berlin.



Katharina Ortmann dramaturge

Katharina Ortmann is a music dramaturge and works in the areas of concerts and music theater, with a focus on contemporary repertoire and project development; she has worked at, among other institutions, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater and Oper Hannover, where she was the acting director of Junge Oper for the season 2012/2013. She has worked together with, among others, Robyn Schulkowsky; Leo Dick; and David Fennessy. In 2015 she produced with the visual artist and set designer Ivan Bazak and the composer Gordon Kampe the music theater work "Plätze. Dächer. Wege. Leute" ("Places. Roofs. Paths. People") at Theater Bielefeld.

Cast & credits

composition: David Fennessy

director: Marco Štorman

dramaturge: Katharina Ortmann

set and costume: Jil Bertermann

Sound design/develompement of instrument: Zoro Babel

video: Ole Heinzow

Light: Wolfi Eibert

assistant stage and costume design: Janine Hagedorn

assistant to the director / stage manager: Stephanie Schümann

performer: Susann Vent-Wunderlich (soprano), Leslie Visco (soprano), Annette Schönmüller (alto), Marco Vassalli (baritone), José Gallisa (basso), Stephanie Schadeweg  (actor),  Dennis Pörtner (actor)

Orchestra: Münchener Kammerorchester

Conductor: Alexander Liebreich

duration: 75 minutes

Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale; financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation
A co-production of the Munich Biennale and Theater Osnabrück
cooperation with the Festival Operadagen Rotterdam

recording by BR-KLASSIK
air date: BR-KLASSIK, 2.7.2016, 20.05 Uhr

further performances: Theater Osnabrück, Theater am Domhof, from 2nd June 2017

Ernst von Siemens stiftung Theater Osnabrück


Zoro Babel Sound design/development of instrument

Zoro Babel, born in 1967 in Peterskirchen in Upper Bavaria, Germany, is a musician, composer, and sound director. He already took part as a 14-year-old in courses for improvisation and jazz at Woodstock in the state of New York. As a composer, musician, and theater performer he works together with artists such as Achim Freyer; Urs Troller; and Günter Ballhausen. As a sound director he works with numerous contemporary composers, including Josef Anton Riedl; Dieter Schnebel; Helmut Lachenmann; Carola Bauckholt; and Vinko Globokar, as well as with renowned orchestras such as the symphony orchestra of the broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk and the Berliner Philharmoniker.

He received commissions to compose works for, among others, musica viva; the Donaueschinger Musiktage; and the Siemens Culture Foundation. Zoro Babel develops his own instruments and sound sculptures, for example mobile architectural sound pieces in public spaces, which were exhibited at, among others, Musikfestival Bern in 2015.

In 2001 he received the City of Munich's music grant, and in 2008 a project grant from the Erwin and Gisela Steiner Foundation.

Ole Heinzow video

Born in Bremerhaven, Germany. Computer scientist and product developer. Studied computer science and media at the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven. Works freelance in the areas of audio/video technology as well as event technology. Collaborations with, among others, Gilles Welinski, world premiere of "EXIL" during the Tanz Bremen festival; Sebastian Hirn with “Cosí fan tutte” at the Mozartfestspiele in Schwetzingen; “reenacting the reenactment”, MaximiliansForum; and “das leben ist ein schweres spiel reenacting the reenactment” (“life is a difficult game reenacting the reenactment”) in Jena.

Susann Vent-Wunderlich Soprano

The soprano Susann Vent-Wunderlich was born in Saalfeld, Germany, in the state of Thuringia. After studying music education, history, musicology, applied music, archeology, and art history, she completed her studies in voice at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar under Professor Siegfried Gohritz. She has received several grants, and she has received several awards and been a finalist a number of times in various international and national competitions. She had her opera debut playing the role of Fiordiligi in Mozart's "Così fan tutte" with the Jenaer Philharmonie, conducted by Nicholas Milton. During the season 2010/2011 she had her stage debut at the Semperoper Dresden performing the roles of Second Woman and First Witch/Enchantress in Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas"; during the 2012/2013 season she could be seen at Semperoper Dresden in Henze's "We Come to the River." In 2011 she had her debut in the role of Rosalinde on the Chinese island Guanglu, and she was a guest performer in the Semperoper Dresden production of "Dido and Aeneas" at the Lucerne Festival. As a member of Thüringer Opernstudio she sang at Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar (DNT) the roles of, among others, Micaela and First Lady, and Viclinda in Verdi's "I Lombardi" at the DomStufen-Festspiele in Erfurt in 2012. Concert engagements and guest performances have taken her to China; Spain; France; Hungary; Poland; Austria; Switzerland; and the Czech Republic. Since the season 2012/2013 she has been a permanent member of the ensemble at Theater Osnabrück, where she sang the roles of, among others, Electress Marie in "Der Vogelhändler" and Božena in Dvořák's opera "Vanda." During the season 2014/2015 she could be seen in the role of Marcellina in Mozart's "Figaro"; in the role of Baroness von Freimann in Lortzing's "Der Wildschütz"; and in the role of Marie in Gurlitt's "Soldaten."

Die Sopranistin Susann Vent-Wunderlich wurde im thüringischen Saalfeld geboren. Nach Studien in Schulmusik, Geschichte, Musikwissenschaft, Musikpraxis, Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte absolvierte sie an der Hochschule für Musik „Franz Liszt“ Weimar ein Gesangsstudium bei Prof. Siegfried Gohritz. Ihr Operndebüt hatte die mehrfache Stipendiatin und Preisträgerin/Finalistin verschiedener internationaler und nationaler Wettbewerbe als Fiordiligi in Mozarts Così fan tutte mit der Jenaer Philharmonie unter der Leitung von Nicholas Milton. In der Spielzeit 2010/2011 gab sie als 2nd woman und 1st witch in Purcells Dido and Aeneas ihr Bühnendebüt an der Semperoper Dresden, wo sie 2012/2013 in Henzes Wir erreichen den Fluss zu sehen war. 2011 debütierte sie als Rosalinde auf der chinesischen Insel Guanglu und gastierte mit der Dido and Aeneas-Produktion der Semperoper Dresden bei den Festspielen Luzern. Als Mitglied des Thüringer Opernstudios sang sie am DNT Weimar u. a. die Partien der Micaela sowie der 1. Dame und bei den Domstufen Festspielen Erfurt 2012 die Viclinda in Verdis I Lombardi. Konzertverpflichtungen und Gastengagements führten sie bereits nach China, Spanien, Frankreich, Ungarn, Polen, Österreich, Schweiz und Tschechien. Seit der Spielzeit 2012/2013 ist sie festes Ensemblemitglied am Theater Osnabrück und sang  u. a. die Kurfürstin Marie in Der Vogelhändlerund Božena in Dvořáks Oper Vanda. In der Spielzeit 2014/15 war sie als Marcellina in Mozarts Figaro sowie als Barnonin Freimann in Lortzings Der Wildschütz und als Marie in Gurlitts Soldaten zu erleben.

Leslie Visco Singer

Leslie Visco was born in Naples where she begun her studies and where in 2009 she graduated in singing at San Pietro a Majella Conservatory. She has sung as soloist in several festivals as Associazione Scarlatti di Napoli at Sant’Elmo concert Hall in Naples, Pavia Barocca Festival at Collegio Ghislieri in Pavia, Bilbao Ars Sacrum Festival (Spain), Festival Hactus Umanus Danzig (Poland), Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival (Denmark), Opera Royal de Wallonie (Belgium). She has debuted with “Glossa” record company by publishing with “ I Turchini “ and Antonio Florio a motet by A. Scarlatti in 2012 and “ La Santissima Trinità” , oratorio by G. Veneziano, in 2013. She has participated to 40th “ Festival della valle dell’Itria “ in Martina Franca where she has sung for the opera “Armida” by T. Traetta , conducted by Diego Fasolis and in 2014 she has been in a tournèe with Stefano Montanari among Veneto, Dresden and Berlin in the project “MusikPodium Dresden – Venice“. In the seasen 2014/2015 she has sung for the opera “Marriage of Figaro” by W. A. Mozart and for “Germanicus“ by G. Ph. Telemann at Theater Osnabrück. Still in 2015 she has been invited for the 1st Ryan Opera Center International Residency which took place in Chicago at Lyric Opera and she attended the “Accademia Rossiniana“ in Pesaro, directed by Alberto Zedda, from where she has been selected to sing Madama Cortese in “Viaggio a Reims“ at Rossini Opera Festival 2015.

Annette Schönmüller Alto

Born in Munich and trained in Vienna, Annette Schönmüller gained rapidly increasing attention for her impressive stage presence and vocal intensity and received rave reviews for her performances of music theater works from the late romantic and modern period as well as from the late 20th and 21st Century.

In 2014/2015 season she had great success in the world premiere of Rolf Riehm's Sirenen, making her debut at the Oper Frankfurt, conducted by Martyn Brabbins and staged by Tobias Heyder. In Salvatore Sciarrinos "Infinito nero" conducted by Marino Formenti she is invited to the Biennale Salzburg and gives her debut at Staatstheater Darmstadt in a scenic production of Prometeo by Luigi Nono under the baton of Johannes Harneit, followed by concerts at the Ostrava New Music Festival/CZ, where she perfoms works by Wolfgang Rihm and Rolf Riehm (world premiere).

Her plans include the opening of Münchener Biennale für zeitgenössisches Musiktheater 2016 as the female protagonist in the world premiere of David Fennessys musictheatre „The sweat of the sun“ (2017 at Operadagen Rotterdam and at Theater Osnabrück), her debut at Brucknerhaus Linz with H.W. Henzes "El rey de Harlem" under the baton of Johannes Kalitzke at Festival Neue Musik and Magdalena in Gottfried von Einems "Jesu Hochzeit" under the baton of Jonathan Stockhammer at the Festival Carinthischer Sommer (Carinthian Summer) .

After having big success in the title part in Paradise reloaded (Lilith) by Peter Eötvös, who wrote the main part espacially for Annette Schönmüller, at the Festival WIEN MODERN 2013 (directed by Johannes Erath, conducted by Walter Kobéra), the production was also shown at the Palace of Arts in Budapest and recorded for CD (BMC records / Hungarian RSO under the baton of GMD Gergely Vajda).

At the Wiener Festwochen 2013 she sang in the world premiere of Franz Koglmann‘s media opera "JOIN!" (a netzzeit co-production).

Appearances in the 2012/2013 season include Peter Eötvös’ opera Harakiri and Radames at the Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, the title role in Peter Maxwell Davies Miss Donnithorne's Maggot at the Wiener Kammeroper and G. Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (Mescalina) at the Neue Oper Wien/Museumsquartier Wien.

In March 2012, the mezzo-soprano made her debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw as Malik in Henze's L'Upupa, under the baton of Markus Stenz.

In April 2011 Annette Schönmüller made a very successful debut at the Theater an der Wien in Peter Maxwell Davies´ Monooper for solo mezzo Das Medium, (Director: Peter Pawlik): " highest vocal and dramatic intensity " (Wiener Zeitung). 

In the 2010/2011 season she was highly praised by audience and press as „Geesche Gottfried“ in Hölszky’s Bremer Freiheit at the Berlin Konzerthaus: "impressive" (Berliner Zeitung), " irresistible” (..) probably the best opera production of the season (...) great contemporary musical theater." (Berliner Morgenpost) - "One of the best performances of recent times." (Orpheus).

Further performances in 2011 include a lecture recital with Aribert Reimann at the Curt-Sachs-Saal of the Berlin Philharmonie, on request of the composer as well as the premiere of Richard Dünser’s orchestral arrangement of Schönberg „Das Buch der hängenden Gärten“ at the Philharmonie in Graz. 

Marco Vasalli Baritone

This lyric baritone with Italian ancestry grew up on Lake Constance. He studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne under Professor Edda Moser, chamber singer, and he received his diploma with honors. He has been working for several years now with Maria Baldauf in Zurich. Guest engagements took him to, among other institutions, Deutsche Oper Berlin; Oper Köln; Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; Staatsoper Hannover; and Istanbul State Opera. He has been a member of the ensemble at Theater Osnabrück since 2006. Among his most important roles were, among others, Danilo ("The Merry Widow"); Malatesta ("Don Pasquale"); Marquis von Posa ("Don Carlo"); and Wolfram von Eschenbach ("Tannhäuser"). Marco Vassalli participated in numerous world premieres including, among others, "Neda" by Nader Mashayekhi, and "Operette" by Mario Wiegand. During the season 2010/2011 he could be seen performing the role of Figaro in the revival of Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville." He has performed as a concert soloist at, among others, the Philharmonie Köln; Berliner Dom; and Beethovenhalle Bonn. At the beginning of the season 2011/2012 Marco Vassalli performed in the music theater world premiere of "Flügeltraum" at the festival Spieltriebe 4. Afterwards he could be seen performing the roles of Figaro (in the revival of "The Barber of Seville"); Masetto ("Don Giovanni"); and the Count of Luxemburg in Franz Lehár's operetta by the same name. During the seasons 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 he was a guest performer in the role of Mottel Kamzoil in "Fiddler on the Roof," as well as during the season 2013/2014 in the role of Roman in "Comedian Harmonists."

José Gallisa Basso

The Brazilian bass José Gallisa studied initially violoncello before he switched to voice at the University of Minas Gerais. He studied for two years in London at the Royal Academy of Music with a grant from the Brazilian government. After he returned to his homeland he won First Prize in the Brazilian Ministry of Education's voice competition. Shortly afterwards he had his debut at the São Paulo opera house in the role of Talpa in "Il Tabarro," and as Simone in "Gianni Schicchi." On international stages José Gallisa has sung the roles of Lotario and Radamisto at the 30th  London Handel Festival, conducted by Denys Darlow, and later on the role of Bartolo in "Le nozze di Figaro," conducted by Sir Colin Davies in London. He sang at the Dubai Opera Festival, and he sang the role of Zuniga in "Carmen" with the London City Opera on tour across the United States. At the Amazonas Festival he performed roles such as, among others, Sparafucile in "Rigoletto"; Le Comte des Grieux in "Manon"; and Fafner in "Siegfried." From 2004 to 2007 José Gallisa alternated singing in Rio de Janeiro; San Diego; and São Paulo. In 2008 José Gallisa had his debut in Germany at Theater Bremen. Since that time he has sung important roles such as, among others, Zacharias in "Nabucco"; Oroveso in "Norma"; Sarastro in "The Magic Flute"; Ramfis in "Aida"; Il Commendatore in "Don Giovanni"; Prince Gremin in "Eugen Onegin"; and the title role in Boito's "Mefistofele" (Staatstheater Mainz). Further engagements took him to Giessener Theater and Staatstheater Mainz. Since the season 2014/2015 José Gallisa has been a member of the ensemble at Theater Osnabrück. In the current season he is performing the role of Jacopo Fiesco in "Simon Boccanegra."

Stephanie Schadeweg Actor

Stephanie Schadeweg was born in 1978 in Wittenberge, Germany, in the state of Brandenburg. From 2000 to 2004 she completed her studies in theater at the Hamburg University of Music and Theater (HfMT) – for her thesis she played the role of Mrs. Martin in Ionesco's "The Bald Soprano," directed by Annette Pullen. Already during her studies she was performing at Kampnagel (in the role of Agnes in Kleist's "The Schroffenstein Family," directed by Hanna Rudolph), and at Thalia Theater in Hamburg. From 2004 to 2008 she was a member of the ensemble at Münchner Volkstheater; she has been a guest performer there since 2008. In Munich she has played, among other roles, Karoline in "Kasimir and Karoline" by Ödön von Horváth; Olivia in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"; Marie in "Woyzeck" by Georg Büchner; Helena in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; and Marie in Molnar's "Liliom." She has worked with, among others, the directors Christian Stückl; Florian Fiedler; Jorinde Dröse; Christine Eder; and Frank Abt, and she collaborated with the director Carsten Golbeck on a series of live audio plays. She also worked with Frank Abt as a guest performer at Thalia Theater (in "Ein Fuchs reißt Kaninchen") and at Schauspielhaus Bochum (in "Superstar"). In addition, she has played several roles in films and on television. Stephanie Schadeweg has been a member of the ensemble at Theater Osnabrück since the season 2011/2012. Her important roles were, among others, Minna von Barnhelm (2011); Olga in "Three Sisters" (2012); Anne Holz in "X-Freunde" (2014); Isabell in "The Black Obelisk" (2015); and she was part of the production "Doctor Faustus" (2015).

Dennis Pörtner Actor

Dennis Pörtner was born in 1985 in Herford, Germany. From 2008 to 2012 he studied acting at the Hamburg University of Music and Theater (HfMT). During his studies he was in various productions at, among others, Thalia Theater  in “Ödipus/Tarann,” directed by Dimiter Gotscheff, and “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Alexander Simon; and at Theater Osnabrück as part of the Spieltriebe 4 festival in 2011 (“Hundegrab,” directed by Felix Meyer-Christian, and “Blogosphere Iraq," directed by Liz Rech). For his performance of Mercutio in “Romeo and Julet” he received Studio Hamburg's sponsorship award in 2011. Since 2009 Dennis Pörtner has been continuously working with the Costa Compagnie, and he performed, among other roles, Danny in “Motortown” (Zeisehallen in Hamburg, 2009); the title role in “Kohlhaas. Frei nach Kleist” (Kampnagel in Hamburg, which was invited to the festival Körber Studio Junge Regie in 2012); and in “Fukushima, my love” (Fleetstreet Hamburg, 2013). During the 2012/2013 season he was a member of the ensemble at Theater Bonn. Since the season 2013/2014 Dennis Pörtner has been a permanent member of the ensemble at Theater Osnabrück, where he could be seen, among others, in the role Nervous Colleague in “Die Kunden werden unruhig”; in the title role of “Clavigo”; and in the role Benjamin in “Still Storm.” During the 2014/2015 season he played, among other roles, Banquo in “Macbeth”; Yang Sun in “The Good Person of Szechwan”; and Uncle Bob in “In the Republic of Happiness.”

During the current season 2015/2016 he can be seen in “27 Monate” in the role of Marc.

Münchener Kammerorchester Orchestra

Unusually creative programming and ever greater sonic homogeneity: more than 65 years after it was founded, in the immediate post-war period, the Münchener Kammerorchester (MKO) is a shining beacon in German orchestral life. The MKO’s programmes – inspired, exciting and often surprising – juxtapose works from the past with music from our own time.

Composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun, Chaya Czernowin and Jörg Widmann have written works for the ensemble, and since 2006 alone the MKO has commissioned pieces from Erkki-Sven Tüür, Thomas Larcher, Bernhard Lang, Nikolaus Brass, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Klaus Lang, Mark Andre, Peter Ruzicka, Márton Illés, Miroslav Srnka, Georg Friedrich Haas, Salvatore Sciarrino and Tigran Mansurian.

The twenty-six string musicians (the core instrumentalists of the MKO) have grown into an ensemble capable of immense stylistic variability. With great agility they change between historically informed performances of Baroque and Classical works and the very particular technical demands of contemporary music. Able to draw on a permanent pool of outstanding wind and brass soloists from Europe’s finest orchestras, the MKO, in the form of a “slender” symphony orchestra, can take advantage of its special sound when it comes to setting new standards in the interpretation of some of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann’s most important works. Renowned guest conductors and a phalanx of outstanding international soloists regularly provide new artistic impulses.

Founded by Christoph Stepp in 1950, the Münchener Kammerorchester was subsequently guided and conducted by Hans Stadlmair for almost four decades, starting in 1956. 1995 Christoph Poppen became Artistic Director and established the unmistakable dynamic profile of the MKO. From 2006 on Alexander Liebreich continued this transformation. With the 2016/17 season Clemens Schuldt will become chief conductor of the MKO.

The MKO is a modern, flexible ensemble that is not only committed to an extensive musical repertoire, but also constantly develops very diverse activities outside its subscription series. Per year the orchestra presents around sixty concerts all over the world.

The MKO’s recordings include works by Mendelssohn, Rossini, Fauré, Mozart, Haydn as well as Hosokawa, Gubaidulina, Hartmann, Yun, Silvestrov and Mansurian.

Alexander Liebreich Conductor

For Alexander Liebreich, conducting is a state of mind. Openness and curiosity are integral elements of his work, both of which are evident equally through his interpretations and programming. Historical performance practice and contemporary music – free of dogmatic and ideological pressure – also play an important role. Liebreich works without reservations: he sets his trademarks through concise concert programmes and innovative concert formats.Alexander Liebreich has proven himself to be one of the most avid conductors of his generation. Having only assumed the position of Principal Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice in 2012, he has already received widespread recognition in Poland for reinventing the sound and programming of this tradition-steeped orchestra. Liebreich has also been Chief Conductor of the Munich Chamber Orchestra since 2006: under his leadership, the orchestra has made tremendous strides through the development of new concert formats. They have had a lasting effect on, and have enhanced, the city and music life of Munich.In the same way, South Korea's Tongyeong International Music Festival (TIMF) – which Liebreich led from 2011 to 2014 – has also benefited greatly from this spirit of renewal. At the festival, he introduced the groundbreaking "East-West Residency Programme" which showcased such prominent contemporary composers as Salvatore Sciarrino, Heiner Goebbels, Beat Furrer and Unsuk Chin. At the same time, Liebreich's background, firmly rooted in the classical repertoire of Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, has its long-lasting consequences: he delves into the romantic and modern repertoire from a classical perspective.Liebreich continually unearths new perspectives through his sleek, distinct and deft approach. He is equally aware of the historical, political and social dimensions of music: it is one's responsibility towards the future to portray the present. For Liebreich, music is a metaphor for the question of "why," the brainchild of new ideas. This way of thinking can best be accredited to Michael Gielen: during his studies with Gielen, Liebreich came to understand concise dramaturgy, as well as the importance of critical and analytical thinking.Alexander Liebreich was also heavily influenced by Claudio Abbado and Nikolaus Hanoncourt. Liebreich approaches conducting, as Abbado did, through the notion of chamber music: the conductor is part of a group in pursuit of a common goal. Here, as in the work of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the dialogic aspect of chamber music comes to the fore; both impulses and effects take on a greater meaning. In using this element to bring together vocal and instrumental music, Liebreich has also made his mark in the world of opera, most notably in his collaboration with the director Hans Neuenfels at the Oper Frankfurt.Vocal music has always played a prominent role in Alexander Liebreich's career. Born in Regensburg, Liebreich was steeped in the choir tradition of his hometown at an early age. In addition to conducting, he studied voice with the goal of being able to focus on both Romance philology and music history. His reflections and questioning of language and music have greatly impacted his approach to instrumental music, which was already evident during his time with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest in Hilversum. Liebreich has since gone on to conduct many renowned orchestras: he recently made his debut at such venues as the Musikverein in Vienna, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Cité de la Musique in Paris – always with programmes encouraging a different way of listening.Alexander Liebreich has also created a lasting legacy as Guest Professor in North Korea, where he conducted the first performance of Brucker's Eighth Symphony with young musicians. This event was impressively documented by the film "Pyongyang Crescendo," released in 2005.In October 2014, Alexander Liebreich – joined by the Bavarian Radio Choir, pianist Krystian Zimerman and the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra – inaugurated the new Philharmonic Hall in Katowice, whose acoustics were designed by the renowned acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota. In May 2015 it hosted the festival “Kultura Natura” under the artistic guidance of Alexander Liebreich for the first time with great success. Kultura Natura will continue and in spring 2016 Liebreich will again invite international artists to Katowice.From 2014 to 2016, the RIAS Kammerchor and Munich Chamber Orchestra join Alexander Liebreich in commissioning one piece per year, to be premiered in a programme alongside an established work. After Salvatore Sciarrino and Pascal Dusapin in 2014 and 2015; a piece written by Georg Friedrich Haas – to be programmed with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s “Lobgesang” – will follow.In addition to engagements in Poland and with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, this season sees Alexander Liebreich conducting such renowned ensembles the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, the Osaka Philharmonic, the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

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