Maike Charlotte Fuchs
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”His lyric tenor voice had a youthful glow, yet he sang with plaintive beauty and piercing insight.” The New York Times
Precise vocal control, clear diction, intelligent musicality and an ability to get to the heart of everything he sings ensures Christoph Prégardien’s place among the world’s foremost lyric tenors. Especially revered as a Lieder singer, he can be heard this season at the Phiharmonie de Paris, the Palace of Arts Budapest, and the Wigmore Hall in London, as well as in Zurich, Lucerne, Kyoto, Tokyo and Bogotá. He will also perform at the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg Hohenems, as well as part of the “Schubert!” concert series with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Christoph Prégardien appears regularly with renowned orchestras the world over. He has worked with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as the Boston and San Francisco Symphonies, and with conductors such as Barenboim, Metzmacher and Thielemann. His wide orchestral repertoire includes the great baroque, classical and romantic oratorios and passions, as well as works from the 17th and 20th centuries. In opera, his roles have included Tamino (The Magic Flute), Almaviva (Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Fenton (Verdi’s Falstaff), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and the title roles in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo as well as Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria.
His long experience singing the Evangelist roles, and his close working relationship with conductors such as Nagano, Chailly, Herreweghe, Harnoncourt, Luisi and Gardiner have provided him with the perfect basis for his increasing work conducting the works of Bach. Following the success of his conducting debut in 2012, leading Le Concert Lorrain and the Nederlands Kammerkoor in Bach’s St. John’s Passion, he has also become in-demand as a conductor this repertoire. In 2015 he led Le Concert Lorrain and the Balthasar-Neumann Choir, this time in the St. Matthew’s Passion, and in the following years returned to lead Le Concert Lorrain and the Dresdner Kammerchor on tour with Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. At a celebration concert for Philippe Herreweghe’s 70th birthday he also led the Collegium Vocale Gent. He will make his debut leading a symphony orchestra in spring 2019, when he will lead the Duisburg Philharmonic in works including Mozart’s Requiem.
The singer has recorded much of his repertoire on a discography which numbers over 150 records, which have received awards such as the Orphée d’Or of the Académie du Disque Lyrique, the Edison Award, the Cannes Classical Award and the Diapason d’Or. For the label Challenge Classics he has recorded Schubert’s Schwanengesang with Andreas Staier and Die schöne Müllerin with Michael Gees – selected as Editor’s Choice by Gramophone magazine and awarded the MIDEM Record of the Year – followed by Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with Julia Kleiter, Between Life and Death, Wanderer and the Grammy-nominated Winterreise disc – all with Michael Gees – as well as Father and Son with his son Julian Prégardien. His Schubert CD Poetisches Tagebuch (with Julius Drake) was awarded the German Critics’ Award 2016. His most recent CD releases include A Matter of Heart – songs for voice, horn and piano with Olivier Darbellay and Michael Gees – as well as a recording of passion cantatas by Telemann and Bach with the Vox Orchester for Sony, where he appears as a baritone for the first time.
Teaching remains a very important part of Christoph Prégardien’s musical life, and in addition to his concert engagements he gives masterclasses worldwide for young singers. Following many years at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich, he has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Cologne since 2004.
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This a quite a superlative recording that meets the desires and wishes of any Baroquophile on the quest for excellence (…) The music simply washes over you with a purity and quality many seek to match.
Early Music Review, David Bellinger, 3. Juni 2018, on the CD “Cantatas for Baritone” with Vox Orchestra, Sony 19075834122
Both artists brought deep insight to their roles, combining beautifully in sound and spirit, and creating no end of poignant moments.
NY Times, James R. Oestreich, 23/02/2018, on “Winterreise” with Julius Drake
His voice maintains its dark, almost baritone-like lower range, and a top that can float with the utmost delicacy in soft passages.
Chicago Classical, John Y. Lawrence, 19/2/2018 on the recital of “Poetic Diary” with Julius Drake
A great interpreter, Christoph Prégardien sees the work first, then himself.
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Nina Schröder, 20 January 2017
Prégardien's artistry is streamlined, focused, essential: with beauty of tenor tone absolutely intact - he is 60 - diction impeccable, emotions of text and tone fused and explored to the last degree, he is the consummate Lieder singer. (…) He brought splendour, agony and ecstasy to Mahler's Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen first; bitterness, irony and a heady intelligence to Schumann's Dichterliebe in the second half; and those Schubert Heine settings in between are still alive and reverberating with wonder and horror somewhere in my subconscious several days on. You want it darker? Try Schubert.
jessicamusic.blogspot.de, Jessica Duchen, 18 November 2016
The tenor is a storyteller who avoids mannerisms: no reverb, little vibrato, no preoccupation with nice sound. However, he is constantly audible, and he does not avoid the risk. In the highest registers he also has an astonishing resilience, as demonstrated in almost hummed encore Mondnacht. British accompanist Julius Drake showed a sensitive ear for detail. In the perlentränentröpfchen, the death coffin is nailed: they were all audible in the Steinway.
De Volkskrant, 20.11.2015 about the CD “Poetisches Tagebuch“ released on Challenge Classics in November 2015
Much of what Prégardien did was a revelation, with such immaculate diction and attention to each musical detail that the audience hung on every word. The four songs of Mahler's Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, so often presented as expressions of youthful self-pity, became a genuinely dramatic scenario, the tragedy searingly convincing. (…) This was Lieder singing of the very highest class.
The Guardian, Andrew Clements, 2 November 2015
(...) Prégardien’s acute, concentrated response to every detail of every song was a wonder in itself.
The Guardian, 2 March 2015
Christoph Prégardien, Vox Orchester, Lorenzo Ghirlanda
Sony Music, 2018, 19075834122
Christoph Prégardien, Olivier Darbellay, Michael Gees
Challenge Classics, 2017, CC72771
Christoph Prégardien / Julius Drake
Challenge Classics 2015, 8327510
Christoph & Julian Prégardien, Michael Gees
Challenge Classics, 2014, CC72645
Christoph Prégardien & Michael Gees
Challenge Classics, 2013, CC72596
Christoph Prégardien, Bochumer Symphoniker, Steven Sloane
cpo, 2011, cpo777675-2
Christoph Prégardien, Julia Kleiter, Hilko Dumno
Challenge Classics, 2010, CC72378
Christoph Prégardien, Michael Gees
Challenge Classics, 2009, CC72324
Christoph Prégardien, Michael Gees
Challenge Classics, 2008, CC72292
Christoph Prégardien, Andreas Staier
Challenge Classics, 2008, CC72302
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