Ambassadors

Ambassador 2024

DOROTHEE OBERLINGER: RECORDER PLAYER

Dorothee Oberlinger is today one of the most highly acclaimed exponents of her instrument. After completing her studies (recorder, school music, and German language and literature) in Cologne, Amsterdam and Milan, she made her international debut in 1997 with the 1st prize at the international SRP/Moeck UK competition held at London’s Wigmore Hall. There followed numerous invitations to festivals and concert halls such as the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Laeszhalle in Hamburg, the KKL in Lucerne, the Tonhalle in Zürich, and many more.
 
As a soloist, she has worked since 2002 together with Ensemble 1700, which she formed, and with other renowned Baroque ensembles and orchestras such as the Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca, Musica Antiqua Köln, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Academy of Ancient Music, Al Ayre Espagnol, L’Arte dei Suonatori, Zefiro, and Concerto Köln.
 
Her CD recordings of Baroque music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have been recognized by international critics with the highest awards that they can bestow, including for example the Diapason d’Or. In 2008,, she received the Echo Klassik prize in the category ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’, followed in 2013 by a second Echo Klassik for ‘Concert Recording of the Year’ with her CD Flauto Veneziano, and in 2015 together with her Ensemble 1700 by a third in the category ‘Chamber Music Recording of the Year’ for ‘The Passion of Musick’.
   
In 2011 Dorothee Oberlinger made her debut as a conductor in Salzburg. At the Tage der Alten Musik festival in Herne in 2016, the Internationale Händelfestspiele in Göttingen in 2017 and the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele in 2018, she conducted a production, which received much international critical attention and great praise, of the rarely performed opera Lucio Cornelio Silla by George Frideric Handel in collaboration with the director Margit Legler, a specialist in historical gesture and facial expression. Stagings of Bononcini’s “Polifemo” (2019) and Scarlatti’s “Il Gardino d’amore” (2020 / 2022), Telemann’s Pastorelle en musique” (2021), Giuseppe Scarlatti’s “I portentosi effetti della madre natura” (2022) and Andrea Bernasconi’s “L’Huomo” (2023) followed, as well as most recently Ristori’s “I lamenti d’Orfeo” (2023). The Potsdam live recording of “Polifemo” was released as CD and was immediately named BBC record of the week as well as it fetched a Diapason d’or and an ICMA nomination; all other Potsdam opera productions have been or will be released as recordings. Further planned baroque opera projects will be funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia NRW for a period of three years from 2022 to 2024.
 
Since 2004, Dorothee Oberlinger has been a professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where her activities included building up and directing the Institute for Early Music in the ten years up to 2018.
 
In 2016, she was awarded the Freedom of the town of Simmern in the Hunsrück region of Germany, where she spent her childhood and youth. After she was appointed Telemann Ambassador to mark the 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767), in 2016 by the newly formed ‘network of Telemann cities’, she was awarded the prestigious Telemann Award in 2020. Since 2021, she is bearer of the German Federal Cross of Merit, first class.
 
Since 2009, Dorothee has been musical director of the Arolser Barockfestspiele in Bad Arolsen and assumed the position as musical director of the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, a two-week festival with more than 50 events centering around the castle of Potsdam Sanssouci, where she also regularly directs own baroque opera productions.

Read her statement > 

Ambassador 2023

AMANDINE BEYER: VIOLINIST

Amandine Beyer is the ambassador of the 2023 edition of Early Music Day: the artist who recorded the critically acclaimed Sonatas and Partitas by J. S. Bach and initiated a collaboration with the dancer and choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, has established herself as a reference in the interpretation of the Baroque violin repertoire. 

She has performed in the most important concert halls throughout the world and has built her musical activity around solid collaborations with various artists, but also around her own ensemble Gli Incogniti, with whom she has made several recordings.

She shares her generous and holistic vision of the violin with the younger generation, dedicating herself extensively to teaching, whether it be formal teaching at the conservatory, or more experimental courses in various masterclasses and academies, including the Gli Incogniti Academy.


"I am very honoured to be an ambassador for Early Music Day, and to have the opportunity to share my passion for my profession. I didn't really choose music, it gradually made its way into my life thanks to an incredible family and teachers, but without the diligent practice of the baroque repertoire, I might not have become a professional violinist. And now I know what I owe to Vivaldi, Beethoven, Purcell, Bach, Haydn, Matteis, and so many others...

Indeed, for years now, I have seen the transforming power of this music, the power of its effect, not only on concert audiences, but also on children, on the people we turn to who would not necessarily have the reflex to push open the door of a theatre, and above all, on the performers themselves, whether amateurs or professionals. Because it is a music of sharing, of immediacy, of joy. Joy of playing, listening, dancing, of tasting simplicity (and perceiving transparent complexity).

And it is a music of the present, as well as a music of the future, because it teaches us curiosity, respect and action: indeed, the revival of the interpretation of all these scores of the 17th, 18th and sometimes early 19th centuries, initiated by the pioneers of the genre in the 60s and 70s (of the 20th century!) still lives in our cells, rejoices in our pulse and allows us to marvel every day."

Ambassador 2022

CARLO VISTOLI: COUNTERTENOR

Carlo Vistoli is one of the most promising singers of his generation, thanks to his remarkable voice and warm personality that have already made him a favourite of baroque ensembles, directors and the audiences.
Born in 1987 in Lugo, he began his vocal training in 2007. After participating in many international voice competitions, he was chosen in 2015 for Le Jardin des Voix – Les Arts Florissants’s baroque Academy for young singers. He soon started a busy career, balancing regular roles in opera productions with performances with Les Arts Florissants, Cappella Mediterranea, the English Baroque Soloists, Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri, Les Ambassadeurs, Les Accents, Cappella Gabetta, Concerto Italiano, Les Musiciens du Louvre and Il Pomo d’Oro. He is praised for his vocal technique that mixes the Italian ideal of Bel Canto with the striking agility of the baroque countertenor.


“Why and how does Early Music still speak to us today, from hundreds of years away? I always felt that one of its most fascinating peculiarities is to allow the interpreter to express themselves in many ways, and to give, even within the boundaries of the practicing “rules”, the possibility to personalize the performance even more than later repertoires. The more we discover, the more we realize there are buried treasures that just wait to reveal themselves. As a baroque singer, I always try to keep that sparkle alive and “speak” directly to my audience, performing live and in recordings. For me, fantasy and inspiration go along with accuracy and historically informed practice. 

To have been designated as Ambassador of Early Music Day is not only a great honor for me but also an encouragement to go even further on this road, connecting people, especially younger generations, through the passion for Early Music, and making them discover an entire world that opens mind and heart to new and unexplored emotions, or better “affetti”, as we say with an old but timeless expression. To have the feeling that a piece composed three hundred years ago could have been written nowadays, because it still has something important to say to us: that’s the magic of Music!”
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Ambassador 2021

OLGA PASHCHENKO: KEYBOARD SPECIALIST

Olga Pashchenko is one of today’s most versatile performers on the keyboard, from organ and harpsichord to fortepiano and modern piano, demonstrating a passionate personality, virtuosity, wealth of color and sensitivity towards the broad repertoire that she performs on these different keyboards. 

She began her musical studies at the age of 6 in Moscow, where she was born. She studied at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Alexei Lubimov (fortepiano and modern piano), Olga Martynova (harpsichord) and Alexei Schmitov (organ). Olga’s ability to go from one instrument to the other with equal skill and sensibility, made her the embodiment of the balance between artistic virtuosity, individual creativity and historic awareness, and an ideal ambassador for Early Music Day.


“Early Music Day is the celebration of Early Music, celebration of our lifestyle and dreams as HIP performers and listeners, and of the attitude we all advocate for, and that is – trying to understand the sources and the composers’ conceptions and interpret it on within the historical context with heart and soul in the 21st century. To be the Ambassador of REMA at this time of uncertainty in the world, is a gift. I am honoured to contribute to this platform by promoting the importance of early Music, making all different colours of period instruments more audible and visible and encouraging to breathe life into restoration just as early music breathes life into us with its restorative power.” 

In 2020, she released two albums dedicated to the music of Beethoven with Alpha Records (Variations on folk songs with flutist Anna Besson and Vanitas with singer Georg Nigl) and given performances of Beethoven music as well, as historical keyboards allow intimate concerts and small audiences, ranking them among the most covid-safe instruments. She has also just released two of Mozart’s Piano Concerti with Il Gardellino.
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Ambassador 2020

RACHEL PODGER: BAROQUE VIOLONIST

Rachel Podger, the unsurpassed British glory of the baroque violin,” (The Times) has established herself as a leading interpreter of the Baroque and Classical repertory. A creative programmer, Rachel is the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque.

“The recognition and expansion of Early Music has been my life’s work and as I continue to teach and perform around the world, I will be particularly proudly waving the flag of Early Music Day, and hoping that music will continue to heal divisions and create harmony amongst all peoples.”
 

Rachel Podger is one of the Artists in Residence at Wigmore Hall for the 2019/2020 season, for all-Bach performances as a soloist, with Brecon Baroque and with Kristian Bezuidenhout. She is currently working with Christopher Glynn to perform and record Beethoven’s sonatas, and will play three previously unfinished Mozart for their world premiere recording and performance.

Rachel Podger was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize (2015) and was also Gramophone Artist of the Year 2018. Her recordings have earned her and her collaborators several prestigious awards: two Baroque Instrumental Gramophone awards, the Diapason d’Or de l’année 2012 for a Baroque Ensemble, and two BBC Music Magazine awards.
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Ambassador 2019

JEAN RONDEAU: HARPSICHORDIST

Jean Rondeau studied harpsichord with Blandine Verlet for over ten years, followed by training in basso continuo, organ, piano, jazz and improvisation, and conducting. He pursued further studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, graduating with honours, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. 

In 2012, at just 21 years old, he became one of the youngest performers ever to take First Prize at the International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges (MAfestival 2012), also winning the EUBO Development Trust prize; an accolade bestowed on the most promising young musician of the European Union.


Rondeau is in demand for solo, chamber music and orchestral appearances throughout Europe and in the United States. He frequently performs with the Baroque quartet Nevermind. Quite apart from his activities as harpsichordist, he founded the ensemble Note Forget, presenting his own jazz-oriented compositions and improvisations on piano. 

Rondeau is signed to Erato as an exclusive recording artist. His latest album, Dynastie, explores keyboard concertos by Bach&Sons. In 2016, he composed his first original score for a film, Christian Schwochow’s Paula, which premiered at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival.

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Ambassador 2018

SKIP SEMPÉ: HARPSICHORDIST & DIRECTOR

Skip Sempé, virtuoso harpsichordist, director and founder of Capriccio Stravagante, is at the forefront of today’s musical personalities in Renaissance and Baroque music. His distinctive harpsichord playing, musicianship and interpretive flair were immediately recognized as the invention of an exotic, multidimensional and uncompromising musical personality. Sempé remained in Europe to embark on his own pioneering reconsideration of well and lesser-known repertoire, ranging from 1500-1750.


Performing and recording on the world’s most prestigious harpsichords, made by Ruckers, Taskin, Goujon, Skowroneck, Kennedy, Humeau and Sidey, Skip Sempé is particularly known for his interpretations of the French classical harpsichord literature including Chambonnières, d’Anglebert, Forqueray, Louis and François Couperin and Rameau, for his adventurous and ground-breaking Bach and Scarlatti, and for the earlier virginalist repertoire of Byrd and his contemporaries.
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Ambassador 2017

RENÉ JACOBS: COUNTERTENOR

René Jacobs was born in 1946 in Ghent, Belgium. He began singing in Ghent cathedral as a chorister before joining Brussels. Encouraged by Gustav Leonhardt and Alfred Deller, René Jacobs continues his studies as countertenor. He quickly becomes one of the essential countertenors. He turns to opera with, for example, his performance in Orfeo and Euridice by Gluck.

In 1977, he created his first ensemble, Concerto Vocale. He recorded Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and Orfeo de Monteverdi. In 1983, he directed for the first time Orontea de Cesti at the Innsbruck Festival in Austria. It is a huge succes that and René Jacobs will continue directing lyric singing.


Since the 2000s, René Jacobs multiplies the projects as a lyric director like the excellent Telemann: Brockes-Passion on Harmonia Mundi, a pearl for baroque music lovers.

In 2004, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Concerto Köln and the Collegium Vocale Gent by Philippe Herreweghe achieved public and critical acclaim around the world. He obtains the Gramophone trophy and a Grammy Award for this performance.
This project was funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be of the information contained therein.
REMA is funded with support from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.