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Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Idioma disponible: inglés
The Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, was among the first period-instrument orchestras founded in the former East Germany, and it remains a leader in the field today. The group has specialized in the music of Bach and other composers of the German Baroque but has also performed and recorded Italian and French music, both instrumental and operatic. The Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin ("Berlin Academy of Early Music") arose in 1982 in what was then East Berlin. Its members were young players from Berlin and Leipzig who had become interested in the burgeoning historical performance scene in the West and sought to emulate it by experimenting with old instruments. After a prolonged rehearsal period, the group made its debut in 1984 at Berlin's Schauspielhaus theater. Organized as a cooperative, it stood partially outside East Germany's cumbersome state musical bureaucracy, and it soon found bookings beyond Berlin at such events as the Handel Festival in the city of Halle. The following year, the group made its recording debut with an album of music by Telemann, Geminiani, and Blavet; it was released simultaneously on the East German state label Eterna and on West Germany's Capriccio label. After German reunification, the group's fame became international, and its performances and recordings were marked by collaborations with such international stars as keyboardist Ton Koopman, soprano Cecilia Bartoli, and conductor René Jacobs. The group has appeared on tour at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the orchestra earned a Grammy Award in 2002 when it backed Bartoli on an album of arias by Christoph Willibald Gluck. At home, the orchestra, often using the acronym Akamus, is a major part of Berlin's cultural life, presenting some 100 concerts a year. The group varies in size but has a core membership of about 30 players. Another by-product of German reunification was a rapid expansion in the orchestra's recording career. The Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, recorded for Berlin Classics and Capriccio in the early '90s and was then signed to the Harmonia Mundi label in 1994, releasing a recording of Bach's secular cantatas relating the story of Phoebus und Pan, with Jacobs as conductor, in 1996. That recording, like several others by the group, was made with Berlin's RIAS Kammerchor. In 2014, the Akademie established its own concert series at the Prinztheater in Munich. The orchestra has recorded more than 50 albums for Harmonia Mundi, including a set of Bach violin concertos with violinist Isabelle Faust in 2019. The Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, marked its 40th year in 2022 with a flurry of activity that included performances of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in several German cities, Telemann's rare opera Pimpinone in Magdeburg, and tours with violist Antoine Tamestit and Jacobs. That year, the Akademie planned to release an all-Telemann album with Tamestit; a new recording of Bach's Mass in B minor, BWV 232, with Jacobs; a recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 4, Op. 60, and Symphony No. 8, Op. 93; and an 11-disc set, compiling the group's best recordings of the Bach family over its long career.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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