Limburg-born soprano Julia Kleiter studied with Prof. William Workmann in Hamburg and with Prof. Klesie Kelly-Moog in Cologne. In 2004, she made her debut at the Opéra-Bastille in Paris as Pamina – a role she performed in the following ten years in numerous productions in Madrid, Zurich, New York, Munich or at the Salzburg Festival under the musical direction of conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marc Minkowski, Claudio Abbado, Adam Fischer or most recently Philippe Jordan.
Most recently she sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony under Barenboim in Berlin, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater in Munich, Dvořák’s Requiem in Berlin or Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri in Frankfurt and Zurich. She performed Brahms’ German Requiem in London. Haydn’s Creation took Julia Kleiter to La Scala in Milan and Berlin. On tour with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden under Christian Thielemann in May 22, she was the soprano in Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, taking another step towards the great lyric repertoire.
At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden she was the Contessa in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and at La Scala Milan under Daniel Harding. Also at La Scala she sang Agathe in Weber’s Freischütz and Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo. Donna Anna at the Hamburg State Opera and at the Elbphilharmonie or Eva in Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Daniel Barenboim in Berlin and under Phillippe Jordan in Paris are further highlights of the recent past.
The last few years have been affected by numerous cancellations due to Corona, so unfortunately role debuts as Arabella under Fabio Luisi at the Zurich Opera House or her debut as the Countess in Capriccio in Zurich could not take place. In the 2021/22 season Julia Kleiter shone in the world premiere of Manfred Trojahn’s opera Eurydice – Die Liebenden blind at the Amsterdam Opera. In 2022/23 Julia Kleiter will make up for her role debut as Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier in Brussels and return to the Bavarian State Opera as Agathe and to the Semperoper in Dresden as Eva and Contessa.
On the concert stage Julia Kleiter can be heard in the current season under the baton of Raphael Pichon in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang in Dortmund, Bordeaux and Grenoble, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Andris Nelsons in Mendelssohn’s Paulus and at the Salzburg Easter Festival in Johannes Brahms’ German Requiem.
Julia Kleiter is also an outstanding performer on the Lied stage, appearing in evenings at London’s Wigmore Hall and at the Schubertiada in Schwarzenberg and Vilabertran. In Christian Gerhaher’s large-scale project on the song oeuvre of Hugo Wolf, she was the soprano partner in the Spanish Songbook in Heidelberg, London, Madrid, Munich as well as at the Salzburg Festival.
Numerous CDs and DVDs document her artistic work, including her recording of songs by Franz Liszt and Julius Drake at the piano, which has been available on Hyperion since January 2020. In Christian Gerhaher’s complete Schumann recording released by Sony, she takes on a weighty part, accompanied on the piano by Gerold Huber.
Hartmut Höll’s pianism is characterized by a feeling for sound, sensitivity, and the ability to think behind the notes to create atmosphere and experience feelings directly in the sound timbres. For decades, Höll has been one of the most sought-after collaborative pianists. He knows the value of chamber music partnerships and is wisely maintains long-term associations.
A German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) recipient, Hartmut Höll first studied in Stuttgart with the instructors Paul Buck and Konrad Richter, in addition to obtaining insights from additional studies with Leonard Hokanson.
From 1982 to 1992 he was a constant recital partner of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Performances at the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Florence, Munich, Berlin and Toyko Festival as well as New York’s Carnegie Hall inspired praise for their teamwork.
For over two decades, he has accompanied the soprano Renée Fleming at concerts in Europe, Australia, Asia and the United States. Höll sees Fleming as a global voice, and he observes admiringly how her unique gifts communicate musical inspiration to diverse audiences internationally in an extensive repertoire across four centuries.
For over forty years, he has been associated in a song duo with the mezzo-soprano Mitsuko Shirai. Together, they have set standards worldwide in song interpretation with concerts and CDs.
“Peter Pears – Benjamin Britten; Pierre Bernac – Francis Poulenc. In our own day, Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll have achieved comparable artistry.”
THE AUDIOPHILE VOICE (USA)
From the start, for Mitsuko Shrai and Hartmut Höll, the art of song was always chamber music. In 1973, they created the term Liedduo (Song duo), which is still used today.
Hartmut Höll’s performance partners have included Christoph Prégardien, Thomas Hampson, Yajie Zhang, Stella Doufexis, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christiane Libor, Christian Elsner, Roman Trekel, Urszula Kryger, Jadwiga Rappé, Liao Changyong, Zheng Zhou, Josef Protschka, Yvonne Naef, Jochen Kowalski, Hermann Prey, and Peter Schreier.
Hartmut Höll also focuses on encouraging the younger generation: the soprano Theresa Pilsl, mezzo-soprano Yajie Zhang, tenor Ilker Arcayürek, and baritone Äneas Humm. Among Höll’s chamber music partners have been Tabea Zimmermann, Eduard Brunner, Jörg Widmann, Gervase de Peyer, and Sabine Meyer.
He has recorded wide-ranging repertoire on around sixty CDs (with Mitsuko Shirai, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Tabea Zimmermann, Sabine Meyer, Urszula Kryger, Jadwiga Rappé, Roman Trekel and Leila Pfister) on the Capriccio, Decca, EMI, Erato, Claves, MDG, and BayerRecords labels. Many have received international prizes, such as the Diapason d’Or and German Record Critics’ Award.
As professor at the University of Music Karlsruhe, after teaching stints in Frankfurt and Cologne, Hartmut Höll is closely connected to a young generation of artists. Graduates of his classes further the didactic tradition as instructors in Salzburg, Vienna, Paris, Freiburg, Erfurt, Berlin, Manila, and Montevideo.
During the 1998/1999 academic year, Hartmut Höll was guest professor in Helsinki, and from 1994 to 2003 was guest professor at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. In addition, for almost a decade he taught song interpretation at Zurich University of the Arts, succeeding Irwin Gage.
Since October 2007, Hartmut Höll has been rector of the University of Music Karlsruhe. CampusOne • Gottesaue Castle, one of Europe’s loveliest university campuses, was developed under his leadership, and the university now enjoys substantial national and international esteem.
For forty years, Hartmut Höll has been giving annual master classes in Savonlinna, Finland, at the Weimar International Music Seminar, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Salzburg Mozarteum Summer Academy, as well as in Jerusalem, Cairo and Moscow, at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia, the Royal Music Academy London, the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. He also teaches each year at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and since 2019, has lectured at Renée Fleming’s SongStudio at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
In 1990, Hartmut Höll received the Robert Schumann Prize from the city of Zwickau. He is an honorary member of the Robert Schumann Society in Zwickau. In recognition of his services as a guest lecturer, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music awarded him the Xiao Youmei President Prize in 2021.
As juror or jury chairperson, he has been invited to New York’s Naumburg Competition, Zwickau’s Robert Schumann International Competition for Pianists and Singers, Paris’ Nadia and Lili Boulanger International Voice-Piano Competition, Munich’s ARD International Music Competition, the PianoVoce Compettion at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and in 2022, the Montreal International Musical Competition (Concours musical international de Montréal; CMIM).
From 1985 to 2007, Hartmut Höll was artistic director of the International Hugo Wolf- Academy for Song, Poetry and the Art of the Lied, Stuttgart. Under his direction, the International Hugo Wolf Competition was established in Stuttgart. Themes of impactful
concert series included Eduard Mörike (1988); Germanies (1990); Europe on the move – People • Metropolises • Migrations under the patronage of Simone Veil (1992/93); performance of the complete works intended by Schubert for publication (1997); Nature sound/Human sound (1998), invited to the Weimar European Capital of Culture; and Danube Journey, a musical-literary-cinematic exploration (1998). The last-mentioned series attracted attention far beyond national borders and was invited to New York’s Lincoln Center and Paris’s Auditorium du Louvre.
In 2012, the memoir WortMusik (WordMusic) was published by Staccato-Verlag Düsseldorf, in which Hartmut Höll describes his experiences and how he approaches songs in the light of personal memories.
“It’s a courageous and sensitive book, critical but never condescending, free-ranging yet precise.” OPERNWELT
With Liao Changyong, President of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Hartmut Höll coedited for Breitkopf & Härtel an edition of art songs written by Chinese composers since 1920 under European influence. These Chinese idiomatic melodies set to music poems from a thousand-year tradition.
From selected performance reviews:
“[Renée Fleming] was accompanied by the outstanding pianist Hartmut Höll. He attained the respective intonation of these different compositions and maintained tension even at the slowest tempos absolutely admirably. Each of his deeply felt pauses was a revelation, and his courage in taking artistic risks should inspire all musicians to emulate him.”
DER TAGESSPIEGEL, about a Deutsche Oper Berlin recital.
“Above all, [Renée Fleming] enjoyed the advantage of working with the superb pianist Hartmut Höll – emphatically a partner, not an accompanist.”
FINANCIAL TIMES, about a Carnegie Hall recital
“Hartmut Höll performs magic on the piano: With Hartmut Höll, Renée Fleming has chosen a very accomplished song accompanist. What Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s piano partner of many years conjures up on the piano is simply breathtaking. He effortlessly manages the sometimes challenging balance between sensitive accompaniment and independent interpretation. The colors and shades he extracts from the piano line and stories recounted through the vocal line can move us to tears, for example at the piano solo conclusion of the song cycle Frauen-Liebe und Leben.”
NDR CULTURE January 2022
4, 5 December 2023
Karol Szymanowski and Gustav Mahler
6, 7 December 2023