Alexander Weimann

Conductor

Alexander Weimann

Conductor

 

Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After traveling the world with ensembles like Tragicomedia, and as frequent guest with Cantus Köln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as conductor of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra Vancouver, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques, Le Nouvel Opéra and Tempo Rubato. Of special note is his recent appointment as Artistic Director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, only the second person to hold this position since the orchestra was founded in 1994.. His coming season includes appearances with Symphony Nova Scotia, Portland Baroque, Mercury Baroque in Houston, Vancouver Early Music, Arion Baroque in Montreal and the Boston Early Music Festival as well as concerts with Seattle Baroque.

Recently, he conducted the Montreal based baroque orchestra Ensemble Arion, Les Violons du Roy, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra Oregon; both the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra have regularly invited him as their featured soloist. In the last years, he has explored new shores by repeatedly conducting the Victoria Symphony (f.i. with pieces by and around the adolescent Mozart, including his piano concerto Jeunehomme) and also Symphony Nova Scotia, most recently with Handel’s “Messiah”.

After working as an assistant conductor at the Amsterdam, Basel, and Hamburg opera houses, he has directed productions of Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona with the Freiburger Barockorchester; Pepusch’s Beggar’s Opera at the Castle Theatre in Gotha, Handel’s Orlando Furioso and Stradella’s Moro per Amore at the Teamtheater in Munich; Telemann’s Passion oratorio Seliges Erwägen at the Europäische Wochen festival at Passau; Caldara’s Clodoveo and the multipart opera event Mozart à Milano, both of which were Canadian-German co-productions mounted at festivals in Montreal and Vancouver, and at the Sanssouci Palace Theatre in Potsdam; and, for the Vancouver Early Music Festival, Handel’s Resurrezione, Rameau’s Pygmalion, Purcell’s Fairy Queen and King Arthur, the celebrated 2010 performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers, and 2012′s Orlando by Handel.

Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs and, frequently, on the radio in many countries. He made his North American recording debut with the ensemble Tragicomedia on the CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA), and won worldwide acclaim from both the public and critics for the release of Handel’s Gloria (on the Canadian label Atma Classique). Volume 1 of his recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti appeared in May 2005. Critics around the world unanimously praised it, and in the following year it was nominated for an Opus prize as the best Canadian early-music recording. In 2007, his recording of Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu with the Montreal-based ensemble Les Voix Baroques won an Opus prize, and was nominated for a Juno Classic Award. The same year, he recorded Caldara’s oratorio Clodoveo (also nominated for the Juno), and both conducted and performed as fortepiano soloist with the German ensemble Echo du Danube in the first recording of concertos by Wagenseil. In 2008 he added to his solo outings by recording Bach’s Clavierübung II, and revisiting his first love, the organ, with the release of Alessandro Scarlatti’s keyboard works, Volume 2. (The last volume 3, harpsichord again, to be published soon.) Recently, he also released an Opus award winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with superstar soprano Karina Gauvin and his Montreal based ensemble Tempo Rubato, a recording of Bach’s St. John’s Passion, various albums with Les Voix Baroques on Buxtehude, Carissimi and Purcell, all of the above with raving reviews; his latest album with Karina Gauvin and Arion Baroque Orchestra (“Prima donna”) won the Juno 2013; a complete recording of Handel’s Orlando was released in the summer of 2013, with an exciting group of international star soloists and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra performing.

Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa con laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, medieval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships for the highly talented. In addition to his studies, he has attended numerous master classes in harpsichord and historical performance. To ground himself further in the roots of western music, he became intensively involved, over the course of several years, with Gregorian chant. In 1997, his group Le Nuove Musiche won first prize at the Premio Bonporti music competition in Rovereto, Italy.

From 1990 to 1995, Weimann taught music theory, improvisation, and Jazz at the Munich Musikhochschule. Since 1998, he has been giving master classes in harpsichord and historical performance practice at institutions such as Lunds University in Malmö and the Bremen Musikhochschule, and also at North American universities such as Berkeley (University of California), Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, McGill in Montreal, and Mount Allison in New Brunswick. Since 2007 he has been conducted several acclaimed opera productions at the Amherst Early Music Festival. For half a decade, he has been teaching early music performance practice to voice and instrumental students at the Université de Montréal, as well as conducting the Baroque opera programme, for example, in the celebrated Monteverdi’s Poppea. Singers of note, such as those with the Atélier Lyrique de Montréal and other opera studios, seek his services as a vocal coach and he was in charge of harpsichord instruction at McGill University in 2013-2014.
Alexander Weimann lives with his wife, 3 children and pets in Vancouver, and tries to spend as much time as possible in his garden and kitchen.

March 2015

ORCHESTRAL

Albinoni CONCERTI OP. 2 AND 5
Bach, CPE SELECTED HARPSICHORD CONCERTOS AND SYMPHONIES
Bach, JC SELECTED SYMPHONIES, OVERTURES AND SYMPHONIES
CONCERTANTES
SELECTED CONCERTOS FROM OP. 1, 7 AND 13
Bach, JS BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS
ALL HARPSICHORD CONCERTOS (CONDUCTOR AND SOLOIST)
ORCHESTRAL OVERTURES I-IV
ALL VIOLIN AND MULTIPLE CONCERTOS
Beethoven PIANO CONCERTOS 1 AND 3 (CONDUCTOR AND SOLOIST)
SYMPHONIES 1, 2, 6 AND 7
Boccherini SELECTED SYMPHONIES AND CONCERTOS
Corelli CONCERTI GROSSI, OP. 6
Geminiani CONCERTI GROSSI, OP. 2 AND 3
Gossec SELECTED SYMPHONIES
Handel CONCERTI GROSSI OP. 3 AND 6
ALL ORGAN CONCERTOS (CONDUCTOR AND SOLOIST)
FIREWORKS MUSIC
WATER MUSIC
Haydn SELECTED CONCERTOS
SEVEN LAST WORDS
SYMPHONIES 6, 7, 8, 26, 44, 45, 49, 54, 60, 85, 94
Mendelssohn PIANO CONCERTO 1
SYMPHONY 4 AND 5
Mozart SELECTED DIVERTIMENTOS AND SERENADES
PIANO CONCERTOS KV 271, 466, 491, 537
SELECTED CONCERTOS FOR VIOLIN, FLUTE, CLARINET
Schubert SYMPHONIES 4 AND 8
Stamitz SELECTED SYMPHONIES
Telemann SELECTED OVERTURES, SUITES AND CONCERTOS
TAFELMUSIK
Vanhal SELECTED SYMPHONIES
Vivaldi CONCERTI 4, 6, 7 AND 10
L’ESTRO ARMONICO, OP. 3
QUATTRO STAGIONI
SELECTED CONCERTOS

 

CHORAL

Bach, CPE DIE ISRAELITEN IN DER WÜSTE
Bach, JC DIE KINDHEIT JESU
Bach, JS HIMMELFAHRTS ORATORIUM
ALL CANTATAS
ALL MASSES
OSTER ORATORIUM
JOHANNES PASSION
MASS IN B MINOR
MATTHÄUS PASSION
WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM
Beethoven CHRISTUS AM ÖLBERGE
MISSA SOLEMNIS
Bertali MARIA MADDALENA
Caldara CLODOVEO, RE DI FRANCIA
Carissimi ALL ORATORIOS
Cavalieri RAPPRESENTATIONE DI CORPO E DI ANIMA
Charpentier ALL DRAMATIC MOTETS, ALL SACRED REPERTOIRE
Graun DER TOD JESU
Handel ACIS AND GALATEA
APOLLO E DAFNE
CLORI, TIRSI AND FILENO
ISRAEL IN EGYPT
JUDAS MACCABAEUS
MESSIAH
RESURREZIONE
SEMELE
IL TRIONFO
Haydn SCHÖPFUNGSMESSE
DIE SCHÖPFUNG
MISSA IN TEMPORE BELLI
NELSON MESSE
DIE JAHRESZEITEN
Keiser BROCKESPASSION
ORATORIUM PASSIONALE
Landi SANT ALESSIO
Monteverdi 8th MADRIGAL BOOK
VESPERS 1610
Mozart KRÖNUNGSMESSE
REQUIEM
Pergolesi STABAT MATER
Scarlatti JOHN PASSION
Schütz WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM
DIE AUFERSTEHUNG
Telemann DIE AUFERSTEHUNG
DER TAG DES GERICHTS
SELIGES ERWÄGEN

 

OPERA

Biber ARMINIO
Blow VENUS AND ADONUS
Caccini RUGGIERO
Cavalli CALISTO
ERCOLE
GIASONE
Cesti ORONTEA
POMO D’ORO
Gluck IPHIGENIE AUF TAURIS
ORFEO ET EURIDICE
Handel ALCINA
ALMIRA
AMADIGI
ARIODANTE
GIULIO CESARE
ORLANDO
RODELINDA
RINALDO
SERSE
Haydn IL MONDO DELLA LUNA
Lully ALCESTE
ARMIDE
THÉSÉE
Monteverdi ORFEO
L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA
IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA
Mozart ASCANIO
IDOMENEO
MITRIDATE
DER SCHAUSPIELDIREKTOR
DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE
Pergolesi LA SERVA PADRONA
Peri EURIDICE
Purcell DIDO & AENEAS
FAIRY QUEEN
KING ARTHUR
Rameau DARDANUS
CASTOR ET POLLUX
Rossi ORFEO
Scarlatti, A. L’EQUIVOCI
Stradella MORO PER AMORE

 

“Alexander Weimann, who has done a lot of fine work in Montreal, leads a crisply engaging performance by the 20-piece Pacific Baroque Orchestra from the keyboard…. All three CDs are a pleasure from beginning to end.”
Musical Toronto, review of Handel: Orlando

“Handel doesn’t miss a trick in creating spectacular choral effects; neither did music director Alexander Weimann in bringing them to life with theatrical cunning and an all-embracing sense of joy.”
The Vancouver Sun

“The Montreal based Arion Orchestre Baroque, founded in 1981, provides fleet, stylish support under Alexander Weimann’s baton; the sense prevails of a genuine musical collaboration with Gauvin, not a pit band supporting a star guest.”
Opera News

“There are three well-spaced and brief orchestral interludes included, with the Adagio from Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op. 3 No. 1 being the most stunning. And throughout, the Arion Orchestre Baroque, playing on period instruments under Alexander Weimann, is never less than ideal. This is a stunner.”
Classics Today

“Karina Gauvin’s voice is on the fuller side for this repertoire, and those who prefer straight tones should look elsewhere. But she handles the coloratura writing with ease and authority…Alexander Weimann leads the Arion Orchestre Baroque in energetic performances.”
Newark Star Ledger

“With the ultra-capable Alexander Weimann as conductor/organist, one could anticipate a good program; the event, loosely inspired by Vespers at the great Saint Mark’s Basilica, was perfectly in line with Weimann’s imaginative concerts for the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. The program proved as close to seamless as it could be.”
The Vancouver Sun

On Weimann’s St. John Passion for Atma Classique- “has a luminous and gently penetrating emotional impact…The instruments are discreet and yet integral, and the quality of the production adds up to a very significant, incrementally impressive new reading.”
Gramophone Magazine

“Même si la période pascale n’est pas encore arrivée, l’orchestre baroque Arion sous la direction d’Alexander Weimann ouvre ses portes à un grand classique. Dans la lignée du chef d’orchestre Nicolas Harnoncourt, les voix privilégient une densité et un engagement total. Tranquillement, nous nous laissons séduire par la dramaturgie du texte et les effets de contraste. Enveloppant.”
Le Journal de Montréal

“Weimann’s direction from the harpsichord and organ provides a masterful but sensitive accompaniment, allowing these superb voices to shine through brilliantly.”
The Whole Note

“The musicians, directed by organist and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann, provided the filigreed, glowing backdrop….A graceful instrumental suite in the French style by Erlebach, and a magnificent Passacaglia for solo harpsichord by Georg Muffat completed this unusual and alluring program.”
The Ottawa Citizen

“the music making is poetic and and expressive…the six singers listen, watch and respond to each other with keeness and subtlety. Throughout Alexander Weimann directs judiciously from the keyboard.”
Gramaphone Magazine

“Alexander Weimann played the keyboards – organ and harpsicord – and directed the singing with extraordinary insight.
The Globe and Mail

“Much credit goes to guest conductor Alexander Weimann whose sense of the score was informed and eminently musical, and assured an enhanced coherence to the performance.”
The Ottawa Citizen

“Chez Atma, aussi, nous trouvons un bijou baroque: un CD de quatre oratorios de Carissimi sur les histoires de Jonas, Jephté, Ezéchias et Job. Nous sommes là dans un registre bien plus éloquent que «végétarien». Les Voix baroques, menées par Alexander Weinmann, éclairent avec vigueur cette musique, post-monteverdienne.”
Le Devoir

“Many of his scores have been lost, so it’s hard to tell that Roman Giacomo Carissimi was one of the most celebrated composers of his day (1605-1674). But thanks to brilliant recordings such as this one by Montreal’s Les Voix Baroques, led by conductor Alexander Weimann, that is likely to change. Here are four oratorio-like “sacred stories” (Jonas, Jephte, Ezechia and Job) gorgeously played and sung.”
Toronto Star

“Smartly accompanied by harpsichordist Alexander Weimann and Tempo Rubato. Flautist Grégoire Jeay’s obbligato in ‘Sweet bird that shun’st the noise of folly’ (L’Allegro) is delectable, while Gauvin’s impeccable coloratura and sharp-sweet-creamy-raspberry ripple soprano fit this aria like a designer glove.”
BBC Music Magazine

A thirteen-member company of singers and instrumentalists, led from the keyboard by Alexander Weimann, contextualized four works by Henry Purcell…This program was both ingenious and intricate…The selection, superb musicological practice that approaches composition in its subtle selectivity and pacing, was matched by the splendour of the performances…this was collegial, collaborative music-making of the highest level…
Vancouver Sun

 

Video

Israel in Egypt by Handel with Pacific Orchestra Baroque and Early Music Vancouver, Part I selections

 

Johannes Passion by J.S. Bach with Ensemble Arion and Les Voix Baroques

 

Alexander Weimann Appointed Seattle Baroque Orchestra Music Director

(March 16, 2015) – Alexander Weimann, well known as artistic director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques, Le Nouvel Opéra, and Tempo Rubato in Montréal has been named music director of Seattle Baroque Orchestra. Early Music Guild (EMG) appointed Weimann following an international search spanning the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He succeeds founding directors Ingrid Matthews and Byron Schenkman who led the Orchestra from 1994-2013.

Seattle Baroque Orchestra has attracted loyal fans across the Northwest for its exciting and intimate performance series at Town Hall Seattle. The Orchestra’s eight recordings are praised by the press, and frequently featured on NPR, Classical KING FM, and many other regional and national broadcasts. Over its 21 year history the Orchestra has captivated live audiences across North America, and in 2012 presented the first-ever period performance in Dubai, UAE.

Announcing the appointment, EMG board president JoLynn Edwards said, “After an extensive search process, the board is thrilled to have hired Maestro Alexander Weimann as our new music director for Seattle Baroque Orchestra. His outstanding musicianship as a performer and conductor opens a new chapter for the Orchestra. We eagerly anticipate new creative projects to satisfy the demand of our faithful audiences and expanded outreach to the community.”

In an address to the EMG community Alexander Weimann said, “I am truly excited and look forward to working with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra; sharing my love for this amazing and timeless repertoire feels to me as much like an honor as a privilege. Together with our audience, I can’t wait to explore the vitality of countless masterpieces which despite their distance in history speak to us immediately, and still hold an enormous power to move us and teach us about ourselves and humanity.”

August Denhard, EMG’s long-time executive director, said, “It is a great pleasure to welcome Mr. Weimann to our organization. His creative energy and drive are legendary, and will be a great asset as we build the future for the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.”