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“In the vast Schubert lieder discography, Christoph Prégardien’s is my desert-island choice for a highly cultivated yet quite personal tenor-voice foray into Schubert’s world.“ (Gramophone)

Tenor Christoph Prégardien and pianist Michael Gees are, beyond the shadow of a doubt, among the greatest interpreters of Schubert’s song cycle “Die schöne Müllerin” (The Fair Maid of the Mill). The cycle deals with a period in the life of a young miller lad as he wanders along a stream in search of work; he meets a mill-girl and falls in love with her; then loses her to another man and, in deep despair, drowns himself in the millstream. “Die schöne Müllerin” – consisting of twenty songs – is an amazing compendium of the human psyche which deals with the miller’s emotions as he finds, and then loses, his love.



SCHUBERT – Die schöne Müllerin, Op. 25, D. 795

(Programme subject to change at the artists' discretion)




“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 all ensure Christoph Prégardien’s place among the world’s foremost lyric tenors. Especially revered as a Lieder singer, he kicks off the 2023/2024 season together with pianist Daniel Heide at the Schubertiada Vilabertran, before appearing at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg/Hohenems in recitals with Julius Drake as well as with his long-time piano partner Michael Gees. Further concerts take him to Wolfsburg for a special Goethe programme with Julius Drake and Udo Samel, to Hong Kong with Roger Vignoles, to Chapel Hill, USA, with Stefan Litwin, on tour in Japan with Michael Gees, and again to the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and the Schwetzingen SWR Festival with Hartmut Höll, among others. In addition, he will perform Schubert arrangements with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies, as well as interpret Haydn’s Creation in Madrid together with Kent Nagano and the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España. 

Christoph Prégardien regularly appears with renowned orchestras the world over. He has worked with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as the Boston and San Francisco Symphonies, alongside 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, among others, Tamino, Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Fenton (Falstaff), Don Ottavio, Titus, Ulisse, and Idomeneo. 

His extensive experience in singing the Evangelist roles, together with his close working relationship with conductors such as Nagano, Chailly, Herreweghe, Harnoncourt, Luisi, and Gardiner, have provided the perfect base for his increasing dedication to conducting the works of Bach. Following the success of his conducting debut in 2012 leading Le Concert Lorrain and the Nederlands Kammerkoor, he now regularly conducts renowned ensembles like the Balthasar Neumann Choir, Dresdner Kammerchor, Collegium Vocale Gent, and RIAS Kammerchor. In the spring of 2024, he will take the podium for Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Vespres d’Arnadí and the Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música in Barcelona. 

The singer has recorded much of his repertoire on a discography of over 150 albums, 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, which was selected as Editor’s Choice by Gramophone magazine and awarded the MIDEM Record of the Year. Shortly thereafter followed recordings of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with Julia Kleiter, Between Life and Death, Wanderer, and a 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 releases include one recorded in collaboration with the Warsaw Chopin Institute with pianist Christoph Schnackertz featuring songs by Paderewski, Moniuszko and Duparc, and a new recording of Schubert’s Schwanengesang and Schumann’s Liederkreis, Op. 39 (with Julius Drake). In the fall of 2023, the Etcetera label releases Bach cantatas recorded with Stephan Schultz and Le Concert Lorrain, featuring Christoph Prégardien as baritone. 

Teaching remains an important part of Christoph Prégardien’s musical life. Following many years at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich, he gives masterclasses for young singers worldwide and since 2004 has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Cologne. 



“Gees’ playing throughout the evening seemed as if he were the creator of these compositions and kept watch hence everything might fall into place as imagined by him before his inner ear. His eyes were not those of an artist intent on reproduction, but rather shone in the lambent look of passion, so like our idea of the composer as creator.“ (N. Campogrande)

Michael Gees’ biography certainly justifes the term: exceptional. Few others can claim to have a career already behind them at the tender age of fifteen. Born in 1953 into a world of sound and music, both parents were singers, the piano was his favourite toy at age three. Formal piano lessons followed at age five, and the young musician subsequently went on to win the Steinway Competition at age eight and received a scholarship at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.


The child prodigy was hailed as “Westphalian Mozart“, took up studies at the conservatories in Detmold and Vienna and it seemed as if he was fast on his way to become an internationally acclaimed pianist.


Were it not for the gifted child’s longing to explore the world of sound on his own terms, to playfully experience his self like the great masters’ music, to invent their music all over again, note for note instead of limiting himself to a technical practice regimen. Michael Gees fled the pressure of a predetermined competitional career at the age of fifteen, left school, conservatory and home behind, supported himself through odd jobs, worked as archeological assistant and, in the process, for the duration of two full years, became a sailor.


Chance led him back to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where he resumed his compositional studies and eventually graduated. He now develops first-rate pianistic chops on his own, composes a number of works, gains international renown as lied accompanist of extraordinary proportions with Christoph Prégardien and also appears in concerts globally; in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo. All the while, he nurses and feeds his preference for combining the performance of music of past masters with living inspiration, thereby creating remarkable performances with his instrument.

In 1989, Gees founds forum kunstvereint in his adopted hometown of Gelsenkirchen; the Consol Theater, also installed by him, opened its doors in 2001 on the confines of the former mining area Consolidation. There, music, dance and theatre projects take shape, where children, youths and adults alike are incited and encouraged to discover and realize their own artistic impulses. A steady number of CDs have been released from 1996 onward on forum kunstvereint, CPO and EMI, showcasing Michael Gees’ range.

Since 2008 Michael Gees is associated with the Dutch label Challenge Classics. The 2009 release of Die schöne Müllerin with Christoph Prégardien won the MIDEM Classical Award and became Recording of the Year.

Michael Gees works on solo recitals beyond tradition, on modernised lied-renditions, melodramas and stage music.


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