Julian Prégardien
Kota Sakaguchi

On his highly acclaimed Lied debut album, Julien Prégardien presented himself in 2014 as a Lied tenor with “fantastic articulation and grippingly yearning” (Crescendo). Particularly convincing was his interpretation of Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte. Prégardien has also made a name for himself as an interpreter of Strauss: not only did he record Strauss’ Mädchenblumen for the aforementioned album, he also sang the role of Narraboth in the celebrated production of Salome at the 2019 Salzburg Festival.

The repertoire of the “probably most perfect Lied tenor of our time” (Fono Forum) - with a special focus on songs by Strauss, Schubert and Schumann - also includes composers who are less known in central Europe, such as Yrjö Kilpinen. The Finnish composer Kilpinen wrote around 700 Lieder, over 70 of which are based on texts by the German poet Christian Morgenstern. Julian Prégardien will perform a small selection of Kilpinen’s Lieder at this year’s Richard-Strauss-Tage.

Tickets € 29

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© Peter Rigaud
© Peter Rigaud

Julian Prégardienwas born in Frankfurt in 1984 and received his first musical education in the choirs of Limburg Cathedral Music. After studies in Freiburg and at the Aix en Provence Opera Festival Academy, he was an ensemble member of the Frankfurt Opera from 2009 to 2013. At the same time, his international concert activities developed. In the meantime, the tenor has become an internationally outstanding representative of the young generation of singers.

As an opera singer, he has made guest appearances at the Festival d’Aix en Provence, at the Hamburg and Bavarian State Operas and at the Opéra Comique in Paris. In 2018 he made his Salzburg Festival debut as Narraboth in Richard Strauss’ Salome (directed by Romeo Castellucci) with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. In 2019 followed his debut as Tamino in a new production of Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Staatsoper Berlin conducted by Alondra de la Parra. In the 2020/2021 season he returns to the Staatsoper Berlin in a revival of The Magic Flute and will embody Narraboth in a new production of Strauss’ Salome at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, directed by Philipp Stölzl and conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Recent highlights have included concerts with the Munich Philharmonic, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the Munich Radio Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Bavarian Radio Choir. Julian Prégardien was “Artiste Ètoile” of the Mozartfest Würzburg in 2019, where he performed with the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Bamberger Symphoniker, among others. In early March 2020, he made his Cleveland Orchestra debut with Mendelssohn’s “Lobgesang” under Franz Welser-Möst.
In the 2020/2021 season he will, among others, perform with the Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, with the Dresden Philharmonic under Cornelius Meister, with the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg under Kent Nagano, with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Gotthold Schwarz, with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano, with the Ensemble Pygmalion under Raphaël Pichon, with the Concentus Musicus under Stephan Gottfried and with Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset.
A special focus of Julian Prégardien’s artistic activities are recitals and chamber music projects. In the 2020/2021 season, he will appear at the Kölner Philharmonie as a portrait artist with various song and chamber music projects and orchestral songs together with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen conducted by Alondra de la Parra. In addition to numerous recitals, Julian Prégardien will perform Schubert’s “Schwanengesang” with Martin Helmchen and Schumann’s “Dichterliebe” with Eric le Sage.
Julian Prégardien is the exclusive artist of the Alpha Classics label. He is professor of voice at the Munich University of Music and Theatre, a member of the Schumann Network and artistic director of the Brentano Academy Aschaffenburg.

Kota Sakaguchiwas born in 1993 in Osaka/Japan and received piano lessons from K. Suzuki, K. Matusi, H. Abe and S. Okahara.

After his studies (Bachelor and Master for solo piano) at the Kyoto University of the Arts, he graduated in 2021 with a Master’s degree in Lied interpretation with distinction at the Munich University of Music and Theatre, where he studied with Fritz Schwinghammer, Donald Sulzen and Rudi Spring. He also took part in several master classes and worked with Markus Hadulla, Dietrich Henschel, Stefan Arnold, Dina Yoffe, Kevin Kenner and Helmut Deutsch.

He won the First Special Prize for Pianists at the 2nd International Helmut Deutsch Lied Competition, the Third Prize at the 32nd PTNA Piano Competition, the “Audience Special Prize” at the Takarazuka-Vega Music Competition and the First Prize at the 1st Nagoya International Music Competition.

He performs regularly as a soloist, as a chamber musician in Lied duo and as a conductor in many concerts together with, among others, the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, the Telemann Chamber Orchestra, the Reise Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Kyoto University of the Arts.