The German soprano, Gela Birckenstaedt, was born in Marburg an der Lahn and raised in Essen. She received her sining lessons with Hilde Wesselmann in Essen and Christiane Gaal in Berlin. She received further artistic stimulation in singing and interpretation courses with Arleen Auger and Barbara Schlick, among others. In addition to her training as a singer she graduated in musicology and philosophy studies at the Universität zu Köln (University of Cologne).
During her studies Gela Birckenstaedt began an extensive concert career, placing greater emphasis on ensemble singing. Today she dedicates herself to performances as as a soloist, especially the Lieder, concert and oratorio. She is an accomplished performer in the field of historically informed performance practice. Her broad repertoire encompasses works of Renaissance and Baroque to contemporary compositions. A particular focus is the music of the 17th and 18th centuries, especially the cantatas of J.S. Bach. She can be heard, inter alia, with Baroque solo programs and Romantic Lieder recitals, as well as with solo parts of large choral-orchestral works of J.S. Bach to Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms.
Gela Birckenstaedt is still very connected to ensemble singing. In recent years, she has appeared with the following ensembles: Weser-Renaissance Bremen
under Manfred Cordes, La Capella Ducale / Musica Fiat a Köln under Roland Wilson, Schola Heidelberg (New Music Ensemble) under Walter Nussbaum, Amsterdam Baroque Choir under Ton Koopman, Balthasar-Neumann-Chor under Thomas Hengelbrock and Rheinische Kantorei under Hermann Max.
Numerous solo performances have led Gela Birckenstaedt to important European festivals at home and abroad, for example, the Festival of Early Music in Innsbruck and Bruges, Flanders Festival, Stockholm Early Music Festival, Bachfest Leipzig, Düsseldorfer Altstadtherbst, Festival Alte Musik Knechtsteden and Festival de musique ancienne de Ribeauvillé. Radio and CD productions - including recording of Cantatas by Georg Philipp Telemann, oratorios by Giacomo Carissimi and Dietrich Buxtehude's Jüngstes Gericht - document her artistic work.
In addition to her singing activity, Gela Birckenstaedt works as a freelance writer and music journalist for print media and radio, including WDR 3. Here she distinguishes herself primarily as a specialist for the historically informed performance practice and at the same time she is exploring with great passion through around a thousand years of music history, including previously unheard or supposedly familiar works.