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Kai Wessel (Counter-tenor)

Born: 1964 - Hamburg, Germany

The German counter-tenor, Kai Wessel, studied music theory (Professor R. Ploeger), composition (Professor F. Döhl) and singing (Ute von Garczynski; concert examination with award) at Lübeck Academy of Music. This counter-tenor's program at the Academy was supplemented by the study of baroque performance practice at he Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (René Jacobs). He received prizes at the German Vocal Competition in Berlin in 1984 and 1988 and the Musica Antiqua Competition of the Flanders Festival in Bruges in 1990 and stipends from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Gotthard Schierse Stiftung of Berlin, and the DAAD (Study with Peter Kooy in Hilversum/Holland).

Kai Wessel has served as an assistant of René Jacobs in the production of operas (by Cesti, Cavalli and Gluck) for the International Week of Early Music in Innsbruck, for the WDR Radio, and at the Hamburg State Opera.

Concerts, radio broadcasts, and recordings have followed under René Jacobs, William Christie, Ton Koopman, Martin Haselböck, Reinhard Goebel, Jordi Savall, Hans-Werner Henze, and others. Kai Wessel belongs to the Ensemble Contrapunctus and the Ensemble Vocal Européen de La Chapelle Royale led by Philippe Herreweghe. He was engaged in the Festivals in Innsbruck, Halle, Göttingen (1989 in George Frideric Handelís Susanna, in 1990 Rosalinda), Bruchsal, Frankfurt, Staufen, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Versailles, Saintes, Vienna, Utrecht, among others. He has performed and premiered works of his own composition and works composed especially for him in Germany and abroad.

Kai Wessel teaches singing and Baroque performance practice at the College of Music in Cologne, and regularly gives summer classes in Austria and Poland.

Source: Liner notes to CPO CD 999-139-2 (Apocryphal Bach Cantatas, conducted by Helbich, 1992); Liner notes to BIS CD-991 (Cantatas 11, conducted by Suzuki, 1999); Liner notes to Capriccio 2-CD 60033-2 (Mass in H-Moll, conducted by Max)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2001)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Jan Tomasz Adamus


Bachfest Leipzig 2014: BWV 29

Christian Brembeck


BWV 1083

Romano Giefer


BWV 244

Reinhard Goebel


BWV 182 [Radio broadcast]

Wolfgang Helbich


BWV 217, BWV 218, BWV 219, BWV 220, BWV 222

Philippe Herreweghe


BWV 66, BWV 249 [1st]

Gerald Kegelmann


BWV 232

Ton Koopman


BWV 4, BWV 12, BWV 31, BWV 71, BWV 106, BWV 132, BWV 150, BWV 172, BWV 182, BWV 185
BWV 232, BWV 244 [1st], BWV 245 [1st ], BWV 524

Michel Laplénie


F.N. Brauns: Markus-Passion

Hermann Max


V-1 (1992): BWV 232 [1st recording]
J.L. Bach: Cantata Ich will meinen Geist in euch geben, JLB-7
J.L. Bach: Cantata Der Herr wird ein Neues im Lande erschaffen, JLB-13
J.L. Bach: Cantata Die Weisheit kommt nicht in eine boshafte Seele, JLB-14

Martyna Pastuszka


[OV-2] (2013, Video): BWV 54

Hans-Christoph Rademann


BWV 243

Thomas Reuber


J.D. Zelenka: Magnificat in D major, ZWV 108

Masaaki Suzuki


BWV 46, BWV 136, BWV 138

David Timm


BWV 205, BWV 207, BWV 213, BWV 214

Links to other Sites

Forum Alte Musik Köln: Biographie Wessel, Kai [German]
Austria Barock Akademie / Kurse

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Sunday, January 21, 2018 10:35