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Kurt Widmer (Baritone)

Born: December 28, 1940 - Wil/Canton St. Gallen, Switzerland

The Swiss baritone, Kurt Widmer, visited the teacher seminar in Rorschach and informed six years long in Zürich. He studied violin playing and singing (with Ria Ginster) at the Conservatory of Zürich, then with Paul Lohmann and Franziska Martienssen Lohmann in Luzern and Wiesbaden and with Burga Schwarzbach in Vienna. In 1967 he won the Soloist Prize of the Schweizerischen Tonkünstlervereins (The Swiss Composersí Association).

Since 1966 Kurt Widmer has appeared as a concert singer in Switzerland, then also on international level, to a great career. He has sung at concerts throughout Europe, Israel, the USA, Canada, Russia and Japan under prominent conductors (Rafael Frühbeck de Bourgos, Michael Gielen, Paul Sacher, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Jesús López-Cobos). He participated at the Festival Weeks of Montreux and at the English Bach Festival in London, at the Festival Weeks of Luzern, at the Israel Festival, at the Schwetzinger Festival, at Brighton Festival and at the Festival of Strasbourg. He could be heard in Switzerland (Basel, Berne, Zürich, Geneva, Lugano, Lausanne) and in Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt a.M., Hamburg, Köln, Munich, Stuttgart), in Vienna and Graz, in Milan, Rome, Turin, Triest and Naples, in Paris, Brussels and Lüttich, in Amsterdam, London and Rotterdam, in Dresden, Leipzig and Bratislava, in Madrid, Valencia and Lisbon, at the Salzburg Festival (1978 in a Mozart concert) and at the Cleveland Festival, in Budapest, at the Festival of Wroclaw (Breslau) and with at the German Bach Festival in Mainz. Other festivals in which he has participated are: Zurich, Donaueschingen, Ludwigsburg, Breslau, Turin, and Vienna.

Kurt Widmerís repertoire in the areas of the oratorios and the sacred vocal music had a nearly inexhaustible extent and contained works of J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel and masters Baroque epoch up to contemporary compositions. He created several vocal works of modern composers such as R. Kelterborn, Armin Schibler, H. Sutermeister and Klaus Huber. So far, he has sung in more than 100 premieres. From the very start until today, his primary interest has been Lieder. In this area he performed the Lieder of the Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck, as well as Lieder of Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Mussorgsky, R. Strauss, Arthur Honegger and Benjamin Britten. On the stage he appeared only occasionally, sang however roles in concertante and radio performances of operas.

In 1985 Kurt Widmer was awarded the Regio Prize for Music of the Upper Rhine Association for the Promotion of the Economy. Since 1968 he has worked as a pedagogue at the Musikakademie of Basel. His son, Oliver Widmer became like his father a well-known baritone.

The repertoire of Kurt Widmer's many records and radio recordings ranges from Machautís Mass to contemporary works. He has participated in numerous recordings, including: on Harmonia Mundi (Schöpfung by Haydn, Deutsches Requiem by J. Brahms, Johannes-Passion by Scarlatti, Missa Solemnis by L.v. Beethoven), Toccata (Winterreise by Schubert), Electrola (Works of Carissimi and Heinrich Schütz), Philips (Requiem by Cimarosa), BASF (Penthesilea by O. Schoeck), Vox (Oratorios Schöpfung and Jahreszeiten by Haydn), DGG (Works of G. de Machaut, Benedetto Marcello), HMV (Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) by J.S. Bach), Jecklin-Disco (Lieder of Schubert, W.A. Mozart und A. Zemlinsky), Erato (Works of M.A. Charpentier, Der Tod Jesu by Graun, works of Heinrich Schütz und Jan Dismas Zelenka), Calig-Verlag (Weihnachts-Oratorium by Camille Saint-Saëns), Schwann (Requiem of Gabriel Fauré), Pan (Lieder of O. Schoeck and W. Burkhard), Amati (Mozart und Salieri by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov). Kurt Widmer has been awarded a number of prizes for records (Prix mondial du disque, Grand Prix du disque, Diaposon díor Prix de líAcadémie du disque Français, Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik).


Source: Operissimo Website & Musaios Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (May 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2004)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Hans Grischkat


BWV 149

Theo Loosli


[V-1] (1979): BWV 245

Philipp Röhl


BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Willkommen bei MUSAIOS.CH (Official Website) [German]
toujours Mozart: Kurt Widmer [German]
Meisterkurs Kurt Widmer (Junges Musiktheater) [German]
Internationale Meisterkurse Vaduz: Kurt Widmer - Gesang [German/English]
Gesangskurs Kurt Widmer [German]
lebenslauf: Kurt Widmer [English/German]
Akademia Vocalis - Seminare [German]

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Last update: Monday, January 08, 2018 15:56