Teodor Currentzis, born in Athens in 1972, began studying conducting in his home town in 1987, then from 1994 to 1999, he continued his studies at the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory under Ilya Musin. He is the founder and music director of the ensemble musicAeterna and the musicAeterna choir. From 2011 to 2019, both ensembles were resident at the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre where Teodor Currentzis was artistic director. In July 2019, he stepped down from this position to concentrate fully on leading musicAeterna as an independent ensemble to new heights. With the beginning of the 2018/2019 season, Teodor Currentzis took up his position as chief conductor of the SWR Symphonieorchester. Highlights of his career include a residency at the Vienna Konzerthaus (2016/2017); a new production of Mozart’s opera La clemenza di Tito with Peter Sellars at the Salzburg Festival, where he presented a cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies on five sold-out evenings with musicAeterna in 2018; his debut at the BBC Proms with musicAeterna the same year; plus the performance of the opera The Passenger by Mieczysław Weinberg with the Wiener Symphoniker at the Bregenz Festival. In 2006, Teodor Currentzis launched the Territoria Modern Art Festival which quickly became the most prestigious music festival in Moscow. He has also curated the International Diaghilev Festival in Perm since 2012. Winner of the Musikfest Bremen Prize in 2019, the artist has been awarded the prestigious “Golden Mask” by the Russian theatre association seven times. In concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, Teodor Currentzis last appeared at the beginning of May 2018, presenting works by Gustav Mahler together with musicAeterna. In the present concerts, he makes his debut conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Zarina Abaeva is from Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia, where she first studied under Nelly Khestanova. In 2011, the Russian soprano completed her training under Rusanna Lisitsian at the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow. The winner of the All-Russian Nadezhda Obukhova Young Vocalists’ Competition and the Minsk International Christmas Singing Competition, she has been an ensemble member of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre since 2012. There, she caused a sensation particularly in the operas of Tchaikovsky: in the title role of Iolanta, as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, as Maria in Mazeppa and in the role of Agnès Sorel in The Maid of Orleans. The repertoire of the singer, who has also been engaged at the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow since 2019, also includes Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Blanche in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Nineta in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges and the title roles in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Madama Butterfly and Verdi’s Aida. In autumn 2017, Zarina Abaeva sang the role of Natasha in a concert performance of Alexander Dargomyzhsky’s opera Rusalka conducted by Mikhail Pletnev at the Russian National Orchestra’s Grand Festival. In addition, she made a guest appearance as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. In March 2019, she participated in a European tour with the instrumental and vocal ensemble musicAeterna under the baton of Theodor Currentzis, which included Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem on its programme. Zarina Abaeva is now performing for the first time in concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation.
Annalisa Stroppa graduated in singing at the “Luca Marenzio” Conservatory in Brescia. After winning numerous competitions, she made her debut on the international stage in 2011, playing the role of Cherubino in Mercadantes I due Figaro in Salzburg conducted by Riccardo Muti. With this production she subsequently appeared at the Ravenna Festival, the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Since then she has performed in major theatres in Italy and further afield, including the Teatro Regio Turin (Hansel and Gretel), the Arena di Verona (Roméo et Juliette), the Vienna State Opera (Così fan tutte), Carmen at the Bregenz Festival, the Israeli Opera Tel Aviv (La Cenerentola), Opéra National de Paris (Madama Butterfly) as well as several roles at the Teatro alla Scala. She made her US debut with Berlioz’ Les Nuits dʼété in 2013 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden. At the prestigious opening of the 2016/2017 season of the Teatro alla Scala she performed Suzuki in Madama Butterfly under Riccardo Chailly. She sang Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, at the Berlin State Opera, in Dresden, Verona, Tel Aviv and Lausanne, working with renowned conductors such as Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Christophe Rousset and Christian Thielemann. Among her next commitments in Germany this season are performances as Angelina (La Cenerentola) in Hamburg, Carmen in Wiesbaden and Rosina at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. Annalisa Stroppa now makes her debut in concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Sergey Romanovsky graduated in vocal studies from the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory and the Choral Academy of Moscow. The tenor, who is currently completing his studies under Olga Mironova and Dmitry Vdovin, won competitions at an early stage including the Bella Voce international student vocal competition 2005. Sergej Romanowsky performs at internationally renowned venues, including London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala Milan, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and the opera houses in Brussels, Gothenburg, Oslo, Montreal, Toulouse and Bordeaux. The young singer has appeared in roles such as Lenski (Eugene Onegin) and Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), as well as Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Nemorino (L'elisir d 'amore), Ernesto (Don Pasquale) and Marzio (Mitridate, rè di Ponto). Sergey Romanovsky has worked with such conductors as Lorin Maazel, Alberto Zedda, Christophe Rousset and Ottavio Dantone, as well as directors Robert Carsen, Denis Krief, Stefano Mazzonis Di Pralafera and Luca Ronconi. Highlights of past seasons include his role debuts as Giasone in Cherubini’s Medea at the Wexford Festival Opera and as Rodrigo in Rossini’s La donna del Lago at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège. He also took on the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlos at the Opéra de Lyon and made his debut at the Opera House Muscat (as Gérald in Lakmé) and at the Bregenz Festival (as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto). Sergey Romanovsky will now be heard in concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation for the first time.
Evgeny Stavinsky, born into a family of musicians in Dubna, Russia, graduated in singing and chorusmaster studies from the Choral Academy of Moscow in 2003. He then continued his training in Italy at the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, where he performed in the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and as Lord Sidney (Il viaggio a Reims) and as Budd in Britten’s Albert Herring. Since 2007, the singer, who also works as a conductor and is music director of the Municipal Symphony Orchestra in Dubna, has been a member of the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow, where he has appeared in the great bass parts of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Wagner and Strauss. Guest appearances have taken Evgeny Stavinsky to the Mariinsky Theatre, the opera houses in Bologna and Palermo, the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London in roles including Raimondo Bidebent (Lucia di Lammermoor), Oroveso (Norma), Méphistophélès (La Damnation de Faust), Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Colline (La Bohème) and the monk in Donizetti’s long-lost opera L’Ange de Nisida. On the concert stage, the singer recently participated in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Riccardo Muti in Ravenna and Athens. In addition, in the current season he will perform under the direction of Teodor Currentzis in New York and Baden-Baden in the Requiem settings of Mozart and Verdi. In 2018, Evgeny Stavinsky was awarded the prestigious “Golden Mask” theatre award. He now makes his debut in concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation.
The musicAeterna Choir was founded by Teodor Currentzis in Novosibirsk in 2004, and from 2011 was the resident ensemble at the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre. Since September 2019, musicAeterna (choir and orchestra) has been an independent and privately financed ensemble. The chamber choir has a broad repertoire which includes pieces by European and Russian Baroque composers, masterpieces of Russian choral music of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, numerous operas and contemporary music. As the resident choir of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, musicAeterna participated in new productions of the Mozart operas Così fan tutte (2011), Le nozze di Figaro (2012) and Don Giovanni (2014), as well as performances of Purcell’s Indian Queen (2013), Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann (2015), Borodin’s Prince Igor (2015), Verdi’s La traviata (2016) and Puccini’s La Bohème (2017). Moreover, musicAeterna has premiered several new works, including Dmitri Kourliandski’s opera Nosferatu (2014), Philippe Hersant’s choral opera Tristia (2015) and Alexei Syumak’s stage work Cantos (2016). The choir, which regularly works with guest conductors such as Paul Hillier, Andrea Marcon and Jérémie Rhorer, won the International Opera Award in 2018. MusicAeterna is regularly invited to the prestigious festivals in Brussels, Aix-en-Provence and Lucerne. At the Salzburg Festival 2017, the choir participated in performances of Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and, in the summer of 2019, in a production of Idomeneo directed by Peter Sellars. The choir musicAeterna last appeared in concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation in late October 2018 in a performance of Philippe Hersant’s Tristia.