Launched in East Berlin seven years before the fall of the wall, the Akademie für Alte Musik – called “Akamus” for short by fans and friends – quickly played their way to a leading position among internationally renowned ensembles for historically informed performance practice. Since 1984 Akamus has held its own concert series at the Berlin Konzerthaus, which continues through the present day. In 1987, they produced the first of what are by now countless recordings, many of which have received prizes. They began a continuous collaboration with the Staatsoper in 1994: when Baroque stage works are performed at Unter den Linden, the ensemble regularly plays as guests, conducted by René Jacobs.
Since 2012, Akamus is also firmly established on the programme of the Prince Regent Theatre in Munich with a concert series of their own. Many of the Akademie für Alte Musik’s roughly hundred concerts annually take place as guest performances around the world – the orchestra, which plays in reduced chamber music instrumentation or large orchestra line-up depending on the work, is a much sought after and welcome guest not only all over Europe, but also in South and North America, as well as on the Asian continent. Among the soloists with whom Akamus has had an artistic friendship for many years, besides harpsichordist Andreas Staier, countertenor Bejun Mehta, pianist Alexander Melnikov and baritone Michael Volle, there is also Isabelle Faust, violinist. The Akademie für Alte Musik recorded violin concerti by Johann Sebastian Bach with her on their most recent CD under the musical direction of Bernhard Forck. The press was enthusiastic: Welt am Sonntag found it “huge fun” and the Bavarian Radio rejoiced: “A Bach album that leaves nothing to be desired.”
This concert in the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie is also centred on the music of the cantor of St. Thomas’ in Leipzig. Besides Isabelle Faust, not only is oboist Xenia Löffler involved – member and principal oboist of the Akademie für Alte Musik since 2001 – but you can also experience Bernhard Forck in the dual role of conductor and violinist. Also on the programme: a composition by Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emmanuel, who was born in 1714 and musically served the Prussian king Frederick II for many years. With their performance of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach’s Symphony in C major, a piece of Berlin’s music history during the transition from the Baroque to the classical age can be heard at this concert.