Soprano RUTH ZIESAK studied at the College of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main under Elsa Cavelti. She began her singing career as a member of the Heidelberg Stadttheater. Numerous competition successes, including first prizes at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb and the renowned ’s-Hertogenbosch Competition quickly paved the way to an international career. Since then, Ziesak has been appointed a professor of singing at the Saar University of Music.
After her debut at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein based in Düsseldorf and Duisburg, her career led her from the stages of Munich, Stuttgart, Berlin, and Dresden to the international platforms of Milan, Florence, Vienna, Paris, London, and New York, where she shone in her signature roles of Pamina, Ännchen, Marzelline, Ilia, and Sophie. In the meantime, she has expanded her repertoire and made her debut in the role of the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro in Glyndebourne and Zurich. It is in this role that she appeared at the Württembergisches Staatstheater in Stuttgart under Manfred Honeck in the 2009/10 season.
The versatile artist is a much sought-after concert soloist and works with the leading orchestras in Paris, Milan, Vienna, Munich, Leipzig, Amsterdam, and London. She is a frequent guest at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, and the BBC Proms. Singing under the baton of conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Daniele Gatti, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Lothar Zagrosek, Riccardo Chailly, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Ivor Bolton, she has performed with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and Salzburg’s Mozarteum Orchestra.
2011 has led Ziesak to the Dresden Staatskapelle under Sir Roger Norrington (Mozart’s Mass in C minor), to the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bruckner’s Mass F minor), to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt, to the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under Jonathan Nott, to the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon (Haydn’s Creation with Ainaris Rubikis), and to the WDR Symphony Orchestra under Howard Griffiths, singing the virtuoso title part of Ferdinand Ries’ Die Räuberbraut – in a concert performance and recorded for CD. Future engagements include a tour with the St. John Passion under Christoph Prégardien, these performances of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with Herbert Blomstedt, Handel’s Messiah with Concerto Köln and the NDR Radio Choir, and Brahms’ Requiem with Orchestre National de France at the Salle Pleyel.
As a lieder singer, Ruth Ziesak is regularly accompanied by Gerold Huber, with whom she performs in Vienna and Berlin and at London Wigmore Hall, at Austria’s Liszt Festival, and at the festivals Kissinger Sommer and Heidelberger Frühling, to name just a few. They had been invited to perform at two lieder recitals by the Leipzig Gewandhaus, where she performed newly discovered lieder by Felix Mendelssohn, due to be released on CD. Ruth Ziesak counts among András Schiff’s regular lieder partners, with concerts so far at London’s Wigmore Hall and the Essen Philharmonie. Their future recitals will take place at the Salzburg Festival and the Berlin Philharmonie – and with Schiff as conductor at the Lucerne Festival. She works with the Merel Quartet, the Nash Ensemble, and the Vienna Piano Trio.
In addition to her concert recordings with Georg Solti, Riccardo Chailly, and Herbert Blomstedt for Decca, Ruth Ziesak has recorded Die Zauberflöte (Solti/Decca), Fidelio (Dohnànyi/Decca), La clemenza di Tito (Harnoncourt/Teldec), Der Freischütz (Janowski/BMG), Hänsel und Gretel (Runnicles/ Teldec) and Robert Schumann’s Genoveva with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (Harnoncourt/Teldec). Her solo recordings include opera arias by Mozart with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin (German Symphony Orchestra Berlin) conducted by Marcus Creed (Capriccio) and lieder by Mahler (Gatti/BMG), as well as a series of lieder recitals for BMG, Naxos, and Sony with Ulrich Eisenlohr. In her CD Sacred Arias, featuring works by Buxtehude, Ebart, Tunder, and others, released by Capriccio, Ruth Ziesak and the Berliner Barock-Compagney explore the fascinating niche of early Baroque repertoire.
Among her latest recordings are Mendelssohn’s Elias as well as his Symphony No. 2, “Lobgesang,” with the MDR Symphony Orchestra under Jun Märkl (Naxos). Following the solo publications of Liszt Lieder (Edel Classics) and Haydn Canzonetten and Lieder (Phoenix), Ruth Ziesak and Gerold Huber’s next CD is dedicated to Felix Mendelssohn (AVI).