Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Founded in Berlin in 1982 and recognized today as one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, the AKADEMIE FÜR ALTE MUSIK BERLIN, or Akamus, enjoys an unprecedented history of success. The ensemble, which performs regularly in Europe’s leading musical centers, has toured throughout Asia, North America, and South America.
Ever since the reopening of the Berlin Konzerthaus in 1984, the ensemble has enjoyed its own concert series in Germany’s capital, and since 1994 has been a regular guest at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden and at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. Starting with the 2012/2013 season, Akamus also has its own concert series at Munich’s Prinzregententheater. Each year Akamus performs approximately 100 concerts, ranging from small chamber works to large-scale symphonic pieces, and performs under the artistic leadership of its concertmasters Midori Seiler, Stephan Mai, Bernhard Forck, and Georg Kallweit.
Numerous guest conductors and soloists have worked with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin as well. For over 25 years, the partnership with the Belgian countertenor and conductor René Jacobs has produced many celebrated opera and oratorio productions. One of the most recent of these is the release of a recording of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, which the BBC has hailed as “spine tingling… Jacobs is all about excitement and making the most of orchestral detail: the breakneck overture only manages to stay on the rails thanks to stunning playing from the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.”
The ensemble has also worked with the conductors Marcus Creed, Peter Dijkstra, Daniel Reuss, and Hans-Christoph Rademann, who currently leads the RIAS Kammerchor, as well as with Andreas Scholl, Sandrine Piau, and Bejun Mehta. Moreover, Akamus has extended its artistic boundaries to work together with the modern dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests for innovative productions of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Medea (music by Pascal Dusapin). And, with its visually dramatic performance of 4 Elements – 4 Seasons, a “staged concert,” Akamus has demonstrated yet again its international reputation for being a creative and innovative ensemble.
The international success of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin is highlighted by well over one million recordings sold to the public. Recorded exclusively for harmonia mundi France since 1994, the ensemble’s CDs have earned many international prizes, including the Grammy, the Diapason d’Or, the Cannes Classical Award, the Gramophone Award and the Edison Award. For its DVD production of Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas with Sasha Waltz & Guests, Akamus received the German Record Critics’ Award in 2009. For its recording of Telemann’s Brockespassion, the ensemble was awarded the MIDEM Classical Award 2010 and the Choc de l’Année. In 2011 the recording of Mozart’s The Magic Flute was honored with the German Record Critics’ Award. The CD Friedrich der Grosse: Music from the Berlin Court has been awarded with the Diapason d’Or in 2012. The orchestra’s recording of Handel’s opera Agrippina was nominated for a 2013 Graammy as Best Opera Recording. New CD releases in 2013 under René Jacobs’ musical direction have included the world premiere recording of Pergolesi’s oratorio Septem Verba a Christo, the acclaimed new interpretation of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Bejun Mehta’s latest recital, Che Puro Ciel – The Rise of Classical Opera. The latest addition to the orchestra’s discography is a CD devoted to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, released to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth, including his fascinating Magnificat.