BARBARA SUKOWA has enjoyed a distinguished career on the stage in Europe, but is best known in the U.S. for her powerful performances in the latter-day masterpieces of the New German Cinema. Sukowa played the victimized Mieze in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, for which she won the German best young actress award, and she received a German gold film award for her performance in the title role in Fassbinder’s Lola. Equally memorable are her portrayals of fiercely independent radicals in Margarethe von Trotta’s films Marianne and Julianne (Die bleierne Zeit), which earned her a best actress award at the Venice Film Festival, and Rosa Luxemburg, for which she won a Palme d’or as best actress at the Cannes Film Festival. He other film credits include Lars von Trier’s Europa, Cradle Will Rock, Office Killer, Johnny Mnemonic, Thirteen Conversations about One Thing, and the forthcoming Romance and Cigarettes.
In addition to her career as an actress, Sukowa is an internationally renowned concert artist. She is considered a leading interpreter of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire, which she first performed with the Schoenberg Ensemble under Reinbert de Leeuw, and has subsequently performed in Paris, London, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Rome, Tokyo, and at the Salzburg Festival; recent performances include ones with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and Esa-Pekka Salonen and with Mitsuko Uchida and an ensemble including the Brentano Quartet at Carnegie Hall. She has performed Gurrelieder with the Berlin Philharmonic and Claudio Abbado and recorded it with Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon. She narrated Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf both in concert and on record (again for DG) with Abbado and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. She also appears on Abbado’s recording of Mendelssohn’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sony Classical), which preserves one of the Berlin Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve concerts, broadcast internationally. She has also performed Honnegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher with Gerd Albrecht, Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera in a production directed by Giorgio Strehler in Paris and with the Ensemble Modern in Germany, and a new work by Reinbert de Leeuw based on Schubert and Schumann at the 2003 Holland Festival.