Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

commentary by Anna de Vey Mestdagh & Kersten McCall

Played works

Johannes Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem

Gerald Finley bariton

Genia Kühmeier sopraan


The Austrian soprano Genia Kühmeier studied at the Mozarteum in her native city of Salzburg, continuing her vocal studies in Vienna. Her international career took off when she won the 2002 International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. That same year, she made her debut at La Scala in Milan singing Diana in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide.

Kühmeier has worked with such conductors as Riccardo Muti, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Marc Minkowski, Mariss Jansons, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Simon Rattle. She was a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera from 2003 to 2006. She sang Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo and garnered great acclaim singing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House in London. She made her Salzburg Festival debut singing the latter role in 2005.

Gerald Finley is internationally considered to be one of the best singers of his generation. Starting out as a choirboy in Ottawa, the baritone went on to study at the Royal College of Music in Cambridge and now makes appearances at all the world’s leading opera houses. He is a welcome guest at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Finley has worked with such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Antonio Pappano and Sir Simon Rattle.

Finley has garnered acclaim for his interpretations of the great Mozart baritone roles, but also excels in new music, having created the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams’s Dr. Atomic, for which he won a Grammy Award. He also sang Stern in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s controversial opera Anna Nicole. To get away from the commotion of the operatic world, Finley sometimes seeks refuge in the lieder repertoire, often giving recitals with pianist Julius Drake.

Mariss Jansons was chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam from 2004 to 2015. Jansons studied violin and conducting in St. Petersburg, and continued his studies with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and Herbert von Karajan in Salzburg. In 1973, Mariss Jansons was appointed Yevgeny Mravinsky’s assistant with the St. Petersburg orchestra, which Jansons’s father Arvid had also conducted. From 1979 to 2000, he served as music director of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, bringing it great international acclaim. 

Jansons has made numerous appearances throughout the world as a guest conductor of the Berlin, the Vienna and the London Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the leading orchestras in the United States. He was music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2004 and has been music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2003.