Bernarda Fink mezzosopraan
Ricarda Merbeth sopraan
After completing her studies at the Leipzig Conservatory, German soprano Ricarda Merbeth successively joined the opera houses of Magdeburg and Weimar. She has been a member of the ensemble of the Vienna Staatsoper since 1999, where after making her debut as Marzelline in Fidelio and performing in operas by Mozart and Wagner, she sang the title roles in Richard Strauss’s Daphne and Janáček’s Jenůfa. In 2000 and 2001, she sang various roles in the new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival, where she returned to sing Elisabeth in Tannhäuser under the direction of Christian Thielemann. She has sung that role at the Bavarian State Opera and in Tokyo. She has made appearances at the opera houses of Toulouse, Cologne, Dresden and with the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Performing both operatic and concert repertoire, Merbeth has worked with such conductors as Myung-Whun Chung, Iván Fischer, Valery Gergiyev, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta and Giuseppe Sinopoli. This performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 marked her first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
The Argentine mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink studied at the Arts Institute of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, where she has frequently performed. In 1985, she won Argentina’s New Lyric Voices prize and moved to Europe. She has since performed with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. She has collaborated with such conductors as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Muti, Semyon Bychkov and Valery Gergiev. In 2002, she won a Grammy Award for her solos in Bach’s St Matthew Passion recorded under Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The Austrian Decoration of Honour for Science and Art was conferred on Fink in 2006.
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.