OTTO TAUSK, conductor
Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, now in his third season. He is also the newly announced Chief Conductor of recently formed Phion Orkest van Gelderland & Overijssel. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. He appears as a guest with such orchestras as Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, Auckland, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in August 2018. He is a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.
In the 2020/21 season, Tausk continues guesting relationships with orchestras such as Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Het Gelders Orkest, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. In Vancouver, Tausk will lead an innovative reimagined season in response to COVID-19, showcasing the orchestra with a curated series of digital performances.
In the opera pit, he will conduct Michel van der Aa’s new opera ‘Upload’, with the world premiere at Dutch National Opera, plus further appearances with the other co-commissioning parties including Oper Köln. In St. Gallen, Tausk conducted the world premiere of ‘Annas Maske’, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’, Korngold’s ‘Die Tote Stadt’ and other titles including ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’, ‘Eugene Onegin’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.
Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouworkest (Luc Brewaeys, and an animated version of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’), Tonhalle Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryars) amongst others. For the cpo label in 2011 Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s ‘Choc du mois’. His Prokofiev disc with Rosanne Philippens also received BBC Music Magazine Concerto Disc of the Month (2018).
Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk initially studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. Between 2004 and 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a period of study that had a profound impact on him. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘De Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem. He received this prestigious award for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular his extensive work with Holland Symfonia serving as Music Director 2007 to 2012. In reflecting on their work together in The Netherlands, Valery Gergiev paid particular tribute to Tausk on this occasion.
CHRISTIANNE STOTIJN, mezzo-soprano
Dutch mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn was born in Delft and studied violin and voice at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. After obtaining her solo violin diploma she continued her vocal studies with Udo Reinemann, Jard van Nes and Dame Janet Baker. Over the years Christianne has won numerous awards, including the prestigious ECHO Rising Stars Award 2005/2006, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2005, and the Nederlands Muziekprijs in 2008. In 2007 she was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist.
Christianne is a passionate interpreter of art songs. Accompanied by the pianists Joseph Breinl and Julius Drake, with whom she has a longstanding duo partnership, she has appeared in the world’s leading concert venues including the Concertgebouw, La Monnaie and Wigmore Hall. She regularly performs chamber music with musicians such as the violist Antoine Tamestit, her brother the double bassist Rick Stotijn and the Oxalys Ensemble.
The conductor Bernard Haitink has had a profound influence on Christianne’s career. Under his direction, she has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. Christianne has also worked with world-class conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Ivan Fischer, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel, Ludovic Morlot Mark Elder and Jaap van Zweden, performing repertoire including: Berlioz‘s La Mort de Cléopâtre and Les Nuits d'été, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Britten’s Phaedra, Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death, Mahler's Rückert Lieder, Kindertotenlieder andSymphony No. 2 and no. 3, the Neruda Songs by Peter Lieberson, Fünf neapolitanische Lieder by Hans Werner Henze, Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder and Sieben frühe Lieder by Alban Berg.
She has performed diverse world premières of contemporary works. For instance, Michel van der Aa jointly dedicated his song cycle Spaces of Blank to Christianne and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2009. In 2013 she sang the world première of Totentanz by Thomas Adès at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, London, a piece she has since sung with the New York Philharmonic, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Czech Philharmonic, the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestre de Paris and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (all under Adès), as well as with the Hamburg Symphoniker under Jeffrey Tate.
In opera, her appearances include Pauline Pique Dame at the Paris Opera, Isabella L'Italiana in Algeri at the Festival d'Aixen-Provence, Ottavia Poppea at Dutch National Opera, the Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo and the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and at Dutch National Opera. Other major engagements have included the title role in Tamerlano at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, Brangäne in a concert performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, and Marfa in Mussorgsky’s La Khovanshchina at Oper Stuttgart.
Highlights of the 2019/20 season include her role debut as Kundry Parsifal at Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg, concert performances of La damnation de Faust in Taiwan, a tour of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Totentanz at the Nargenfestival Estonia and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Ulster Orchstra.
Christianne’s acclaimed discography includes a recording of Tchaikovsky songs for Onyx (BBC Music Magazine Award winner), Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke by Frank Martin for the MDG label, a work close to her heart, receiving the ECHO Award ‘Liedeinspielung des Jahres 2008’, and most recently her debut recording for Warner Classics - If the Owl Calls Again – Gramophone Editor’s Choice, July 2015.