Tell us a bit about yourself, and your training to date.
I started out on the piano and the saxophone, but it became obvious towards the end of school that singing would be my call. My music teacher at the time introduced me to his choir and the musical scene around Trier Cathedral, where my first programme happened to be Bach’s motets! Needless to say, I was hooked, started singing lessons during my undergraduate studies in Heidelberg and began deputising for Konzertchor Darmstadt and Akademischer Gesangverein Munich. I’ve always held a great fascination for the British collegiate music-making which led me to continue my studies at Cambridge, singing with the Choir of Trinity College and the University Opera Society. Combining my passions for music and the natural sciences, I was delighted to accept a PhD studentship in Oxford with its vibrant music scene and ample performance opportunities, whilst continuing my singing tuition with Roderick Earle.
What other musical ensembles are you involved with?
I enjoy liturgical singing for some of the Oxford chapel choirs and am a regular member of Schola Cantorum of Oxford. Small unaccompanied ensembles hold a particular appeal for me; I sing with the Oxford-based Ensemble Nova and the German ensemble Walkenried Consort, both of which I helped found and occasionally also conduct. Next to this, I do deputising work for Tenebrae and other London-based ensembles.
What attracted you to the Oxford Bach Soloists?
The holistic and scholarly approach to performing Bach really appealed to me, let alone the brilliant line-up of musicians. Bach has for some time been at the core of my singing repertoire – I’ve always been amazed by how his music works on so many levels whilst standing up to the utmost intellectual scrutiny.
What are you most looking forward to as an OBS choral scholar?
Some weeks ago, I probably would have answered something about Bach’s monumental yet utterly personal Passiontide music, or his glorious and uplifting Easter repertoire, or his reassuring and invigorating Pentecost cantatas. For now, it suffices to say that I sorely miss the buzzing atmosphere just before an OBS concert, and the spirited collaboration and passion within each performance.
What do you see as the value of ensembles like OBS to young aspiring musicians?
The wonderful thing about OBS in particular is the focus on a single (albeit rather prolific) composer within a consistent team of musicians, allowing musicians and audiences alike to profit immensely from this shared journey. Ensembles like OBS are an ideal way to extend one’s repertoire as well as welcome stepping stones into professional solo and ensemble singing.