Alexander Weimann

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Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. He has traveled the world as a member of the ensemble Tragicomedia; as a frequent guest of ensembles such as Les Boréades, Cantus Cölln, Freiburger Barockorchester, Tafelmusik, and the Gesualdo Consort; and as musical director of Les Voix Baroques and Le Nouvel Opéra.

During the 2008 season he led the Portland Baroque Orchestra in Handel's Messiah, conducted the Pacific Baroque Orchestra on a tour of Canada and the USA, and performed Bach's Harpsichord Concertos as soloist with Les Violons du Roy. Both the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra regularly invite him to play as soloist.

After working as an assistant conductor at the Amsterdam, Basel, and Hamburg opera houses, he directed his own productions of Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona with the Freiburger Barockorchester; Pepusch's Beggar's Opera at the Palace Theatre in Gotha; Handel's Orlando Furioso at the Teamtheater in Munich; Telemann's Passion oratorio Seliges Erwägen at the Europäischen Wochen (European weeks) festival at Passau; the parody opera Capriole d' Amore at the 2004 Händelfestspielen in Halle; Caldara's Clodoveo (in 2005) and the multipart opera event Mozart à Milano (in 2006), both of which were Canadian-German co-productions mounted at festivals in Montreal and Vancouver, and at the Sanssouci Palace Theatre in Berlin; and, for the Vancouver Early Music Festival, Handel's Resurrection (in 2007), and Rameau's Pygmalion (in 2008).

Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs and, frequently, on the radio in many countries. He made his North American recording debut with the ensemble Tragicomedia on the CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA), and won worldwide acclaim from both the public and critics for his 2001 release of Handel's Gloria (on the Canadian label Atma Classique).

Volume 1 of his recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti appeared in May 2005. Critics around the world unanimously praised it, and in the following year it was nominated for an Opus prize as the best Canadian early-music recording. Volumes 2 and 3 of the complete Scarlatti works will be released shortly. In 2007, his recording of Buxtehude's Membra Jesu with the Montreal-based ensemble Les Voix Baroques won an Opus prize, and was nominated for a Juno Classic Award. In 2007 he directed Caldara's oratorio Clodoveo, and both conducted and performed as fortepiano soloist with the German ensemble Echo du Danube in the first recording of concertos by Wagenseil. In 2008 he added to his solo outings by recording Bach's Clavierübung II. He also released a CD of Handel oratorios with the celebrated soprano Karina Gauvin.

Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (his M.A. thesis was on Bach's recitatives), theatre, medieval Latin, and jazz piano. He was supported by the Bavarian Radio Council, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and a Cusanuswerk grant for the highly talented. In addition to his studies, he has attended numerous master classes in harpsichord and historical performance. To ground himself further in the roots of western music, he became intensively involved, over the course of several years, with Gregorian chant. In 1997, his group Le Nuove Musiche won first prize at the Premio Bonporti music competition in Rovereto. From 1990 to 1995, Weimann taught music theory, improvisation, and jazz at the Munich Musikhochschule. Since 1998, he has been giving master classes in harpsichord and historical performance practice at institutions such as Lunds University in Malmö and the Bremen Musikhochschule, and also at North American universities such as Berkeley (University of California), Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, McGill in Montreal, and Mount Allison in New Brunswick. Since 2007 he has been conducted the opera production at the Amherst Early Music Festival. For several years, he has been teaching early music performance practice to voice and instrumental students at the Université de Montréal, as well as conducting the Baroque opera that is produced there once every two years (the 2007 production was of Monteverdi's Poppea). Singers of note, such as those with the Atélier Lyrique Montréal and other opera studios, seek his services as a vocal coach.

Recently, Alexander Weimann has returned to jazz; he has played piano on several CDs, and in a video clip for CBC Showcase. After some years in Berlin, he now spends as much time as possible with his family — which so far includes two children as well as several pets — in his adopted home, Montreal, and is active in both his kitchen and his garden.