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Klara Ek (Soprano)

Born: Sweden

The Swedish soprano, Klara Ek,, is a graduate of the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. She also studied at the University College of Opera, Stockholm where she worked with such luminaries as Craig Rutenberg, Roger Vignoles, Tomas Schuback, Mark Tatlow, Kerstin Meyer and Birgit Nilsson. At the Royal College of Music in London she worked with Lillian Watson.

After her outstanding debut at Royal Danish Opera in the role of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in 2003, Swedish soprano Klara Ek has made several important debuts including Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at La Monnaie under René Jacobs, La Musica and Proserpina in L'Orfeo at Stuttgart Opera. On stage, her roles have included Susanna and Pamina at Staatstheater Stuttgart where she worked with conductors Lothar Zagrosek and Kwamé Ryan; Ilia in Idomeneo for Danish National Opera; Susanna in Figaros bröllop with Gothenburg Opera in a Swedish translation of Le nozze di Figaro; Oscar in Un ballo in maschera at Confidencen, and Despina in Così fan tutte at Folkopern, both in Stockholm; Papagena at Drottingholms Slottsteater, and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos at Grand Théâtre de Genève under the direction of Jeffrey Tate. Most recently she has appeared as Romilda in Xerxes with Den Nye Opera under Lars Ole Mathiasen and Clélie in Aeneas i Cartago for Konzerthaus Berlin under Lothar Zagrosek.

Klara Ek has a voice of remarkable clarity and beauty - qualities recognized by many of the world’s leading conductors and orchestras. Notable debuts include Die Schöpfung with Washington's National Symphony Orchestra under Helmuth Rilling (2008-2009), J.S. Bach’s Magnificat (BWV 243) with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Ton Koopman, Robert Schumann's Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Christopher Hogwood, Gustav Mahler’s Symphonies Nos.2 and 4 with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel, as well as The Creation with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and G. Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, all under Bernard Haitink. She was invited by Vladimir Ashkenazy to sing G. Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in her debuts with the Philharmonia Orchestra at London's Royal Festival Hall, and with NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. She has sung George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä. More recently she gave her first performance of L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Hallé Orchestra under Nikolaj Znaider.

Other concert highlights have included Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito with the Danish Radio Sinfonietta under Adam Fischer, Messiah with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kees Bakels, and also with the Minnesota Orchestra under Christopher Warren-Green, Sandstroem's Christmas Oratorio with Malmö Symphony Orchestra under Johannes Gustavsson, and Elijah with Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Andreas Spering. Most recently Klara Ek has performed Johannes BrahmsRequiem with Orquestra Simfonica de Balears, Oriana in Amadigi di Gaula) with the Academy of Ancient Music under Christopher Hogwood, Alessandro Scarlatti's Tolomeo e Alessandro with Il Complesso Barocco under Alan Curtis, Haydn's Nelson Mass with Navarra Symphony Orchestra under Howard Griffiths, and Haydn's The Creation with Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine under Kwamé Ryan and also with Tivoli Symphony Orchestra under Helmuth Rilling.

Klara Ek has performed W.A. Mozart Lieder in recital for the Musashino Cultural Foundation in Tokyo, and made her Wigmore Hall debut singing Haydn arias with the Classical Opera Company. She has performed songs by Lehar and Zeller under Gunther Bauer-Schenk with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The 2008-2009 season included a New Year's Day gala concert with RTÉ National Symphony under Christopher Warren-Green, W.A. Mozart concert arias with Orchestra della Toscana under Hubert Soudant, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass with Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) under Walter Weller and also with Singapore Symphony under Lan Shui, Haydn's The Seasons with International Bach Academy Stuttgart, G. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with Orchestre National de Lille under Jean-Claude Casasdesus; Israel in Messiah and The Creation with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra with The Creation under Helmuth Rilling

Last season (2012-2013) Klara Ek made her debut with both the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (under music director Peter Oundjian) performing Johannes BrahmsEin deutsches Requiem and with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in G. Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (Andrés Orozco-Estrada). She also joined the Orchestre Philarmonique de Strasbourg for Die Jahreszeiten (Adám Fischer); and returned to the Swedish Chamber Orchestra for Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem (Thomas Dausgaard) and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra for Messiah (Olof Boman). In recital Klara appeared at Sviatoslav Richter's “December Nights” International Festival in Moscow (Alexander Rudin) and returned to the Classical Opera Company for a recording of Mitridate, re di Ponto (Ian Page).

This season (2013-2014) Klara Ek makes her debut at the Hokutopia International Music Festival, Japan as Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro conducted by Ryo Terakado and joins the Academy of Ancient Music alongside Andreas Scholl on tour in Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Brussels, Paris, Birmingham and London. She also returns to the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance and recording of L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under Shui, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and London Chamber Orchestra (Christopher Warren-Green) for Messiah. Further appearances include J.S. Bach’s Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) with the Wiener Symphoniker (Giovanni Antonini), Orfeo ed Euridice with the Orchester Wiener Akademie (Martin Haselböck), G. Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Palau de la Musica (Nikolaj Znaider), Castilla y Leon Symphony Orchestra (Nathalie Stutzmann) and Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (Michał Nesterowicz) and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for G. Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Thomas Søndergård).

Klara Ek is much in demand by the principal early music ensembles with whom she has performed in many of Europe’s major venues. With Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco she has recorded Jommelli’s Ezio, Alessandro Scarlatti’s Tolomeo e Alessandro, and G.F. Handel’s Berenice. With the Academy of Ancient Music she has sung the roles of Oriana in Amadigi di Gaula under Christopher Hogwood and Arminda in La finata giardiniera under Richard Egarr; and she has collaborated with Pablo Heras-Casado and Compañía y Orquesta Barroca de Aranjuez in the first modern performance of Bonno’s L’isola disabitata.

“Klara Ek's blazing, impetuous Berenice is worth every one of those five stars on its own.” - Tim Ashley, The Guardian

Source: HarrisonParrot Website (2013-1014; Photo 01: Sussie Ahlburg); John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Website (2008-2009)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Ton Koopman


BWV 243 [2nd, Video]

Links to other Sites

Klara Ek (HarrisonParrott)
Klara Ek, Soprano (MusicalWorld)

Klara Ek (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts)
Klara Ek (Academy of Ancient Music)

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