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Kurt R. Hansen (Tenor)

Born: Omaha, Nebraska, USA

The American tenor, Kurt R. Hansen, has a long and distinguished career spanning over 30 years, on four continents. His repertoire ranges from the Early Baroque to the 21st Century, in concert, opera, and recital venues. He has sung with renowned conductors Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Margaret Hillis, Robert Shaw, Thomas Wikman, and Edo de Waart to name just a few. He has also been soloist with such prestigious ensembles as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Master Singers, Tampa Masterworks Chorale, Colorado Mahlerfest, Hong Kong Early Music Fortnight Festival, and Orquestra Nacional de Colombia in Bogota.

The press has consistently praised Kurt Hansen with such reviews as: “Kurt R. Hansen was the standout. His ability to deliver Bach’s high ‘tessitura’ without strain [and] his exciting timbre are things we should hear more often in New York.” So said The New York Times of Hansen’s Lincoln Center debut as the Evangelist in J.S. Bach's Weinachts-Oratorium (BWV 248) with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque.

Last fall (2010) Kurt Hansen sang with the Chicago Master Singers the all too infrequently performed works, Robert Schumann's Requiem and Bruckner's Mass in F Minor. In February, he traveled to Gustavus Adolphus College to perform Die schöne Müllerin. This spring (2011) he san Felix Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with the Lake Forest Symphony.

This past season (2010-2011) Kurt Hansen sang Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde in the Chicago premiere of the transcription for chamber ensemble by Arnold Schoenberg with conductor Jane Glover and the Rembrandt Chamber Players, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall with Jay Friedman and the Oak Park River Forest Symphony, the arias in J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with Hermann Max at Valparaiso University, four J.S. Bach's cantatas on the Grace Lutheran Church: Bach Cantata Series in River Forest, Illinois, Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with Karina Kontorovitch, his piano-vocal duo partner, on a Faculty Recital at Northwestern University, and both books of the Johannes Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes with a newly formed ensemble, Chicago Piano Vocal Score which includes himself, pianists Kontorovitch, and Ruth Lin; and Michelle Areyzaga, soprano; Tracy Watson, mezzo-soprano; and Douglas Anderson, baritone.

Kurt Hansen is in his 20th year as Director of Music of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Lincoln Park. He was cantorial soloist for nearly 20 years under Max Janowski and then selected as Interim Music Director after Janowski’s passing in 1991 at KAM-Isaiah Israel Congregation in Hyde Park. Last season (2009-2010) he was a guest conductor of both the Northwest Choral Society in their performance of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem and guest choral director of Music of the Baroque’s J.S. Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann Cantata Program.

Kurt Hansen presently makes his home in Glenview, Illinois with his wife Theresa Brancaccio and their two sons Kristofer and Alex. Both he and his wife are members of the faculty at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Mr. Hansen is Coordinator of the Voice and Opera Program.

Source: North Shore Choral Society Website (May 2011)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2015)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Kenneth Slowik


BWV 245 [2nd]

Links to other Sites

Kurt R. Hansen, tenor (North Shore Choral Society)

Kurt R. Hansen (Bienen School of Music - Northwestern)

Kurt Hansen (Saint Pauls United Church of Christ)

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