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Ralf Otto (Conductor)

Born: Germany

The German conductor, Ralf Otto, worked after his studies at the Frankfurter Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and the Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe-Universität, first as a church musician at the Thomaskirche in Hofheim am Taunus.

Encouraged by of Eric Ericson/Stockholm, he created in 1980 the Vokalensemble Frankfurt, today a chamber choir very estimated after numerous international competition successes: 1st prize of the semi-professional choirs at the German choir competition 1985; Special prize of the city Hannover for the best interpretation of a contemporary work; 1st prize at the renowned international choir competition in Arezzo (Italy) 1987; 1st prize of the chamber choir class at the international choir competition of the European broadcasting corporations 1991.

As a conductor Ralf Otto received several honours, so among other things as a scholarship holder of the German music advice 1985, as well as the promotion prize in Arezzo 1987. In 1986 Otto was appointed as the artistic director/conductor of Bach-Chor Mainz. In the context of this activity he directs the large choir-symphonic concerts of the subscription series, as well as a sequential performance series of the Church Cantatas of J.S. Bach in the context of the university services in the Mainzer Christuskirche.

Since 1990 Ralf Otto holds a Professor for choir directing at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen. In addition to the university activity he works as an estimated guest conductor with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Concert Hall, Opernhaus-und Museumsorchester Frankfurt, Barockorchester Concerto Köln, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, as well as the NDR Chor in Hamburg and WDR Chor Köln. From 1997 to 2000 Ralf Otto was principal conductor of Jugend-Sinfonie-Orchesters of Hessen. Concert tours led him to many European countries; thus he directed at the Frankfurt Festen, the Schleswig-Holstein-Musikfestival and the Kasseler Musiktagen, as well as at music festivals in Toulouse, Lourdes, Paris, Maastricht, Arezzo, Porto Torres and Santiago de Compostela. Ralf Otto has been high musical authority that is characteristic in different style directions.

Important concert successes of the recent past were productions of Brittenís War Requiem in Essen (with the Philharmonia Hungarica) and Mainz (1999), Haydnís Jahreszeiten (1999, Weilburger Schlosskonzerte, HR, European-wide), Bachís Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) in the version of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (2000, SWR, live), Franz Schmidtís Buch mit sieben Siegeln, connected with the UA of the orchestral work Aditus by Erkki Sven Tüür (2000, SWR), Verdiís Messa da Requiem (2001, SWR, live) and Zimmermannís Missa Profana (2001). Within the range of the early music performances he performed works of Tallis and Byrd (2001, SWR), as well as Monteverdiís Vespro della Beate Vergine, 1610 (2001, SWR), which were received with extraordinary attention and appreciation. Ralf Otto made his Munich debut in February 2002, when he directed the Münchener Bach-Chor and the Münchener Bach-Orchester at the Herkulessaal der Residenz in a performance of J.S. Bach Mass in B minor (BWV 232).

Numerous broadcast, CD and TV productions for various labels document the versatility of the conductor.

Source: Folkwang-Hochschule Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (April 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2004)

Ralf Otto: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works | BWV 248 Ė R. Otto

Links to other Sites

Folkwang-Hochschule: Ralf Otto [German]


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