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Jakob Pilgram (Tenor)

Born: September 20, 1981 - Liestal, near Basel, Switzerland

The Swiss tenor, Jakob Pilgram, negan when he was 6 playing the violin, which was to accompany him until his 20th year. Already during his school years he was a member of various choirs and ensembles and in 1999 founded the mixed vocal quartet Cantanima. In December 2000, he passed the Matura exam (type Latin). In 2001 he was accepted to the University of Basel to mathematics and musicology studies; however, after two years he decided to commit himself exclusively to music. Since 2003, he studied at the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel singing with Hans-Jörg Rickenbacher, as well as music education and choral conducting. In July 2008, he passed his teaching diploma with honors. Since September 2008, he studied at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in the concert class of Werner Güra. In January 2011, he finished this also with honors. During his studies he also attended chamber music classes with Gérard Wyss, Jan Schultsz, Jürg Henneberger, Daniel Fueter, Hans Adolfson and Markus Weiss. He also took lessons with Margreet Honig (Amsterdam). He attended master-classes with Margreet Honig, Krisztina Láki, Malin Hartelius and Hanno Müller-Brachmann. He is the recipient of the study prizes Migros- Genossenschaftsbundes, Ernst Göhner- Stiftung and Friedl Wald-Stiftung.

Jakob Pilgram current interest is particularly the Evangelist and tenor parts of Bach, the Baroque opera, the romantic Lieder cycles, as well as contemporary music. In 2005, he founded the professional vocal ensemble Larynx, in which he acts as musical director and conductor, and was awarded the 2012 Kulturförderpreis (Culture Prize) of the Canton of Basel. He is also a member of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir (Director: Ton Koopman) and the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor (Director: Thomas Hengelbrock)

Jakob Pilgram gained his most important musical experiences, among others, at concerts under the baton of Ton Koopman at Carnegie Hall (New York) in 2005 and 2008 when he performed as a soloist three J.S. Bach's cantatas and George Frideric Handel's Ode for Cecilia's Day. In the 2005-2006 season, he was seen at the Theater Basel in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas under the direction of Sebastian Nübling. With this production he appeared in 2007 at the Theatertreffen in Berlin. In 2007, he gave more than 20 performances in the role of Damon in G.F. Handel's Acis and Galatea with the Freitags-Akademie Bern under the direction of Puppenspielers Neville Tranter. With the same ensemble he was again in 2010 with Purcell's Dido and Aeneas on tour. Since 2005 he has been an integral part of Origen-Ensembles at the Kulturfestival Origen. There he took part in the premieres of operas Apocalypse (2005), Benjamin (2006) by Gion Antoni Derungs, David (2007), Samson (2009) by Lorenz Dangel, Messias (2008) by Oliver Weber, Mikael (2011) by Pawel Lukaszewski, as well as Benjamin Britten's The burning fiery furnace (2012). Most recently, he sang in 2011 Flaminio in Alessandro Scarlatti's Il Trionfo dell'onore on stage at the Lucerne Theater. In addition, he appears in concerts as Lieder and oratorio singer in Switzerland and abroad. His repertoire encompasses works by Claudio Monteverdi to Hans Werner Henze.

Since 2004, Jakob Pilgram forms with Mischa Sutter Liedduo, which was awarded in 2012 the 3rd prize at the International Lieder Competition "Franz Schubert und die Musik der Moderne" in Graz, and in 2008 with the Recognition Prize for Liedgestaltung from the Basler Orchester Gesellschaft (BOG). Their repertoire covers the great romantic Lieder cycles by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann and the Lieder of Hugo Wolf, as well as various cycles of French Melodies by Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

Source: Jakob Pilgram Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (August 2015)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2015)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Alfredo Bernardini


BWV 71

Rudolf Lutz


DVD/CD: BWV 13, BWV 30, BWV 147, BWV 164 [2016]

Links to other Sites

Jakob Pilgram (Official Website) [German]
Liedduo (Official Website)
Larynx vokalensemble (Official Website) [German]
Jakob Pilgram - Tenor (J.S. Bach Stiftung) [German]
Jakob Pilgram (Migros-Kulturprozent)
Jakob Pilgram / Tenor (Cantate Basel)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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