The German counter-tenor, Kai Wessel, studied music theory (Professor R. Ploeger), composition (Professor F. Döhl) and singing (Ute von Garczynski; concert examination with award) at Lübeck Academy of Music. This counter-tenor's program at the Academy was supplemented by the study of baroque performance practice at he Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (René Jacobs). He received prizes at the German Vocal Competition in
Berlin in 1984 and 1988 and the Musica Antiqua Competition of the Flanders Festival in Bruges in 1990 and stipends from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Gotthard Schierse Stiftung of Berlin, and the DAAD (Study with Peter Kooy in Hilversum/Holland).
Kai Wessel has served as an assistant of René Jacobs in the production of operas (by Cesti, Cavalli and Gluck) for the International Week of Early Music in Innsbruck, for the WDR Radio, and at the Hamburg State Opera.
Concerts, radio broadcasts, and recordings have followed under René Jacobs, William Christie, Ton Koopman, Martin Haselböck, Reinhard Goebel, Jordi Savall, Hans-Werner Henze, and others. Kai Wessel belongs to the Ensemble Contrapunctus and the Ensemble Vocal Européen de La Chapelle Royale led by Philippe Herreweghe. He was engaged in the Festivals in Innsbruck, Halle, Göttingen (1989 in George Frideric Handel’s Susanna, in 1990 Rosalinda), Bruchsal, Frankfurt, Staufen, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Versailles, Saintes, Vienna, Utrecht, among others. He has performed and premiered works of his own composition and works composed especially for him in Germany and abroad.
Kai Wessel teaches singing and Baroque performance practice at the College of Music in Cologne, and regularly gives summer classes in Austria and Poland.