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Contralto Wiebke Lehmkuhl from Oldenburg received her vocal training under Ulla Groenewold and Hanna Schwarz at the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre, completing her degree with a distinction. In 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, she was awarded the City of Hamburg’s Mozart Prize and in 2011 she received the ‘young singer of the year’ prize from the Walter und Charlotte Hamel Stiftung.
After guest performances at Kiel Opera House, Hamburg State Opera and Hanover State Opera, Wiebke Lehmkuhl became a member of the Zurich Opera House ensemble during the 2008/2009 season, while she was still studying; there, she celebrated great successes as Erda (Das Rheingold), Annina (Der Rosenkavalier) and as Third Lady (The Magic Flute). In 2011 she sang the Third Lady during the Mozart week in Salzburg, under René Jacobs, subsequently making her debut at the Salzburg Festival with this role in 2012 under Nikolaus Harnoncourt as the conductor. Further engagements saw her perform in Der Ring des Nibelungen (directed by Günter Krämer, musical director: Philippe Jordan) at the Opéra Bastille in Paris and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where she also sang First Norn and Flosshilde in Götterdämmerung under Kent Nagano.
She is a sought-after soloist on international concert stages and a regular guest performer at seminal festivals, such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival and the La folle journée festival in Nantes. Furthermore, Wiebke Lehmkuhl has given guest performances at the Wiener Musikverein (Vienna), at NDR Hannover, with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, with Bamberger Symphoniker, in the Berlin Philharmonie, as well as in Bilbao, Tokyo and Shanghai.
The contralto has worked with conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Philippe Jordan, Thomas Hengelbrock, Daniele Gatti, Marc Minkowski, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Reinhard Goebel, Frans Brüggen, Andreas Spering, Ottavio Dantone, Franz-Welser Möst, Riccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano and Daniel Harding.
In the past years Wiebke Lehmkuhl has established herself as a contralto much in demand and performed with the Berlin Philharmonic (Schumann Szenen aus Goethes Faust under Daniel Harding) and Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Saint Matthew Passion and, coming up, Mass in B minor, both under the baton of Philippe Jordan), amongst others . The production of Vivaldi’s La verità in Cimento at Zurich Opera House under Ottavio Dantone was highly successful.
Her artistic work has been documented by numerous CD releases and live concert recordings, such as J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, conducted by Riccardo Chailly (Decca Classics) and C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat with the RIAS Kammerchor and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, conducted by Hans-Christoph Rademann (Harmonia Mundi).