? Marina Davydova (theater critic,
Maja Bader, soprano
Leonhard Dering, piano

Nicholas Isherwood, bass-baritone
Marina Khorkova, piano
Program curator: Sergej Newski
Supported by: AFF Projects
Maja Bader / Leonhard Dering / Nicholas Isherwood
Duration: 120 min
Sun 15 Oct 2023, 17:00
Boris Filanovsky's "ob aus Luft" cycle, drawn from the poetic texts of Maria Stepanova (recipient of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize, 2022), paints an emotional landscape of loss, where each item resonates as a remnant of a departed beloved. This thirty-minute opus intertwines moments of calm with bursts of expression. The young Swiss duo, pianist Leonhard Dering and soprano Maja Bader, bring an animated, heartfelt rendition to this narrative.

In the concert's second half, the esteemed bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood artfully combines John Cage's early compositions with more contemporary compositions, some emanating from the post-Soviet tapestry. This musical journey stretches from the nuanced tones of Artyom Kim (Uzbekistan) and Eka Chabashvili (Georgia), to the evocative strains of Helena Tulve (Estonia). These diverse tonal articulations culminate in a luminous cosmos of advanced vocal techniques and theatrical flourishes, seamlessly and artfully performed by Isherwood who crafts an unparalleled musical-theatrical spectacle.
Boris Filanovsky:
Ob aus Luft, a vocal cycle for soprano and piano after poems by Maria Stepanova (2021)

Georgian traditional:
Urumli (trans. by Nicholas Isherwood),

John Cage:
The wonderful Widow of 18 springs, for voice and closed piano (1942)

Imants Mežaraups:
Aizver Actinas, for baritone solo (1990)

Marina Khorkova:
Duo for Bass-Baritone and Multiphonic Piano
John Cage:
A Flower, for voice and closed piano (1950)

Eka Chabashvili:
A Hunger Artist after Franz Kafka, for baritone solo (2021) Helena Tulve: “Sonajalad”, ritornello II and III (2013)

John Cage:
Nowth upon Nacht” for voice solo (1984)

Artyom Kim:
Earth Music” — for solo voice and a cow bell (2005)
Memory Recovered: Theory and Practice of Public History
public talk
Moderator: Andrey Zavadsky
Speakers: Maria Stepanova,
Olga Bubich, Marina Davydova
Duration: 00 min
Born in Moscow, Stepanova is an internationally acclaimed Russian poet and novelist. Her poetry has had a profound influence on contemporary Russian literature. She is considered to have repopularized the traditional ballad as a poetic genre. Her works have been translated into English, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, German, Finnish, French, and other languages. She was awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in 2022.
Nicholas Isherwood, a Franco-American bass, completed his musical, literary and theatrical studies at Oberlin College in Ohio, the Actors Centre in London, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris. An eclectic artist, he has performed medieval, baroque, and contemporary music. His interest in contemporary music has led him to work with composers such as Sylvano Bussotti, Elliot Carter, George Crumb, Mauricio Kagel, György Kurtág, Olivier Messiaen, Giacinto Scelsi, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Iannis Xenakis, as well as leading composers of younger generations. Isherwood has sung in the greatest theaters in Europe and the United States — Ravinia, Tanglewood, the Disney Hall, La Scala, the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Covent Garden, the Théatre des Champs Elysées, the Royal Festival Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Biennale in Munich, all three Berlin opera houses, the Moscow Conservatory, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, the Aix Festival, and others.
Maja Bader was born in Luzern, Switzerland, and graduated with honors with a Master's in Performance under Professor Barbara Locher at Luzern's Musikhochschule. As a soprano, she embraces a diverse range of roles. In the realm of opera, she has performed various roles at theaters such as Theater Luzern, and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. In the domain of concerts, she has appeared at KKL Luzern, Gotthard Klassik-Festival Andermatt, Bösendorfer Salon Wien, and Talent Summer Festival Brescia. She has sung with such orchestras as Luzerner Sinfonieorchesetr, and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and has shared the stage with esteemed vocal artist and actor Graham F. Valentine. In 2021 she won the Elvirissima vocal competition, the Marianne and Curt Dienemann Vocal Competition, and debuted in two open-air galas at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Palmengarten Frankfurt am Main, and Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt. She recorded a duo with countertenor Andreas Scholl. In 2023 composer Jalalu Kalvert Nelson composed a full-length work for Maja that premiered at the Festival Sempach in Switzerland.
Born in Tomsk, Russia, to a family with German, Russian, and Latvian heritage, Leonhard Dering grew up in Coburg and studied piano under Alla Schatz, Lev Natochenny, and Konstantin Lifschitz. He made his solo debut with the Hessisches Staatsorchester at the Kurhaus Wiesbaden. As a pianist, he has performed all over Germany and Europe at prestigious venues, including Munich's Philharmonie, the International May Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Donaueschingen Music Days, the Meisterpianisten series of Bad Homburger Schlosskonzerte, Mas i Mas Festival in Barcelona, and the Piano Loop Festival in Split, Croatia. As a curator, he oversees numerous concert series, including the Naxos Hallenkonzerte, and Brückenkonzerte at the Ikonenmuseum in Frankfurt am Main, as well as concert programs in Ausserberg, and Basel.