„...(LA STAGIONE) BRING THE COLOURS OF BAROQUE PEARLS TO SHINE...“, Dirk Kruse in br-onlineMichael Schneider & La Stagione

'Bringing the undiscovered to your ears' - Michael Schneider and his orchestra have made this artistic motto into their mission.

MICHAEL SCHNEIDER

Michael Schneider is a passionate recorder player who has firmly established himself as a world renowned soloist. He has become one of the most versatile personalities in the early music scene, without relinquishing his love for his main instrument. On the contrary: his work as a conductor provides an important source of inspiration for his playing, just as this is the case the other way around.

THE ORCHESTRA

The ensemble has been invited to play in many halls and festivals, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brüssel, the Mozartfest Würzburg, and Scala di Milano to name but a few. The ensemble can boast production of over 30 CDs to date and will be recording suites and divertimenti from Telemann's late years in June 2021.

THE SOLOISTS

La Stagione works together with numerous renowned soloists, such as the singers Ruth Ziesak, Ann Monoyios, Carolina Ullrich, Claron McFadden, Christoph und Julian Prégardien, Markus Schäfer, Olaf Bär, Gotthold Schwarz, Simone Kermes, Ana-Maria Labin, Nuria Rial and Emma Kirkby, or instrumentalists such as Steven Isserlis, Nils Mönkemeyer and Reinhold Friedrich.

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THE CONDUCTOR

MICHAEL SCHNEIDER

It was with a prize in the 1978 International ARD Competition in Munich that Michael Schneider begann his solo career as a recorder player. In 1979 he became a founding member of the long-standing chamber music ensemble Cologne Camerata. Since 1988 he has been the conductor and musical director of the baroque orchestra 'La Stagione Frankfurt'. Around 100 CD recordings in the genres of opera, oratorio, symphonic literature and as a recorder soloist document Michael Schneider's versatility in historically informed performance practice.

As a guest conductor he has been engaged by the Capella Coloniensis, the Handel Festival Orchestra in Halle/Saale, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Bielefeld and Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestras, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra as well as with the Stuttgart and Zurich Chamber Orchestras. He has directed opera productions with works of Handel, Hasse, Keiser, Monteverdi and Telemann in the opera houses of Bielefeld, Magdeburg, Giessen, Osnabruck and Darmstadt as well as with the Handel Festivals in Gottingen and Halle/Saale.

In 1980 Michael Schneider was appointed Professor at the University of Arts in Berlin; since 1983 he has been the director of the 'Institute for Historically Informed Performance Practice' at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main, developing a separate
master's degree for the Institute. In 2000 he was awarded the Telemann Prize of the City of Magdeburg for his services to the work of Telemann.

CURRENT PROJECTS

RECORDING

After a complete halt to the orchestra's recording activities for more than a year due to the pandemic, we can at last - infection rates having gone down sufficiently - commence a new recording project. At the beginning of June we will record suites and divertimenti by Telemann, all dating from the last years of his life.

STREAMING EVENT

It is only a makeshift solution, but at least we can stay in contact with our audience thus: on June 13 at 5:00 PM we will perform a program of about an hour in the Flörsheim St. Gallus Church without an audience being present including works by Telemann and Bach.

COVID AND THE CONSEQUENCES

After Covid having steamrolled La Stagione,too, like a tsunami and having brought down its activties almost to zero (with almost complete lack of support from politics in order to make up for the many cancelled projects), we did not give up hope that by next year at the latest 'normal' concerts might be possible again. They are something impossible to simulate in the end. The atmosphere which can arise when artists and audience come together in person, is something special and cannot be replaced by whatsoever.
A first attempt to that effect will be made on July 16 and 17 at 8:00 PM at the Schloss (castle) in Weilburg. The program will present music 'From Handel to Bach'. We look forward to it a lot!

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LA STAGIONE – HOW WE BECAME THE SOUND GOURMETS

Founded in 1988 to perform on historical instruments, the orchestra and their artistic director Michael Schneider have forged themselves an important standing in the musical scene in a variety of repertoire areas.

'The Sound Gourmets' – a term crystallising the identity of the ensemble. Today, after decades of at times bitter and polemic debates about the interpretation of the music of the 18th century, the fruits of these labours and conflicts can be heard in a music made most palatably enjoyable for the listener.

The virtuosic prowess that the players of these historical instruments have reached gives them a relaxed ease and flow in performance. The players are able to truly devote themselves to the beauty, the drama and the overwhelming vividness of baroque and classical music.

The 'Sound Gourmets' perform with an animated gusto, and savouring an attention to detail as well as a perfect technique. La Stagione Frankfurt – pure indulgence for performer and audience!

EARLY MUSIC – AN EXHILARATING CELEBRATION!UNCHARTED TERRITORY: EARLY MUSIC

Michael Schneider: "In CD Reviews I often read that we are 'masters of historically informed performance'. Thankyou for the compliment, although it sounds much dustier than it feels for us. We experience 'our' baroque music as shining, fresh and full of energy."