Reinhild Mees

Lyric soprano Siri Karoline Thornhill studied in her native city of Stavanger, Norway and at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and garnered further artistic impulses in classes with Anna Reynolds, Jean Cox, Beata Heuer-Christen and Elly Ameling. Siri Thornhill perfected her vocal style in collaboration with well-known conductors such as Iván Fischer, Ton Koopman, Bruno Weil, Kwamé Ryan, Philippe Herreweghe, Thomas Hengelbrock, Ivor Bolton, Gijs Leenars, Daniel Reuss, Jos van Veldhoven, Rolf Gupta, Michi Gaigg und Fabio Bondi. Her musical partners include such renowned ensembles as Freiburg Baroque Orchestra Consort, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Wallfisch Band, La Petite Bande, the Concertgebouw Kamerorkest and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.

Guest appearances have taken her to major concert halls, including Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Oslo Concert Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Berliner Philharmonie, Gasteig München, Frauenkirche Dresden, St. Michaelis Hamburg, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Wiener Konzerthaus, Konzertverein Graz, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Auditorium Bordeaux, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Salle Garnier in Monte Carlo and Sala Verdi in Milan.

Siri Thornhill has been invited to perform at major festivals including the Handel Festivals of Göttingen and Halle, Thüringer Bachwochen, the Rheingau Music Festival, Mozartfest Augsburg, Tage alter Musik Regensburg, Haydnfestival Eisenstadt, Beethoven Fest Bonn, Festival international de l’Opera Beaune, the Early Music Festivals in Bruges and Utrecht, the Oslo Chamber Music Festival, Sydney Festival and Rencontres musicales de Vézelay.

Siri Thornhill has appeared in the role of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at the International Opera Festival in Beaune and at the Early Music Festival in Bruges under the direction of Sigiswald Kuijken, and Pamina (The Magic Flute) in a premiere production in Kristiansand, Norway under the direction of Rolf Gupta. Her other roles include Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Venere in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba and Telemaco in Simon Mayr’s opera of the same name. She appeared as a soloist in concerts with Fabio Biondi and Franz Hauk.

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach occupies a central position in Siri’s repertoire. She has recorded Bach cantatas with La Petite Bande under the direction of Sigiswald Kuijken (Accent) and together with the Kölner Kammerorchester under Helmut Müller-Brühl (Naxos). She recorded the St Matthew Passion with the Netherlands Bach Society under Jos van Veldhoven (Channel Classic Records). Other highlights of Siri Thornhill’s extensive discography include recordings of cantatas by Buxtehude for Ton Koopman’s Opera Omnia Project (Channel Classic Records). Among her most recent recordings are Simon Mayr’s Requiem, Jacob e Labano in fugiens and a newly rediscovered Requiem by Donizetti (both produced by Naxos).

The Dutch pianist Reinild Mees studied with Gérard van Blerk in Amsterdam, Noël Le in Paris and Malcolm Frager in the United States. Upon graduation, Mees focused on her career as a lied and recital accompanist and perfected her craft with well-known artists including Elly Ameling, Gérard Souzay and Jörg Demus.

Today Reinild Mees is a sought-after accompanist for recitals and duo concerts at major concert venues across Europe, many of which are broadcast on radio and television. She has appeared with soloists such as Camilla Nylund, Marlis Petersen, Claudia Barainsky, Amanda Roocroft, Piotr Beczala, Sergei Leiferkus, Konrad Jarnot, Wolfgang Holzmair, Olaf Bär and Roman Trekel.

Reinild Mees’s wide repertoire has been documented by a rich discography. She has recorded the complete songs of Ottorino Respighi, Franz Schreker, Edward Elgar and Karol Szymanowski for Channel Classics, and the complete songs of Erich Wolgang Korngold together with Konrad Jarnot and Adrianne Pieczonka for the Capriccio label, a selection of Chinese songs, and Lieder by Hermann Zilcher. She also recorded Robert Schumann’s song cycles with the German baritone Jochen Kupfer, playing a historical grand piano from Schumann’s time, and by Felix Mendelssohn’s ‘Songs with and without Words’, playing on a historical Érard concert grand. Reinild Mees was honoured with the Szymanowski Award and with the Medal for the Promotion of Polish Culture from the Polish Ministry of Culture. Her Szymanowski recording also won the Fryderyk Award for the best recording of Polish music.

Reinild Mees is the founder and artistic director of Stichting 20ste-eeuwse Lied, a foundation dedicated to the cultivation of 20th-century art song, with a focus on the period between the two world wars. To that end, Reinild Mees created a series of semi-staged concert programs, which attracted widespread attention in the Netherlands and abroad. She is also the artistic director of the ALBA ROSA VIVA! chamber music festival in the Netherlands.

Reinild Mees served as an accompanist at master classes with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried and Galina Vishnevskaya. She previously taught as a vocal coach at the music conservatories in Amsterdam and Utrecht, at the European Centre for Opera and Vocal Art in Ghent and at the Opera Studio Nederland. She is currently on the faculty of the Robert Schumann University in Düsseldorf.

Translation: Hannes Rox