Contralto Wiebke Lehmkuhl was born in Oldenburg and studied singing under Ulla Groenewold and Hanna Schwarz at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, graduating with distinction. In Mozart Year 2006 Wiebke Lehmkuhl was awarded the city of Hamburg’s Mozart Prize and in 2011 was crowned Young Singer of the Year by the Walter and Charlotte Hamel Foundation.
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.
On the international concert stage Wiebke Lehmkuhl is a highly sought-after soloist and gives regular guest appearances at all the major festivals, for example, at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lucerne Festival and the Festival La folle journée in Nantes. In addition Wiebke Lehmkuhl often performs as a guest in Vienna’s Musikverein, at the NDR in Hanover, with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, the Bamberg Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic and in cities such as Bilbao, Tokyo and Shanghai. The young contralto regularly works together with conductors such as Philippe Jordan, Daniele Gatti, Marc Minkowski, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Reinhard Goebel, Andreas Spering, Ottavio Dantone, Franz-Welser Möst, iccardo Chailly, Kent Nagano and Daniel Harding. In addition Wiebke Lehmkuhl had also worked with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Frans Brüggen.
Wiebke Lehmkuhl opens her 2016/17 season with concerts at Leipzig’s Gewandhaus (Mendelssohn’s Elijah under Thomas Hengelbrock), before making her debut at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam in a new production of Handel’s Jephtha (conductor: Ivor Bolton, stage director: Claus Guth). In December Wiebke Lehmkuhl sings in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio for an album recording of her concerts with Stuttgart’s International Bach Academy, followed by a tour of Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands with the Windsbach Boys’ Choir. Another highlight of the season will be her concerts singing Bruckner’s Mass No. 3 in F minor with the Berlin Philharmonic under Christian Thielemann.
Wiebke Lehmkuhl will begin 2017 by singing in Hamburg for the opening concerts of the Elbphilharmonie with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra alongside Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel, with Thomas Hengelbrock conducting. At Daniel Harding’s request, the highly sought-after contralto will join the conductor and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, before heading off to Milan’s La Scala as Magdalena in Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nürnberg, conducted by Daniele Gatti. Further highlights of the coming season include orchestrated Schubert lieder with the Insula Orchestra under Laurence Equilbey in Paris, Duruflé’s Requiem with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Simon Halsey, and performances in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Orchestre de Paris under Daniel Harding in Paris and Vienna. Summer 2017 will see Wiebke Lehmkuhl return to the Bayreuth Festival as Magdalena in the new Meistersinger production.
A number of CD releases are available documenting Wiebke Lehmkuhl’s artistic
work, for example, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Leipzig’s
Gewandhausorchester under Riccardo Chailly (Decca), and Carl Philipp Emanuel
Bach’s Magnificat with the RIAS Chamber Choir and Berlin’s Akademie für Alte Musik under Hans-Christoph Rademann (harmonia mundi).
2016/2017 season – Please only use this biography and dispose of material with an older date!