“The Countertenor Kai Wessel was born in Hamburg and studied music theory (Prof.R.Ploeger), composition (Prof.Dr.F.Döhl), and voice (Prof.U.v.Garczynski, concert examination passed with honours) at the Lübeck Academy of Music. During his Lübeck years Wessel was also an external student in the field of baroque performance practice at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (René Jacobs).
Wessel received numerous prizes between 1984 and 1990, including the special prize of the German Theater Society for the best interpretation of a contemporary work (Berlin, 1988) and a prize at the Musica Antiqua Competition of the Flanders Festival in Bruges. He received fellowships from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and the DAAD (studying under Peter Kooj in Hilversum/Holland). Wessel has served as an assistant to René Jacobs in the production of operas by P.A.Cesti, F.Cavalli and C.W.Gluck for the International Festival Week of Early Music in Innsbruck, for the WDR Radio, and at the Hamburg State Opera.
As one of the leading countertenors Wessel is invited to music festivals all over the world (Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Schwetzingen, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Tokyo, San Francisco, a.o.) and to numerous opera houses (Freiburg, Basel, St.Gallen, Barcelona, Nice, Berlin a.o.) where he took part in stage-productions by Herbert Wernicke (in Theodora and Giulio Cesare by G.F.Handel, Aus Deutschland by Mauricio Kagel, Wie liegt die Stadt so wüste with the music by H.Schütz/M.Weckmann and Actus tragicus with the music by J.S.Bach), Joachim Schlömer (as Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice by Chr.W.Gluck), Claus Guth (in Schwarzerde by Klaus Huber), Peter Oskarson (in Luci mie traditrici by Salvatore Sciarrino), Gilbert Déflo (in Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi), John Dew (in Hippolyte et Aricie by Jean Philippe Rameau) a.o. He has been involved in performances, radio broadcasts, amore than sixty recordings under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, William Christie, Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhard, Ton Koopman, Michael Schneider, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Martin Haselböck, Reinhard Goebel, Konrad Junghänel, Michael Hofstetter, Nicholas McGegan, Sigiswald Kuijken, Michel Corboz, Hans-Werner Henze, Arturo Tamayo, Hermann Max, and others.
Kai Wessel is teaching voice and baroque performance practice at the Superiour Highschool of Music Cologne/Germany, and regularly giving summer-classes in Germany and Austria. “
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