Frieder Bernius

frieder_berniusThe work of Frieder Bernius has received great acclaim throughout the world. He is internationally in demand as both conductor and teacher. He is artistic director of the Kammerchor Stuttgart, Barockorchester Stuttgart, Hofkapelle Stuttgart and the Klassische Philharmonie Stuttgart, all of which he founded in the course of time.

The foundation for his exceptional career was laid in 1968 by the establishment of the Kammerchor Stuttgart, which he soon turned into one of the leading ensembles of its kind.  The founding of the Barockorchester Stuttgart and the Klassische Philharmonie Stuttgart in 1991 reflects his stylistic versatility as a conductor. While the Barockorchester plays the music of the 18th century on historical instruments, the Klassische Philharmonie performs works of the 19th to 21st centuries on modern instruments. The Hofkapelle Stuttgart, established by Bernius in 2006, finally, is an ensemble specializing in the music of the early 19th century.

Whether conducting vocal works by Monteverdi, Bach, Händel, Mozart, Beethoven, Fauré and Ligeti, the stage music of Mendelssohn or symphonies by Haydn, Burgmüller and Schubert, Frieder Bernius is always aiming for a musical ideal orientated to original period sound, but also unmistakably personal. He devotes himself to the rediscovery of 18thcentury operas on the one hand, and premières of contemporary compositions on the other.  He is particularly interested in the musical history of south-western Germany. 

He has given concerts at all the major international festivals, visiting Salzburg, Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, Flandern, Gent, Perugia, Cagliari, Linz, Innsbruck, Budapest, Merano, Vézelay, Vienna, Leipzig, Dresden, Schleswig-Holstein and Schwetzingen in addition to repeatedly touring the Far East, Canada, Israel, Australia, South-America and the USA. He has directed the World Youth Choir four times and has also been invited to four World Choral Music Symposia. As a guest conductor he has appeared with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester. Since 1999 he has maintained close ties with the Streicherakademie Bozen, and between 2000-2004 he worked with Ruhr Trienniale. Since 1998 he has been an honorary professor at the Musikhochschule Mannheim.

In 1987 Frieder Bernius founded the Internationale Festtage Alter Musik Stuttgart (which since 2004 have enjoyed further success under the name of Festival Stuttgart Barock). This festival immediately made Stuttgart a center of historically informed performance practice and the location of widely noted rediscoveries of forgotten musical treasures.  Frieder Bernius' work is documented on many recordings and CD albums. So far he has made around 80 recordings, which have received some 30 international awards. He completed the edition of Mendelssohn’s sacred works to the Mendelssohn anniversary year 2009.

Frieder Bernius was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande for services to German musical life in 1993 and the Robert Edler Prize for Choral Music in 2001. In 2002 he gained the Verdienstmedaille of the State of Baden-Württemberg, and in 2004 he received the Schwäbisch Gmünd Prize for European Church Music. In June he was honoured by the City of Leipzig with the Bach Medal.