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CONDUCTOR

Christian Kabitz

trained to become a church musician and conductor in Munich; his teachers included Diethard Hellmann and Herrmann Michael.

He had already taken his own orchestra, the Bach Collegium München, and the Munich choir Chor der Christuskirche München on concert tours to France and Italy in 1974, and initiated the concert series “bach in der karwoche” (“Bach in Holy Week”) from which the classical concert scene in Munich continues to benefit today.

In 1979, Christian Kabitz was appointed Cantor at the St. Johanniskirche in Würzburg, conducting the Bachchor and Bachorchester Würzburg there. In this capacity, he is responsible for the annual “Würzburger Bachtage”, a festival of Bach's music with nationwide appeal. In 1982, he was artistic director of the 57th Bach Festival of the Neue Bachgesellschaft and in 1985, he organised a large Bach and Handel festival with international performers in Würzburg.

Performances of baroque opera in the church have made him a name as much as concerts with computers and synthesizers. Two record albums document his relationship with modern music; Rock-Requiem (1980) and Cosmogenia (1989). These are compositions in which a rock band performs with a huge choir and orchestra.

Christian Kabitz regularly travels to many different countries as a harpsichordist and organist. In addition to his work in Würzburg, he also has engagements abroad as a conductor; his close partnership with the Münchner Bachsolisten has brought him to the conductor's desk in many tours. Concerts with Peter Schreier, Edith Mathis, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Aurele Nicolet, Alexis Weissenberg and many more, have also made him known on the radio and television beyond Würzburg.

In 1984, the title of “Kirchenmusikdirektor” (“director of church music”) was bestowed upon Kabitz for his services to church music. In 1986, he was awarded the “Staatspreis des Freistaates Bayern” (state prize of Bavaria) for conducting, and in the same year he was appointed conductor of the Bachchor Heidelberg. He conducts several big oratorio concerts per season in this role.

In January 1987, Kabitz was invited to conduct the Italian concert tour of the world-famous Stuttgarter Kammerorchester in place of Karl Münchinger. The great success of this tour and of an additional tour in Germany in 1988 have led to a close partnership with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester.

Christian Kabitz has been the artistic director of the Frankfurter Cäcilien-Verein since 1988; a choir which has decisively shaped musical life in Frankfurt for many years with its renowned oratorio performances in the Alte Oper concert hall

In more recent years, Kabitz has increasingly made a name for himself as a director. After two productions for television, he produced and conducted Mozart's opera Cosi fan Tutte at a festival in Anzy-le-Duc, at the opera house in Vichy and at the Festival Mulhouse in August 1989 and June 1993. Further productions in these towns followed: in 1991 the Marriage of Figaro for the year of Mozart, in 1992 the Barber of Seville for the year of Rossini, in 1995 Don Giovanni and Idomeneo in 1996. In 1991, Kabitz was invited to conduct five concerts with works by J.S. Bach at the Israel Festival. This huge success led to him being invited once more in May 1993 to conduct “A German Requiem” by Brahms and Schönberg's “A Survivor from Warsaw” in a series of concerts to remember the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943.

In 1996, the German television channel ZDF invited Christian Kabitz to conduct pieces from Bach's “Christmas Oratorio” and “Mass in B minor” together with Justus Franz in two episodes of the programme "Achtung Klassik!". The singers were selected from his three choirs and they performed with the Philharmonia of the Nations. In the same year, Christian Kabitz travelled to the U.S.A. for the first time and performed Verdi's Requiem three times and Orff's Carmina Burana twice with singers selected from his three choirs; all with great success. Christian Kabitz has been the artistic director of the summer opera festival in the Dr. Bürklin-Wolf vineyard in Wachenheim since 1999.