Baritone Holger Falk thinks an authentic artistic expression is always connected to real life. “The work and the transformation I do and have in my ‘real life’ always allow and enforce different artistic possibilities,” he said.
These possibilities come in many forms for Holger, including recordings, world premieres on stage, and helping teach the next generation of musicians and artists.
Hanns Eisler and Venetian Music
Holger is in the midst of a four album collection of songs and ballads of Hanns Eisler, one of the most important composers in the 20th century.
“He’s a real master of the lied and its artful simplicity and political gesture,” Holger said.
The first three albums were released: Hanns Eisler: Lieder Vol. 1 (June 2017); Hanns Eisler: Lieder Vol. 2 (November 2017); Hanns Eisler: Lieder Vol. 3 (September 2018). Now Holger is working on the final album.
Another album project includes a collection of Venetian gondolier songs from the 18th century that he will bring together with soundscapes of today’s Venice. It is a project with the baroque Ensemble Nuovo Aspetto and the sound artists Merzouga, in a co-production with WDR broadcasting. This work will premiere as a performance at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in April 2019.
Lord Byron Comes to Life
Holger is still making time for the opera stage, as he prepares for the main role of Lord Byron for the world premiere of Michael Wertmüller’s opera Diodati at the Basel opera house in Switzerland on February 21.
“This music is extremely demanding, being avant-garde/contemporary music with loads of influence from free jazz elements. It is super difficult to sing, but very much alive and going beyond the limits” Holger said.
Holger Falk Made US Debut
Holger said his little tour in the United States gave the audience the possibility to hear Eisler’s music and his powerful impact. During the performances with British pianist Julius Drake, the German and French program included Schubert and Hanns Eisler on the first half, and Francis Poulenc and Erik Satie on the second.
Holger also wanted to showcase how different French composers like Poulenc and Satie deal with the subject of longing for home, in comparison to Germans like Schubert and Eisler.
“Falk has an extraordinarily flexible baritone, with a warm, confiding lower and midrange that, when called for, can go full throttle in a nanosecond. Meanwhile, in his upper range, he can float a pianissimo that could melt the heart of the Snow Queen.” (Washington Post)
Holger said he also will soon be a professor for Lied Interpretation and Performance Practice in Contemporary Music at the University of Arts in Graz, Austria.
“I wish that I will be able to serve the students and establish a more artistic approach for the future of what it means to be a singer who goes far beyond aesthetic or acrobatic skills,” he said.
To enhance arts education, Holger thinks we need to find teachers who are open and interested in the uniqueness of the kids and use their playfulness while teaching them the skills and the tradition.
He believes the so-called “classical music” needs to become the music of our times again instead being about 90 percent older than 80 years.
“We need to get people, also young people, to be thrilled by the colorful intensity of the rich sound and authentic expression of human existence instead of reproducing old-fashioned concepts of life,” Holger said.
For more information, visit Holger Falk’s website.