From the Innsbruck Festival Choir to Vokalakademie Berlin

Concept and background

The Festival Choir of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music (Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik) was founded in 2006 at the request of René Jacobs and Sarah Wilson. In 2007 Frank Markowitsch was asked to develop the academy concept. The basic idea was simple: in every voice group, one professional "coach" would work and lead the other, young singers. The renowned mezzo-soprano Regina Jakobi started working with the ensemble. To assure the quality of each singer, many tryouts took place, both in Innsbruck and in Berlin.


Success in Innsbruck

The ensemble celebrated its first achievement in the 2008 Festival's opening concert, under the conducting of Pires Maxim. René Jacobs then decided to conduct the 2009 Festival's opening concert himself. Engagements beyond the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music lead for the ensemble to perform in the 2009 Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and the 2010 Rheingau Music Festival in Kloster Eberbach, Germany.


Debut in Berlin

In autumn 2010 the name of the choir has been changed to Vokalakademie Berlin (Berlin Vocal Academy), and already in January 2011 the singers and the conductor performed the opening concert of the newly founded choral festival Chor@Berlin in Radialsystem V, a prominent arts venue in Berlin. The piece performed was Alessandro Scarlatti's Marienvesper. All performers were praised by both the audience and the press.


Musical conduction

Conductor Frank Markowitsch studied German Studies, Romance Languages, Philosophy and Music Education in Freiburg and in Berlin, as well as Orchestral and Choral Conducting. He works regularly with RIAS Kammerchor (Berlin), Chor des NDR (North German Radio), Choeur de Radio France, Rundfunkchor Berlin (Berlin Radio Choir), Amsterdam Baroque Choir (The Netherlands), Vocalconsort Berlin and Ernst Senff Chor (Berlin); as well as with orchestras such as Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Brandenburger Symphoniker (Germany), Barockorchester moderntimes_1800 (Austria), Le Cercle de l’Harmonie (France), Berliner Staatsoper (Berlin's Natinal Opera House), Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy (France), Opéra Comique in Paris (France) and Opéra de Lille (France). He has worked together with conductors such as Kurt Masur, René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski, Ingo Metzmacher, Kazushi Ono, Ton Koopman, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Nicholas McGegan, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Konrad Junghänel and Jérémie Rhorer.


Vocal coaching

The mezzo-soprano Regina Jakobi studied Music Education for High School Students and Musicology in Heidelberg. Consequently, she did her Opera certificate at the Opera Studio of the Musikhochschule Basel. She studied voice privately with Prof. Elsa Cavelti while studying Italian baroque music with René Jacobs at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel). Alongside her solo career, she was a member of the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, in which she still occasionally freelances. As a voice teacher she works with young, professional singers, who sing both in ensembles and as soloists. She is a member of Vokalensemble Zürich.