Kurt Equiluz


July 1, 2022

Kurt Equiluz (Vienna, June 13, 1929 – June 20, 2022)[1][2][3] was an Austrian classical opera and concert tenor. He was a member of the Vienna State Opera as a buffo tenor from 1957 to 1983, remembered for roles as Pedrillo in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. He appeared regularly at the Salzburg Festival, including world premieres as Rolf Liebermann's Penelope in 1954. His recordings of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach with conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Michel Corboz, Helmuth Rilling and Charles de Wolff are famous. He particularly highlights his performance as the Evangelist in the first recording of Bach's St. John Passion on period instruments with the Concentus Musicus Wien in 1965, under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. [4]


He was a senior soloist with the Vienna Boys' Choir. At the Austrian State Academy of Music and Art in Vienna he studied music theory, harp and singing with Adolf Vogel. He was a member of the Wiener Akademie-Kammerchor from 1945. [4] In 1957 he appeared in his first solo role at the Vienna State Opera as Pedrillo in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio and was a member of the house until 1983, playing 69 different roles from the Spieltenor repertoire, such as Jaquino in Beethoven's Fidelio or Scaramuccio. in Ariadne on Naxos by Ricahrd Strauss)]]. He participated in the Salzburg Festival in the premiere of Penelope (1954) by Rolf Liebermann, in Mystère de la Nativité (1960) by Frank Martin and in the premiere of Das Bergwerk zu Falun (1961) by Rudolf Wagner-Régeny.[4]​ He achieved renown for his performance of Bach's cantatas and oratorios when he was engaged for recordings by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt that encompassed complete vocal works on historical instruments. He was the Evangelist in the first recording of Bach's St. John Passion on contemporary instruments with the Concentus Musicus Wien in 1965[5] and in 1970 the Evangelist in the St. Matthew Passion. In 1977 he was the Evangelist in a recording of the St. Matthew Passion with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, conducted by Charles de Wolff, with Max van Egmond as Vox Christi. He recorded the St. John Passion, the St. Matthew Passion, and the Christmas Oratorio also with Michel Corboz.[6] He also recorded Bach's cantatas with the Gächinger Kantorei and Helmuth Rilling. With Harnoncourt he recorded works by Claudio Monteverdi, such as his operas Orfeo, The Return of Ulysses to the Fatherland, The Coronation of Poppea or Vespers of the Blessed Virgin. He recorded sacred music from the classical period with the Vienna Boys' Choir, such as Missa solemnis in C minor, K. 139 "Waisenhausmesse", Mozart's Coronation Mass, Haydn's Theresienmesse and Mass No. 6 in E flat major. , Schubert's D950. He began teaching in 1964, was appointed professor at the Musikhochschule Graz in 1971, and at the Vienna University of Music and Drama (Wiener Musikakademie) in 1982. [4] He passed away on June 20, 2022 at age 93. [1] [2] [3]


1965 – J.S. Bach: St John Passion, BWV 245. Kurt Equiluz (Evangelist), Max van Egmond, Wiener Sängerknaben tiple & alto soloists, Bert van t'Hoff, Jacques Villisech, Wiener Sängerknaben, Chorus Viennensis, Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt. (Teldec) (First recording with period instruments)[7] 1970 – J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244.Kurt Equiluz (Evangelist), Karl Ridderbusch, Wiener Sängerknaben soprano soloists, James Bowman, Tom Sutcliff, Paul Esswood, Nigel Rogers, Michael Schopper, Regensburger Domspatzen, Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt. (Teldec) ("Erste Gesamtaufnahme in authentischer Besetzung mit Originalinstrumenten. Aufnahmeort: Wien, Casino Zögernitz, Sept 1970." - 1st complete recording in aut� instrumentation