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Opera mourns a mighty chorusmaster

March 1, 2016 by norman lebrecht

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We have been informed of the death of Winfried Maczewski, formative chorus director at Dutch National Opera and elsewhere.

His career reads like a post-war cultural history of Europe. Born in 1941 in the Polish town of Kalisz, he moved to Germany to study theology, art history and church music.  In 1975 he was appointed chorus director of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf and professor at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule.

From 1979 to 1988 he was Kapellmeister and Chordirektor in Wuppertal, working with Pina Bausch. In 1988 he joined Netherlands Opera as chorus director, serving for 18 years. He founded the European Festival Chorus in 1997, performing Salzburg, Berlin and Tokyo. From 1997 to 1999 he was Chordirektor of the Salzburg Festivals.

In 1997 he became head of the Netherlands Opera Studio Nederland. In 2008-9 he was chorus director of the Opéra National de Paris.

That’s a huge life in opera. Winfried will be sorely missed.

winfried maczewski


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