Lecturers of the Berlin Girls Choir
Artistic Director, Chief Conductor
(Small Concert Choir, Concert Choir, Vokalconsort)
Sabine Wüsthoff has been in charge of the Berlin Girls Choir since 1998. Born in Berlin, she successfully completed an education as a sports and gymnastic teacher, before she graduated studying music at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media which she finished with a state examination. She has been a freelance conductor, composer and music educator ever since. In workshops and master courses, she specialized as choir director and orchestra conductor. Besides the Berlin Girls Choir, Sabine Wüsthoff also conducts the Schöneberg chamber orchestra which was founded by her, as well as the vocal ensemble Canto Berlin. She regularly gives courses for choir directors and conductors with the focus on body action and creativity. In 2003, Sabine Wüsthoff obtained the conductors’ prize of the International Johannes-Brahms-Competition Wernigerode, and in 2008, she won the first prize in a competition of composers of the RIAS Chamber Choir. In 2015, the Berlin Choir association assigned the Mendelssohn-Medal to her for outstanding merits for choir music in Berlin.
Conductor (Basic Choir, Junior Choir)
Eleni Irakleous was born in Larnaca, Cyprus, in 1989 and nine years old, she started having piano lessons. She participated in the Tziarri International Piano Contest in Larnaka 2003 (2nd prize), the International Steinway Festival Hamburg 2004, the Steinway Pancyprian competition for young pianists 2006 (2nd price) and the Panmusica International piano competition in Vienna 2007 (3rd price). From 2009 – 2014, she studied piano and music education at the University of Arts in Berlin. Her passion has been singing ever since and in 2010, she founded “Duo Aenaos” which combines different styles of interpretation of Greek music. In 2011, Eleni Irakleous was awarded best singer of the traditional Cypriote air and won the 2nd place with her composition. In 2013, she composed the music for the play “Migronauts” of Elena Socratous. In 2014, she took part in the TV-Show “Voice of Germany” and participated in the national competition of Cyprus for the European Song Contest 2015 with an own composition. More…
Conductor (Basic Choir, Junior Choir)
Born in Lemesos (Limassol), Cyprus, in 1990. First contacts with choir music in 2004 with the children’s choir “Epilogi”. Participant in the finals at the international Steinway piano competition in Cyprus in 2008. He gained his piano experience in the master classes of Elfrun Gabriel and Detlef and Ria Kaiser. In September 2009, Stelios came to Berlin. He began to study choral conducting at the university for music “Hanns Eisler” in the class of Professor Jörg-Peter Weigle and completed master courses in conducting with Denis Rouger and Stefan Parkman, Peter Broadbent, Volker Hempfling and Jörg-Peter Weigle. In April 2011, Stelios founded an own chamber choir (HXOΣchor Berlin). In October 2012, he took over the assistance of the university choir at the university for music “Hanns Eisler” and at the same time began to study vocal pedagogy at the University of Arts Berlin in the class of Prof. Elisabeth Werres and which he continues with Prof. Anneliese Fried since April 2014. 2013–2015 scholar in the Dirigentenforum of Deutscher Musikrat. Besides, he worked with the Kölner Kantorei, was an assistant of Simon Halsey at “Crowd out” (work for 1000 voices) in 2014 and is accompanist at the Consortium musicum Berlin. At the HARMONIE FESTIVAL 2017 he was awarded the Special Prize for an outstanding conducting performance in the category mixed chamber choirs.
Helena Köhne, Alto
Singing studies at the Hamburger Konservatorium and the University of Arts Berlin with Prof. Jutta Schlegel, diploma in 2004. Lessons with Ruthild Engert since 2005 and since 2011 with Prof. Stewart Emerson. International singing seminars, workshops and master courses, among others with Prof. Jutta Schlegel, Prof. Rudi Riemer, Prof. Christel Borchers, Ingeborg Danz (2000), Vera Nemirova (2001) and Helen Donath (2013). 2001-03 scholar of the Kaminski-Foundation, Munich. Since 2003, freelance work as opera singer, inter alia as guest at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, Gerhart Hauptmann Theatre Görlitz, Theatre Brandenburg and state theatre Oldenburg. In 2004, she obtained the award at the “Hanns Eisler Price“-competition for composition and interpretation of contemporary music. Concert activity in the German speaking area, i. e. the Philharmonie Berlin, the Concerthouse Berlin, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg and the Oetkerhall Bielefeld. She gives Liederabende and chamber concerts also in the field of contemporary music. In the season 2012/13, she was a permanent ensemble member at the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar. In 2015, Helena Köhne sang the Annina in Verdi’s „La Traviata“ at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden. More…
Nadja Merzyn, Soprano
was born in Lübeck. Already at the tender age of 11 years, she studied the piano at the Musikhochschule Lübeck alongside school. After having graduated from high school, she studied singing with Prof. Günter Binge in Lübeck. Award winner at international competitions, among others the Chamber Opera Schloss Rheinsberg and the Opera Schloss Laubach. Masterclasses with René Kollo, Bernd Weikl and Lilian Sukis. Worked with Ks Irmgard Boas and Gisela Litz. Concerts lead her through Germany and abroad through Europe and to China. Radio broadcasting and TV recordings (rbb, NDR among others). Contribution to several CD-productions. From 2012–2015, direction of the Basic Choir and the Junior Choir and phonation training with the Concert Choir. In February 2015 and together with the Young Ensemble Berlin, she gave her debut with „Vier letzte Lieder“ of Richard Strauss at the Philharmony in Berlin. In 2016, she gave a guest performance with the Folkwang chamber orchestra Essen and the orchestra of the Coburg theatre. In the seasons 2015–2017, she sang parts of Purcell’s „Dido and Aeneas“, William’s „Riders to the sea“, Offenbach’s „Orpheus in the underworld“ and Wagner’s „Parisfal“ at the Coburg theatre. Since autumn 2017, she is again phonation teacher of the Berlin Girls Choir. More…
Anna Molina, Soprano
Yet at her early age, the German-Guatemalan singer who was born in Berlin was awarded a stipend of the “department preparing for undergraduate studies” of the music school Berlin. From 2002-08, she studied at the University of Music “Hanns Eisler“ Berlin with Prof. Renate Faltin and Prof. Wolfram Rieger (Lied interpretation) and as master student with Prof. Julia Varady. From 2008-10, further educational artistical studies. Master student with Prof. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, with Elio Battaglia and Ruggiero Raimondi in Italy as well as with Willy Decker for szenic design. She was promoted by Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now, was scholar of the Ottilie-Selbach-Redslob-Foundation and of the Richard Wagner Association. In the season 2010/11, she gave her debut at the Volkstheater Rostock as Hanna Glawari in “The Merry Widow“ by Lehár. Intensive concert activity, inter alias with works of Strauss (Four Last Songs), Wagner (Wesendonk-Lieder), Mozart (Requiem), Beethoven (9th Symphony), Bach (Christmas Oratorio) and Verdi (Requiem) in the Concert House Berlin, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Berlin Dome, the Philharmonie Berlin, the O2-World and the Filharmonia Gorzowska, Poland. In 2009, Anna Molina sang Mozart concert arias at the Radialsystem Berlin under the musical direction of Erik Nielsen.
Anna-Luise Oppelt, Mezzo-soprano/Alto
Born in Berlin, the mezzo-soprano gained first choir experiences in her childhood with the Berlin Girls Choir. 1st State examination in music and a diploma in teaching violin and voice at Hochschule für Musik Detmold with Prof. Eisabeth Kufferath and Prof. Elina Vähälä. Since 2010 she has studied singing with Prof. Siegfried Gohritz at Hochschule für Musik Weimar where she successfully obtained her Bachelor in 2015. Since 2016, she is working freelance as a concert and opera singer and is taking her master’s course singing at Hochschule für Musik Weimar with Prof. Siegfried Gohritz. Her musically multi-facetted training is complemented by an academic year in Utrecht/Netherlands, where she studied the baroque violin/-viola with Antoinette Lohmann and singing with Eugenie Ditewig. She took master’s courses with Ingeborg Danz, Christa Ludwig, Teresa Berganza, among others and the Bach Academy of the Teatro del Lago/Chile under the leadership of Helmuth Rilling. She initiated and founded the „Johann Sebastian Bach cyclepath“ and is tour guide of the musical cyclepath „Bach by Bike“ along the living places of Joh. S. Bach. Since autumn 2017, she is phonation teacher of the Vokalconsort of the Berlin Girls Choir. More…
Keiko Yuasa, Pianist | 湯浅敬子 ピアニスト
Born in Miyazaki, South-Japan, she first studied musical education and piano courses at the University of Miyazaki. While studying in Japan, she took piano master’s courses with Prof. Roland Keller in Vienna and with Jan Panenka at the Kirishima music festival in South-Japan. After having completed her Master program at the University of Miyazaki, Keiko Yuasa gave a guest performance at the University of Potsdam as an international Rotary stipend. The following year, she also started studying piano and piano education with Prof. Linde Großmann at the University of Arts Berlin, which she concluded in 2002 with a diploma. Since then, she gives concerts as a freelance soloist and piano accompanist. She also gives piano lessons and was répétiteur of the Berlin Girls Choir from 2007-2013 and again since autumn 2017, after having been on maternal leave for some years as mom of three kids.
Mari Watanabe, Pianist
Born in Tokyo, she studied conducting at the State University of Arts in Tokyo. She has been living and working as a conductor and répétiteur in Germany since 1978. Her activities are multi-facetted and include opera and musical as well as sacred music. She was and still is working at the Theater des Westens in Berlin, the United Theatres of Krefeld and Mönchengladbach, the United Theatres of Vienna, the theatre Dortmund, the Nissay Theatre Tokyo, the Stage Holding in the Netherlands and in Stuttgart. Besides, Mari Watanabe is permanent guest conductor at the Metroplitan Opera in Yokohama and lecturer at the University of Arts Berlin. She is piano accompanist at the solo concerts of the Berlin Girls Choir and also at the musical comedies of the Junior Choir.
Arvid Kapuscinski, Pianist
Born in Berlin in 1987. First piano lessons at the age of six. Starting from 2009, he studied instrumental education with Prof. Linde Großmann at the University of Arts Berlin. At the same time he started giving piano lessons. Stay abroad at the Frederic Chopin University Warsaw with Prof. Anna Jastrzębska-Quinn. In 2015, he published his first own CD „Zwischenwelten“ with compositions for piano. Soloist activities in various chamber music constellations and also as piano accompanist, among others with the „Vokalhelden“ of the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Girls Choir. Arvid Kapuscinski currently teaches at the Orchestra School Berlin/Potsdam and the Music School Fanny Hensel in Berlin. More…