Jan Kobow

Born: Berlin, Germany
The German tenor, Jan Kobow, had his first musical education from the State and Cathedral Choir and gained early experience of concerts and gramophone recordings as a soprano soloist. After gaining his university entrance and a special school-leaving certificate in America, he first studied organ at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he earned the Diplôme de Virtuosité. He then took his degree in organ and conducting at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover (1988-1993), followed directly by vocal study at the Hamburg College of Music with Professor Sabine Kirchner, which he completed in 1999. Jan Kobow was first-prize winner at the 11th International Bach Competition in Leipzig in 1998.

Since 1992 Jan Kobow has been in regular demand as a Lieder and oratorio singer, and a performer of early music. He has performed under conductors such as Philippe Herreweghe, John Eliot Gardiner, Thomas Hengelbrock, Masaaki Suzuki, Jeffrey Tate, Gustav Leonhardt, Jos van Veldhoven, René Jacobs, Robin Gritton, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Frieder Bernius, Marcus Creed, Daniel Reuss and with the Freiburger Barockorchester, De Nederlandsen Bachvereniging, Arnold Schönberg Chor, Knabenchor Hannover, RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin and Concerto Köln. In September 1999 he toured with the Collegium Vocale Gent conducted by Philippe Herreweghe and in December of that year with De Nederlandsen Bachvereniging conducted by Gustav Leonhardt and Michael Schneider. He also participated in several concerts of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, in which the complete sacred cantatas of J.S. Bach were performed and recorded under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner.

Jan Kobow also feels a strong attachment to lied, particularly German art song of the romantic period. His repertoire includes Lieder by Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, W.A. Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Alban Berg, etc. He gives frequent recitals, such as at the Ruhr Piano Festival with Graham Johnson (1997) and at the MDR Musiksommer in Dresden. In May 1999 he gave a Lieder recital at the Kleine Musikhalle in Hamburg.

As an opera singer Jan Kobow has appeared with the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg (Die Zauberflöte, under the direction of August Everding), with the Dresden Baroque ensemble Batzdorfer Hofkapelle (Calandro of Ristori) and last year at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam under Andreas Spering (Alessandro nell´Indie of Johann Christian Bach).

Jan Kobow has been engaged for numerous CD productions and broadcasts. He recorded with the Chamber Choir of Stuttgart under Frieder Bernius, Knabenchor Hannover under Heinz Hennig, Gruppe Alte Musik Ensemble of Munich, Musicalische Compagney of Berlin, Balthasar Neumann Choir under Thomas Hengelbrock, and Collegium Vocale Gent under Philippe Herreweghe. A CD with madrigals from the time of Elizabeth I of England (Clear or Cloudy, released by ambitus) was produced under his own direction with the ensemble Himlische Cantorey, of which he is a founding member.