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Helene Gjerris  

mezzo-soprano

You can master it all - Carmen, Baroque music and the latest avant-garde. At least if you are Helene Gjerris. Her all-embracing talent has captivated audiences and composers alike since the middle of the 1990s. Even before she made her official debut in 1997 she had emerged as an unusual figure in Danish musical life. Several new works have been written especially for her.

Helene Gjerris trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, but some of her professional secret may also come from several years of study at a London school for carnival and street performers. In contemporary music in particular, her charismatic performance comes into its own. At the beginning of her career Helene Gjerris sang Renaissance music in the vocal ensemble Ars Nova Copenhagen, and at the age of 24 she was a co-founder of the ensemble for contemporary music Figura Ensemble. On the European Baroque stages she has appeared in Handel's opera Teseo and Cavalli's opera Giasone. Among standard roles she has sung Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and the title roles in Rossini's La cenerentola and Bizet's Carmen, on among other stages the Danish Royal Theatre. She also sings in oratorios by Bach, Handel and Mozart and appears with Marlene Dietrich's repertoire in the vocal group Kopenhagen Kabarett.

On CDs from Dacapo you can hear Helene Gjerris in Per Nørgård's opera Nuit des hommes and the cantata The Will-o'-the Wisps Have Gone to Town, in Rued Langgaard's Late Romantic mystery play Antichrist and in contemporary music by Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen.

Helene Gjerris has received many awards including the Aksel Schiøtz Prize, the honorary prize of the Danish Composers' Society and the Reumert Prize. Helene Gjerris is recently appointed professor at The Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Southern Denmark.

Live Dates

09/02/2014   "Songs from Evening Land" wins P2 Prize
Helene Gjerris' indspilning af Per Nørgårds sange fra seks årtier "Sange fra Aftenland" modtog 7. februar P2s Lyt til Nyt pris.
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16/11/2012   Songs from Evening Land
Mød Helene Gjerris og Per Nørgård til minikoncert og kunstnersamtale i Møstings Hus lørdag 24. november
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10/07/2015   American Record Guide

Rosing-Schow: Alliages
"Because Rosing-Schow tends toward dissonance and complexity in his style, a scheme of expansion often helps to give a sense of form and organization that allows the listener to navigate intuitively."
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05/05/2015   Gramophone

Niels Rosing-Schow: Alliages
"Committed performances, as one might expect from this crop of the leading Danish musicians, and unexceptionally fine sound enhance the attractions of a release that certainly makes a representative introduction to another composer of note within the Danish (as indeed Scandinavian) musical firmament."
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16/01/2015   Fyns Amts Avis

Musikalske Alliancer
4/6 Stars

"Der musiceres med respekt og indlevelse [...] Lytteren forføres og suges ind i Rosing-Schows klangunivers, ikke noget tosset sted at befinde sig."
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12/01/2015   David's Review Corner

Niels Rosing-Schow: Alliages
"To the innocent ear we hear a very individual composer, who prefers to live in a modern world where traditional harmonies still exist."
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26/05/2014   Opus

Tilltalande Nerv
5/5 Stars

"Nørgårds klangvärld utforskas och dissekeras här så att verenda klar urskiljbar ton står för sig själv."
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29/05/2013   Gramophone

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
"A reference disc for collectors of Nørgård and serious contemporary song, and performances, recording and presentation all do the music proud."
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16/05/2013   American Record Guide

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
"Gjerris’s performance of this demanding music is a tour de force.", "If you don’t know Nørgård’s music, this is a great place to begin."
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01/03/2013   Diapason

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
4/5 Stars

"Intensité magnétique."
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28/01/2013   American Record Guide

Per Nørgård: The Will-o'-the-Wisps-in-Town
"The performances are first rate and the sound is magnificent."
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25/01/2013   SEISMOGRAF

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land
"En fantastisk indspilning med sublime musikere og en sublim fortolkning af udvalgte værker for kammerensemble og vokalstemme fra Per Nørgårds mere end et halvt århundrede lange musikalske produktion."
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18/01/2013   Fanfare

Per Nørgård: The Will-o'-the-Wisps-in-Town
"Gjerris is so good that it is a pleasure simply to listen to her perform... As always with Dacapo, production values and presentation are first-rate."
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12/12/2012   Kristeligt Dagblad

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
4/6 Stars

"Nørgård er suggestiv, inciterende og i fornem symbiose med digterens ord.", "Vitaminer til hele vinteren."
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02/12/2012   Fyens Stiftstidende

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
5/6 Stars

"En ualmindelig dejlig indspilning.", "Fortryllende æterisk."
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01/12/2012   Gramophone

Per Nørgård: Will-o’-the-Wisps in Town
"Superb performance and recording, as usual from Dacapo."
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21/11/2012   GregersDH.dk (Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld blog)

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
5/5 Stars

"Fremragende vokale fortolkninger... Helene Gjerris behersker det svære stof med enestående indlevelse"
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16/11/2012   Weekendavisen

Per Nørgård: Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
"Raffineret over al måde og djævleblændt robust...Helene Gjerris når alle de mål, denne musik sætter sig."
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08/11/2012   Allmusic.com

Peter Bruun: Letters to the Ocean
4/5 Stars

"The sound is clean, atmospheric, and nicely ambient. This is a CD that should interest any fans of contemporary music."
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16/08/2012   The Guardian (UK)

Per Nørgård: Will-o’-the-Wisps in Town
"Fascinatingly approachable."
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21/11/2011   MusicWeb International

Peter Bruun: Letters to the Ocean
"This is a well-balanced and varied ‘taster' that's whetted my appetite for more. What better recommendation than that?"
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19/07/2011   Politiken

Peter Bruun: Letters to the Ocean
4/6 Hjerter

"Esbjerg Ensemblet må være noget nær den mest kompetente flok overhovedet til at håndtere Peter Bruuns tre bundpoetiske ensembleværker ... Det kan varmt anbefales nysgerrige ører"
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06/07/2011   Svenska Dagbladet

Peter Bruun: Letters to the ocean
4/4 Stars

"Peter Bruun är en av de mest spännande tonsättarna i sin generation ... Bättre än bra, här spelar vi i nästintill högsta divisionen"
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23/06/2011   Ritmo

Peter Bruun: Letters to the Ocean
3/5 Stars

"Moderna, sí, pero también reconocible y accesible. Y en este caso muy bien interpretada."
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08/06/2011   Upsala Nya Tidning

Peter Bruun: Letters to the Ocean
4/4 Stars

"Även Bruuns musik har filmiska kvalitéer, inte minst titelverket med dess avvaktande karaktär och liksom kyligt pastorala stämningar som tycks ge en fläkt av havet och det vindbitna danska kustlandskabet."
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04/05/2011   Dagens Nyheter

Peter Bruun: Letters to the Ocean
4/5 Stars

"En musik som växlar mellan det kärvt korthuggna, det svepande dramatiska och det drömskt flytande."
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21/04/2011   Fyens Stiftstidende

Peter Bruun: Letters to the ocean
4/6 Stars

"Peter Bruuns klangverden fascinerer"
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06/10/2004   Politiken

Per Nørgård: Nuit des Hommes
4/6 Stars

”Dette er Nørgårds mest helstøbte opera overhovedet … Det er musik der gør ondt og kun mere, fordi den også er smuk”
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Photo: Sara Roland

Discography

Alliages
Alliages
Niels Rosing-Schow

CD 8.226580 (2014)

New chamber works by the French-inspired Niels Rosing-Schow, who creates new alloys of the sounds of instruments

Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
Songs from Evening Land - Helene Gjerris sings Per Nørgård
Per Nørgård

CD 8.226060 (2012)

Intense, innovative songs and vocal works from half a century, recorded in close collaboration with the composer

Will-o’-the-Wisps in Town; Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
Will-o’-the-Wisps in Town; Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
Per Nørgård

CD 8.226085 (2012)

Chamber version of Per Nørgård’s left-field cantata based on Hans Christian Andersen’s crazy tale. DVD with documentary film about the performance enclosed!Chamber version of Per Nørgård’s left-field cantata based on Hans Christian Andersen’s crazy tale. DVD with documentary film about the performance enclosed!

Letters to the Ocean
Letters to the Ocean
Peter Bruun

CD 8.226553 (2011)

Prize-winning composer Peter Bruun reveals his passionate relationship with the sea in this collection of inspired chamber works

Antikrist
Antikrist
Rued Langgaard

BD 2.110409BD (2010)

Blu-ray version of the acclaimed DVD production of Rued Langgaard's doomsday opera

Chamber Music and Songs
Chamber Music and Songs
Bo Lundby-Jæger

CD 8.226533 (2009)

The fantastic mezzo Helene Gjerris is the soloist in works by the many-talented Bo Lundby-Jæger

Miki Alone - Seven songs for a mad woman
Miki Alone - Seven songs for a mad woman
Peter Bruun

CD 8.226555 (2008)

Virtuos kammeropera belønnet med Nordisk Råds Musikpris

A fall from the perfect ground
A fall from the perfect ground
C.W. Christensen, M. Olsen, N. Rosing-Schow, K.I. Jørgensen, I. Frounberg

CD 8.226537 (2008)

The French ensemble Alternance plays Danish music from the 21st century

Episodes and Collisions
Episodes and Collisions
Jørgen Plaetner

CD 8.226520 (2008)

Acoustic chamber music by the electronic music pioneer Jørgen Plaetner

The Little Mermaid; The Will-o'-the-Wisps Go to Town
The Little Mermaid; The Will-o'-the-Wisps Go to Town
Bent Sørensen; Per Nørgård

CD 8.226046 (2006)

Two new Danish masterworks inspired by Hans Christian Andersen

Antikrist
Antikrist
Rued Langgaard

SACD 6.220523-24 (2006)

The SACD production of Rued Langgaard's magnificent doomsday vision. allegorical opera

Antikrist (DVD)
Antikrist (DVD)
Rued Langgaard

DVD 2.110402 (2005)

Langgaard’s ecstatic vision of doom in prizewinning recording. Indescribable!

Nuit des Hommes
Nuit des Hommes
Per Nørgård

CD 8.226011 (2004)

Per Nørgård’s shattering anti-war opera for two singers with texts by Apollinaire

Tonkraftwerk
Tonkraftwerk
Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen

CD 8.226509 (2004)

Agerfeldt’s power plant makes weird, amusing and subtle music


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