Biography

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English-German tenor Rufus Müller was acclaimed by The New York Times following a performance in Carnegie Hall as ...easily the best tenor I have heard in a live Messiah. He is a leading Evangelist in Bach's Passions and his unique, dramatic interpretation of this rôle has confirmed his status as one of the world's most sought-after performers (..a sensational EvangelistNY Times). He gave the world premiere of Jonathan Miller's acclaimed production of the St Matthew Passion, which he also recorded for United and broadcast on BBC TV; he repeated his performance in three revivals of the production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.


In demand for oratorio and opera, Rufus Müller has worked with many leading conductors including Franz Welser-Möst, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington, John Nelson, Ivor Bolton, Richard Hickox, Nicholas McGegan, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Philippe Herreweghe, Joshua Rifkin, Andrew Parrott, Nicholas Kraemer and Ivan Fischer. He has given solo recitals in the Wigmore Hall in London as well as for BBC Radio, and in Munich, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Barcelona, Madrid, Utrecht, Paris, Salzburg and New York. Rufus has had a regular partnership with pianist Maria João Pires with whom he has performed in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, Japan and the UK, notably in a three-concert Schubertiade in Spain and London's Wigmore Hall.


Operatic rôles include Tamino (The Magic Flute) for Garsington Opera, Ottavio (Don Giovanni) in Tokyo, Lucano (L'Incoronazione di Poppea) for Houston Grand Opera, the title rôles in Rameau's Pygmalion and Lully’s Persée for Opéra Atelier in Toronto, the title rôle in Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Opera Zuid in The Netherlands), Aminta in Peri's Euridice (Opéra de Normandie), Alessandro in Handel's Poro in Halle, and Lurcanio in Handel's Ariodante in Göttingen with Nicholas McGegan, released on a prize-winning disc by Harmonia Mundi USA. He has also sung Tersandre in Lully’s Roland with René Jacobs in Paris, Lisbon and Montpellier, Giuliano in Handel's Rodrigo in Siena, Castor in Rameau's Castor et Pollux in Magdeburg, Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria in Athens, Florence and Cremona, Oronte in Alcina with Paul Goodwin and the Academy of Ancient Music in Montreux, Soliman in Mozart’s Zaïde with Ivor Bolton and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in London, and the title rôle in the modern-day premiere of Manuel Garcia's Don Chisciotte which toured Spain as part of the country's celebrations of Cervantes’ 400th anniversary.


Other recordings include Bach's St John Passion and Bach Cantatas with John Elliot Gardiner for DG Archiv, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia with Roger Norrington for EMI, Dowland's First Book of Airs with lutenist Christopher Wilson for ASV, Haydn's O Tuneful Voice and songs by Benda with soprano Emma Kirkby and three recordings of 19th-century songs with Invocation, all for Hyperion, Telemann's Admiralitätsmusik on CPO, Telemann solo cantatas on Capriccio, Ned Rorem's Evidence of Things Not Seen with the New York Festival of Song on New World Records, songs by Franz Lachner with Christoph Hammer on Oehms Classics, Haydn's Creation with Oxford Philomusica with Edward Higginbottom, and Messiah with the National Cathedral, Washington DC and Michael McCarthy, and with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Ivars Taurins, as well as a live DVD with the same artists, first broadcast on Canadian TV.


Rufus Müller's numerous performances as the Evangelist include London, New York, Lucerne, Munich, Toronto, Calgary, Birmingham, Göteborg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Bordeaux, Washington DC. His many performances of Messiah include regular appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York, a televised tour in Spain with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, as well as performances in Canada,Denmark, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Numerous other concert engagements have included Bach Cantatas with John Eliot Gardiner in London, works by Bach and Handel with the Philhamonia Baroque Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan in San Francisco, a European tour of Casals’ El Pessebre with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Bach's Magnificat at the BBC Proms, Finzi's Dies Natalis with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiano, Britten’s Serenade in Toronto and Düsseldorf , and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Stockholm and Toronto.


The 2017/2018 season included Bach Passions and Handel Messiah in New York, Princeton, Toronto, Washington DC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Carmel Bach Festival, The Royal Albert Hall, and Canterbury Cathdedral; Monteverdi Vespers, Schubert Winterreise, Mozart Don Giovanni (Ottavio) in Tokyo; Beethoven’s Choral Symphony in Pennsylvania, Haydn Creation in London, as well as recitals and masterclasses in Japan, Spain, Germany and the USA.


Rufus was born in Kent, England and was a choral scholar at New College, Oxford. He studied in New York with the late Thomas LoMonaco. In 1985 he won first prize in the English Song Award in Brighton, and in 1999 was a prize winner in the Oratorio Society of New York Singing Competition. He is Associate Professor of Music at Bard College, New York.

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