Kurt R. Hansen
Kurt R. Hansen’s long and distinguished career spans over 30 years, on four continents. His repertoire ranges from the Early Baroque to the Twenty-First Century, in concert, opera, and recital venues.
Mr. Hansen has sung with renowned conductors Sir George Solti, Claudio Abbado, Margaret Hillis, Robert Shaw, Thomas Wikman, and Edo de Waart to name just a few. He has also been soloist with such prestigious ensembles as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Master Singers, Tampa Masterworks Chorale, the Colorado Mahlerfest, the Hong Kong Early Music Fortnight Festival , and Orquestra Nacional de Colombia in Bogota.
The press has consistently praised Mr. Hansen with such reviews as:
“Kurt R. Hansen was the standout. His ability to deliver Bach’s high ‘tessitura’ without strain [and] his exciting timbre are things we should hear more often in New York.”
So said The New York Times of Mr. Hansen’s Lincoln Center debut as the Evangelist in Bach’s Weinachts Oratorium with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque.
Last fall Mr. Hansen sang with the Chicago Master Singers the all too infrequently performed works, the Schumann Requiem and the Bruckner Mass in F Minor. In February, he traveled to Gustavus Adolphus College to perform Die schöne Müllerin. This spring he will sing Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Lake Forest Symphony.
This past season Mr. Hansen sang Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in the Chicago premier of the transcription for chamber ensemble by Schoenberg with conductor Jane Glover and the Rembrandt Chamber Players, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall with Jay Friedman and the Oak Park River Forest Symphony, the arias in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Hermann Max at Valparaiso University, four Bach cantatas on the Grace Church River Forest Bach Cantata Vesper series, Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with Karina Kontorovitch, his piano-vocal duo partner, on a Faculty Recital at Northwestern University, and both books of the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes with a newly formed ensemble, Chicago Piano Vocal Score which includes himself, pianists Ms. Kontorovitch, and Ruth Lin; and Michelle Areyzaga, soprano; Tracy Watson, mezzo-soprano; and Douglas Anderson, baritone.
Mr. Hansen is in his 20th year as Director of Music of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Lincoln Park. He was cantorial soloist for nearly 20 years under Max Janowski and then selected as Interim Music Director after Mr Janowski’s passing in 1991 at KAM-Isaiah Israel Congregation in Hyde Park.
Last season he was a guest conductor of both the Northwest Choral Society in their performance of Fauré’s Requiem and guest choral director of Music of the Baroque’s Bach and Telemann Cantata Program.
Mr. Hansen was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and presently makes his home in Glenview, Illinois with his wife Theresa Brancaccio and their two sons Kristofer and Alex. Both he and his wife are members of the faculty at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Mr. Hansen is Coordinator of the Voice and Opera Program.