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Michael Rabsilber

Michael Rabsilber was born on 8 September 1953 in Staßfurt (Germany). His father was a professional trombonist at the Stadttheater Magdeburg. After finishing school Michael Rabsilber first studied physics at the university of Leipzig, but soon decided to become a singer. So he switched to the Musikhochschule and studied under Eva Fleischer.

Michael Rabsilber gave his debut as Fenton in Nicolai's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the Bergtheater in Thale and was already a member of the ensemble of the Stadttheater in Halle/Saale during his study years. In 1982 he had a guest performance at the Komische Oper Berlin and became member of this company from 1983 to 1996. In that time Michael Rabsilber established himself as one of the most distinguished tenor voices in Germany. For example he sang the Anastasio in the legendary production of Händel's "Giustino" by Harry Kupfer, was the leading part in Kupfer's Mozart cycle (Tamino, Belmonte, Ferrando and Don Ottavio) and had guest performances at the Semperoper Dresden as Zivny in Janacek's "Osud" as well as Narraboth in Strauss' "Salome" in Amsterdam. Later Michael Rabsilber also sang the Oedipus in Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex" and Florestan in Beethoven's "Fidelio". Beside his opera career Michael Rabsilber was also a renowned concert singer with for example performances in Beethoven's 9th symphony, the Missa Solemnis, in Bruckner masses or Pfitzner's "Von deutscher Seele". In addition Michael Rabsilber also found time to compose and had several performances of his compositions. Following a long illness Michael Rabsilber died on 30 January 2013 in Berlin.


Among the compositions by Michael Rabsilber are several works for voice and orchestra (Legende der dritten Taube, Liebeslieder) as well as a violin concerto. The Violin concerto was composed in 1989 and premiered on 20 May 1989 in Rostock with Sylvio Krause (violin) and the Philharmonic Orchestra Rostock under Gerd Puls. The performance was reviewed a few days later in the local newspaper "Demokrat" with the following words:


„The concerto is composed in a very recitative way as a dialogue between the lyrical solo violin and the controversial orchestra and was premiered by Sylvio Krause, the principal concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra Rostock, in a beautiful and enthusiastic demonstration. His play, which stands up to international standards, was completely devoted to the sound of the violin as the orchestra performed without the tutti violins. For that reason the enthusiasm caught the audience as well and this world premiere was received with good success.“


PDF-Dokument [1.0 MB]

The sound file below is the complete recording of the world premiere performance with Sylvio Krause (violin), the Philharmonic Orchestra Rostock and Gerd Puls (conductor).

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