Presenter and initiator Leona König, president of the International Music Association for highly gifted children (IMF) and founder of the "Golden Note" classical music prize, will once again accompany highly gifted musical talents on their artistic journey and bring them together with established stars of the genre.
In the magnificent Viennese baroque palace Auersperg, long known as the "Palais Rosenkavalier", Leona König brings together the Carinthian up-and-coming cellist Aleksander Simic with the Viennese opera and operetta star Herbert Lippert. Before the two rehearse and perform Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig" together, the presenter meets them for a personal conversation.
Herbert Lippert, who was born in Linz and is an award-winning tenor as well as a successful painter, talks about his childhood as a Viennese choirboy, his own children, and how he dealt with music in his family. The Kammersänger is an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera, has appeared on the world's most important music theater stages and has worked with outstanding conductors such as Sir Georg Solti, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Riccardo Muti and Franz Welser-Möst, among others. He won a Grammy Award for a recording of Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" under Solti. Musically, Lippert is not restricted to any genre, as his broad repertoire includes roles from works ranging from Richard Wagner to operetta. He has even made it his personal mission to lead the operetta into a new contemporary form and to inspire old and young for it anew. Herbert Lippert also provides insights into his work as a painter of oil and watercolor paintings, which he regularly exhibits.
Aleksander Simic, exceptional talent on the cello and winner of national and international music competitions and renowned special prizes, first meets Leona König in an untypical environment for a musician: at "Jumpin Warrior," Austria's largest "Ninja Warrior" adventure park in Wiener Neudorf. At the age of five, the now 18-year-old from St. Ulrich began playing together with his mother, principal cellist of the Carinthian Symphony Orchestra. He tells Leona König about musical challenges, his performances at venues such as New York's famous Carnegie Hall or the European Palace in Strasbourg, his musical family and his nomination as "Carinthian of the Year". Aleksander Simic is currently attending István Várdai's cello class at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
He has chosen the piece for his performance with star tenor Herbert Lippert: Together they will perform Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig" after the ballad of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in an unusual arrangement for voice and cello by Aleksander's mother Eva Simic-Nemeth at Palais Auersperg.


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Stars & Talents, Season 2