Biographies of artists 2008

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Mose Allison, born in 1927 in the Mississippi Delta, is a jazz-pianist, singer, and one of the greatest songwriters of the century. In his youth he worked in the cotton-fields and at the same time played in a variety of bands and also with B.B. King.  In 1965 he went to New York, where his career really took off. continue



Luc Bondy was educated at the Lecoq theatre school in Paris. Following numerous productions on the most important German stages, Swiss-born Bondy became resident director at the Schauspiel Frankfurt between 1974 and 1976. This was followed by productions at the Berlin Schaubühne, including world premieres of works by Botho Strauß, where he worked as part of a triumvirate with Dieter Sturm and Christoph Leimbacher. continue


Louis Paul Boon (1912-1979) is considered one of the most important Dutch writers. He originally followed in his father’s footsteps and worked as a house painter in order to feed the family, he did not actually start writing until the 1930s. Much of his work is shaped by his socialist point of view. continue


Billy Bragg formed his first band Riff Raff at the age of 20, they split up four years later after releasing several singles. His first solo album reached the Top 30 of the English charts in 1984. He was always politically active (for example, during the twelve-month miners’ strike, against racism and against neo-liberalism) and could always realise his convictions musically – without reducing himself to the role of protest singer. continue


Rolf Dieter Brinkmann (1940-1975) finally decided to be a freelance writer after initially training to be a bookseller and then a teacher. From the beginning of the 60s Brinkmann published both poetry and prose. He introduced the underground lyrics of the Beat generation to Germany. continue


Chris Bruce has been playing guitar since he was eight years old.  His songs are heavily influenced by the cities he has lived in – Newcastle, Stockholm and now London.  More recently he has worked with Paul Mulvey from the hip-hop collective Border Crossing, who produced his latest songs. continue


Sue is the Artistic Director of Theatre-Rites and the fourth generation of theatre practitioners in her family.She has many years' experience as a director, puppetry specialist and teacher. Before joining Theatre-Rites in 1997 as a puppetry specialist, Sue had worked with a wide and diverse range of companies including the National Theatre, Complicite, Royal Shakespeare Company, the Young Vic, Sadler's Wells, the South Bank Centre, Lyric Hammersmith, Leicester Haymarket, Opera Circus, Graeae, Tara, Theatre-Centre, Pop-Up Theatre, the Crafts Council and the Puppet Centre. continue



Rosanne Cash has released 14 albums over the past 30 years. She recorded her breakthrough album Seven Year Ache in 1981. During the 80s she had several number one hits in the country charts and in 1985 she won a Grammy for the »Best Female Country Song Performance«. continue


Fabrizio Cassol is a jazz-saxophonist, composer, arranger as well as founder and conductor of the band Aka Moon, named after a tribe of pygmies with whom Cassol lived for a time. In 1998 the band was nominated Best European Band by Belgian radio-audiences. continue



Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is one of Europe’s defining choreographers of contemporary dance. Her choreographic language is distinguished by a purity derived absolutely from the music. She founded her company ROSAS in 1983, in addition she has been the head of P. continue



FIDENA the National Puppet Theatre was founded in Bochum 50 years ago and is considered one of Germany’s oldest theatre festivals. And yet at the same time it is at the cutting edge of contemporary modes of expression, particularly with regard the fine line between performance and fine art. continue


Alain Franco studied music at the conservatories of Brussels, Liege and Antwerp. He was conductor of the Ensemble Champ d’Action from 1989 to 1993. He created the musical format for ROASAS D’un Soir un Jour (2006) as well as for Steve Reich Evening that was performed at PACT Zollverein in 2007. continue



Händl Klaus was born in Rum, Tyrolia and is a maestro of ›Sprachkomposition‹ (a dissecting and re-assembling of words). Commissioned by the Münchner Kammerspiele and the RuhrTriennale, he has written a new play, in fact his first musical comedy Furcht und Zittern for the Nübling, Gerstner, Wittershagen team. continue


Earl Harvin comes from New Jersey, lived in Texas, Los Angeles and now Berlin.  He began taking percussion lessons at the age of nine. Later on he became a member of the One o`clock jazz big band at the jazz faculty of the University of North Texas. continue


Joe Henry has left permanent traces in American pop music during a career that has now lasted over 20 years. His songs have been musical milestones in Soul, Jazz, Rock ’n’ Roll and Country. His sister-in-law, Madonna, described the songwriter as a »lyrical giant« in the New York Times and engaged him for her album Confessions on a Dance Floor. continue


Karl-Ernst Herrmann has been viewed as one of the top stage designers for the last 30 years. His visual language was a major force behind the ‘director’s theatre’ of the 1970’s. Since then he has worked closely with directors such as Peter Stein, Claus Peymann and Luc Bondy. continue


Mike Herting learned the piano as a child from his grandmother who was a silent film pianist. As pianist, composer and producer he writes for theatre, radio, film and musicals. A long-standing musical friendship has linked him to Alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano and to the Tunisian musician Dhafer Youssef. continue


Sandra Hüller attended the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch in Berlin from 1996-2000. Her performance in the Hans-Christian Schmidt film Film garnered her a much-wider audience and several important prizes (the Bavarian Film Prize, the Silver Bear, German Film Prize). continue



Schorsch Kamerun was born in Timmendorf Strand, is one of the best 18 people, and a founding member and singer with the Hamburg band Die Goldenen Zitronen. Together with Rocko Schamoni he runs the Golden Pudel Club in Hamburg. For his radio play Ein Menschenbild, das in seiner Summe Null ergibt, he received a radio prize from the war-blind. continue


Vesselina Kasarova was born in Stara Zagora (Bulgaria). She studied Voice at the Music Academy in Sofia and performed major roles for the National Opera there while still a student. In 1989 she joined the ensemble of the Zurich Opera where she rapidly became an audience favourite and was celebrated internationally as a major new talent. continue



Benoît Lachambre has been a choreographer, dancer and teacher for nearly 30 years. He founded PAR B.L.EUX in 1996 as a platform for the exploration of his research projects and the development of new creative processes. Lachambre is figureheading the latest work on improvisation and physical awareness and works regularly as a workshop leader and teacher at international symposiums and artist forums. continue


Bettye LaVette was born in Michigan and discovered by Johnnie Mae Matthews in 1962. In the following years she brought out several singles. In 1982 her first album appeared.  She finally made her breakthrough at the beginning of the 21st century with her album Souvenirs. continue


Louise Lecavalier was the central figure of Edouard Lock’s company LALALA Human Steps, and also his muse, for almost two decades. Her motif of exemplary, audacious, acrobatic jump technique was a signature for the group. Lecavalier has worked as a freelance dancer since 1998. continue


Greg Leisz is an American guitarist and master of numerous string instruments such as Lapund steel guitar, mandolin and bass. He has performed on the albums of a wide variety of bands and artists including Sheryl Crow, Meshell Ndegeocello, Smashing Pumpkins and Bad Religion. continue


Jan Josef Liefers was born in Dresden and initially completed an apprenticeship in carpentry at the Dresden Semperoper after leaving school. He studied acting at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch in Berlin and was subsequently engaged at the Deutsch Theater, Berlin and the Thalia Theater, Hamburg. continue



Meshell Ndegeocello was born in Berlin and grew up in Virginia. Her musical career began whilst she was studying, later on she became band leader for the TV show Saturday Night Live.  Following her engagement there, she signed a contract with Madonna’s production company Maverick, who produced her first album Plantation Lullabies in 1993. continue


Sebastian Nübling studied Cultural Studies in Hildesheim and started off as a university lecturer, actor and musician. Since 1997 he has been directing. He has been invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen five times, in 2008 he is taking Pornography by Simon Stephens. continue



Sebastian Nübling studied Cultural Studies in Hildesheim and started off as a university lecturer, actor and musician. Since 1997 he has been directing. He has been invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen five times, in 2008 he is taking Pornography by Simon Stephens. continue



Richard Peduzzi has worked on numerous occasions with director Luc Bondy. He is one of Europe’s most distinguished stage designers and has worked closely with Patrice Chereau since 1969 on theatre, opera and film productions including the Bayreuth Ring Cycle. continue


David Piltch grew up in the Toronto jazz scene with musicians like Chet Baker, Art Pepper and Mose Allison. He has written songs for k. d. lang and plays with Bill Frisell and Steven Bernstein. After releasing CDs with John Legend, Tracy Chapman, Bruce Cockburn, Liz Wright, Holly Cole and Loudon Wainwright, David Piltch has recorded his first solo CD under the title Minister Of The Interior. continue


Alain Platel initially studied therapeutic pedagogy at theUniversity of Gent. In 1984 the Belgian theatre-maker and choreographer founded the dance-collective Les Ballets C. de la B., now considered one of the most import companies in Europe. He had his international breakthrough in 1998 with lets op Bach. continue



Christoph Ransmayr was born the son of a teacher in Wels, Upper Austria. He studied Philosophy and Ethnology and then worked as an author and culture editor for several newspapers. In addition to the novels The Terrors of Ice and Darkness (1984), The Last World (1988), Morbus Kitahara (1995) and Der fliegende Berg (2006) he has written smaller prose works playing with narrative forms, for example Der Weg nach Surabaya (1997), Die Unsichtbare (2001) and Geständnisse eines Touristen (2004). continue


Johan Simons was born in the vicinity of Rotterdam. Initially he studied dance in Rotterdam, then went on to train as an actor in Maastricht. In 1985 he founded the group ZT Hollandia and was their artistic director for 20 years. He is considered one of the great directors of European theatre and works regularly for the Münchner Kammerspiele, the Volksbühne, at the Wiener Festwochen, with the Toneelgroep Amsterdam and at the Paris Opera House. continue


Dieter Sturm is one of the most important dramaturges of the German speaking theatre. Together with Leni Langenscheidt, Jürgen Schitthelm and Klaus Weiffenbauch he founded the Berliner Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer in 1962, where he worked as Dramaturge until 1968 when he withdrew from theatre for two years to dedicate himself to political work. continue



Allen Toussaint is a musician, song-writer and producer. In the 60s he initially composed for and produced musicians from his home city of New Orleans, ten years later he started working with other artists such as Robert Palmer and Frankie Miller. In 1975 he produced Labelle’s notorious hit single Lady Marmelade (voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir). continue


Neville Tranter founded Stuffed Puppet Theatre in Australia in 1976. Since then he has come to live and work near Amsterdam. He is one of the world’s best known puppeteers. Neville Tranter appears regularly as a guest lecturer at all Europe’s major puppetry academies as a specialist in life-size puppets. continue


Ilija Trojanow comes from a Bulgarian family who fled to seek political asylum in Germany via Yugoslavia and Italy in 1971. In 1972 the family moved to Kenya for ten years. After stopovers in Germany Trojanow lived in Paris and in 1999 moved to Mumbai, India. continue



Ivo van Hove began his career as a director in 1981 with productions of his own texts. In 1988 he directed at Het Zuideliik Toneel in Eindhoven, becoming its artistic director two years later and gaining notoriety with Julien Green’s Süden. Between 1997 and 2004 he was director of the annual Holland Fesitval. continue


Jan Versweyveld studied at the Sint Lucas Institute in Brussels and at the Royal Academy in Antwerp. As a set designer he works internationally in theatre, opera and dance. Versweyveld was closely affiliated to Eindhoven’s Het Zuidelijk Toneel during the 1990s, and has designed sets for Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001. continue


Gert Voss was born in Shanghai and studied at the Universities of Tübingen and Munich where he also took acting lessons. He made his debut in Konstanz and came to the Bochum theatre under Claus Peymann’s artistic direction via the stages of Braunschweig, Munich and Stuttgart. continue



Lou Wilson is a site-specific theatre maker, director, designer and landscape artist. She is the Artistic Director of the newly established ‘Louise Ann Wilson Projects’ and is currently setting up a number of theatre and site-based productions in collaboration with choreographers, poets, composers, psychologists and neurologists. continue


Lars Wittershagen was born in Schwerte and studied Cultural Studies in Hildesheim. Since 1998 he has been working closely with the direct Sebastian Nübling and the stage designer Muriel Gerstner as musician and composer. continue