The name Sjaella comes from a Scandinavian word meaning "soul", and the young women who make up this group give voice to their soul by singing together. They have been fascinating audiences since 2005 with their crystal clear a capella singing, which cuts across eras and styles.
Sjaella offers music of the highest quality, with a long string of popular and critically acclaimed concerts behind them, as well as prizes in national and international competitions. These include the International A Capella Contest, Leipzig 2009, 1st Prize in the National A Capella Contest 2010 (Germany) and 1st Prize in the Classical category of the Ward Swingle Award at the vokal.total International A Capella Competition 2010 in Graz (Austria).
It was not long before they signed a recording contract, and their debut CD, "Sjaella", was produced in 2011 on "querstand" (Kamprad). Further releases followed, such as "Preisung" (Praise) - a selection of contemporary sacred vocal music including dedicated pieces, which also came out on "querstand", at the end of 2013. This CD has been nominated for the "Price Deutsche Schallplattenkritik".
Sjaella has a hugely varied repertoire, ranging from sacred music to pop arrangements, jazz standards and their own compositions, which they showcase at around 50 concerts a year in Germany and abroad. They have appeared at classical music festivals (MDR Musiksommer and the Bachfest in Leipzig) and they are making an increasing number of radio and television appearances (including "Annettes DaschSalon" and "Berlinale"). Despite the young age of the six singers who make up Sjaella, the group has become an established presence on the classical music scene. The ensemble has an impressive natural charm, along with a clear, even harmony that they have cultivated since childhood.
The Nixen (Mermaids) - Rahel Rilling and Katharina Wildhagen (Violin), Kristina Labitzke (Viola) and Nikola Spingler (Violoncello) - make up a special type of string quartet, whose repertoire of Classical music through popular hits includes everything
that appeals to the musicians themselves.
The Nixen came into being during the hot summer of 2005 and first appeared as 'artists in residence' on the Badeschiff Berlin. Their concert programs include classical chamber music as well as adaptations of jazz and pop pieces which they often arrange themselves. They have appeared as guests at such festivals as the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival and on the concert series "Musik in den Häusern der Stadt" (Music in City Houses). They have also performed at such celebratory occasions as the baptism of the cruise ship AIDAluna to Mallorca and are often featured as a "special event" in the Berlin club scene in such clubs as Horst Kreuzberg.
The Nixen performed and toured with the Swedish cult band MANDO DIAO ("Dance with somebody") through October 2011. In 2013, they traveled as guest artists on the MS Europa touring the world's oceans and in 2014, presented a New Years concert in the Konzerthaus Berlin. Recent appearances include concerts with Michael Bublé and Rod Stewart.
In 2012, they produced their first CD featuring engaging arrangements of jazz, country, and popular songs (available at http://dienixen.de/home.htm).
The international rewarded Vocal Ensemble SLIXS are well known for their diversity of styles,
mix of genres and new ways of interpretations. Their musical curiosity and skills even opened
a series of collaborations with outstanding artists like Bobby McFerrin.
After SLIXS was commissioned to arrange instrumental music by Johann Sebastian Bach for a German feature film and to produce it in purely vocal terms, the sextet released the film’s soundtrack in January 2014 under the title "Quer Bach". Since the trade press, promoters and audience were equally enthusiastic about the unbiased and yet respectful realisation, SLIXS, who are otherwise more at home in jazz, have now recorded another album of this kind - Quer Bach 2.
You can book a concert evening with a varied mixture of Bach’s works and own compositions. The program is available from the second half of 2018 onwards. The concert will be presented with a slight amplification and is ideal for churches as well as samaller and medium-sized concerthalls.
"Bach remains Bach. Also with the outstanding vocal ensemble SLIXS - in really successful arrangements, with vocal artistry and a fine sense of sound. [...] Bach is not only taken as a basis (or a quarry) and jazzed, but is transformed with audible sensitivity to his own demands. And it shows impressively: Bach ‚functions’ in many guises, distinctively and strong. The arrangements have a lot of respect for the essence of their music,they use the voices perfectly and adapt the instrumental actions perfectly to the vocal abilities of the formation. [...] And so Bach’s music in the interpretation of SLIXS is playfully gentle, lively and inspired. And yet it is always recognizable 100 percent Bach. [...]" (klassik.com 2014)
Girls and female Choir Schola Cantorum Leipzig
The Schola Cantorum Leipzig's girls choir has 40 singers between the ages of 13 and 25.
The girls choir belongs to Germany's best and is internationally renowned, not least of all due to the high level of musical quality demanded, its rigorous youth development programs, many concert tours abroad as well as a variety of awards won in acclaimed competitions.
The choir is especially well versed in the presentation of renaissance period equal voices, a-capella compositions as well as contemporary pieces.
It also regularly works together with German orchestras on choral symphonic works.
The girls choir's vast repertoire includes not only the German romantic works of composers such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, or Rheinberger, but the ensemble has also made important explorations into French music from the turn of the century.
One important, key component of the choir's work is the interpretation of contemporary music.
The girls choir has been a part of presentations of great oratory works such as Bach's "Passion of St. Mathew", Mendelssohn's "Paulus" and Orffs "Carmina Burana" and has given concerts in Leipzig's most important churches and concert halls. In 1999, the ensemble arranged the official ceremony for the Federal Republic of Germany's 50th birthday in Berlin's Reichstag and 2015 saw the choir sing for Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of the 80th German Welfare Day. The quality of the choirs is attested to by their successful participation in numerous national and international competitions as well as manifold radio, television and CD recordings.
The female choir Schola Cantorum Leipzig is made up of about 20 long-time members and the girls choir's "adult" students and professionals which play a crucial supporting role at the girls choir's concerts and tours. The repertoire consists of everything from baroque to the modern with works from Schumann or Brahms as well as forays into the romantic.