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Ute Lemper(Profile/Biography)

United States
English
Ute Lemper’s career is vast and varied. She has made her mark on the stage, in films, in concert and as a unique recording artist. She has been universally praised for her interpretations of Berlin Cabaret Songs, the works of Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht and the French Chanson Book. As well as her own compositions and the more Jazz influenced collaborations and works. In the world of theater Ute made her mark with her portrayals on Broadway, in Paris and in London’s West End.

Her newest concert is Ultimo Tango, an entirely new show, presenting a journey through the songs of Astor Piazzolla, the fabulous Argentinian composer of Tango, and the words of the Poet Horacio Ferrer. Ute sings in the original Spanish and created adaptations of these stories of love, abandonment, decadence and passion in Buenos Aires, Berlin, Paris and New York, in French, German and English. She recently completed a world tour with the original Astor Piazzolla Sextet from Buenos Aires. Ute recently completed a concert series with the Jazz at Lincoln orchestra and Wynton Marsalis, at Rose Hall in New York City, dedicated to the music of Kurt Weill. Very different is Ute’s other new creation, The Bukowski Project, a rather avant-garde, adventurous collage in music and songs of the poetry of Charles Bukowski. This homage to the poet was invented and largely composed by Ute herself with the collaboration of her partner Todd Turkisher and her pianist Vana Gierig.

Ute just recorded her new CD Paris Days / Berlin Nights with the Vogler String Quartet and Stefan Malzew on Piano. It is a beautiful semi-classical recording featuring songs between love and war, composed by Hans Eisler, Kurt Weill, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf and Astor Piazzolla, and also Folksongs in Yiddish and Russian. The release of the CD was followed by an extensive North American Tour in March and April of 2012. Ute was born in Munster, Germany and completed her studies at The Dance Academy in Cologne and the Max Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in Vienna.

Her professional debut in theater after her studies at the Max Reinhardt Seminar was the Fassbinder play Katzelmacher at the Stuttgarter Staatstheater and a collaboration with Jerome Savary Bye Bye Showbiz. On the musical stage she starred in the original Vienna production of Cats in the roles of Grizabella and Bombalurina, as Peter Pan in Peter Pan (Berlin) and Sally Bowles in Jerome Savary’s Cabaret (Paris) for which she received the Moliere Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She played Lola in The Blue Angel (Berlin) and Maurice Bejart created a ballet for her, La Mort Subite (Paris). Ute also collaborated with Pina Bausch and her Tanztheater on the Weill Revue. Ute created the part of Velma Kelly in London’s production of Chicago in the West End, for which she was honored with the Laurence Olivier Award, and moved to the Broadway production after one year.

Ute Lemper’s solo concerts, which include Kurt Weill / Berthold Brecht Recitals, Berlin Cabaret, Dietrich and Piaf, Jacques Brel, Leo Ferre, Kosma, Prevert, Sondheim, Piazzolla and also Lemper’s own songs, have been produced in prestigious venues throughout the world. Her symphony concerts include The Seven Deadly Sins, Songs from Kurt Weill, Songbook (Michael Nyman) and Songs from Weill, Piaf and Dietrich with the symphony orchestras of London, Israel, Boston, Hollywood, San Francisco, Berlin, The Paris Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Illusions Orchestra (Bruno Fontaine) and the Michael Nyman Band (Michael Nyman). She also appeared in Folksongs with the Luciano Berio Orchestra (Luciano Berio) and with The Matrix Ensemble (Robert Ziegler) performing Berlin Cabaret Songs. She has performed with the best symphony orchestras all over the world from Buenos Aires to Sydney.

Her celebrated recordings for DECCA include Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill (Vols. I and II), Three Penny Opera, The Seven Deadly Sins, Mahagonny Songspiel, Prospero’s Books (Michael Nyman), Songbook (Michael Nyman/Paul Celan), Illusions (Piaf/Dietrich), City of Strangers (Prevert/Sondheim) and Berlin Cabaret Songs (German and English versions). She was named Billboard Magazine’s Crossover Artist of the Year for 1993- 1994. In early 2000, Decca/Universal Music released Punishing Kiss, featuring new songs composed for her by Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Philip Glass, and Nick Cave. Her following release on Decca, But One Day, featured new arrangements of Weill, Brel, Piazzolla, Heymann and Eisler songs, as well as the first recordings of her own compositions, for which she wrote both lyrics and music. She has also recorded Crimes of the Heart, Life is a Cabaret and Ute Lemper Live for CBS Records and Espace Indecent, Nuits Etranges and She Has a Heart for POLYDOR.

She recorded Blood and Feathers (available on both CD and DVD), live at the Carlyle, one of New York’s hottest Cabaret stages. It was released worldwide on DRG/Koch Records and EDEL Records in Europe.

All That Jazz/The Best of Ute Lemper, which features highlights from her illustrious career to date was released in 1998. It accompanied her playing Velma Kelly in the London production of Kander and Ebb’s Chicago for which she received the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical. After nine months in London’s West End, Ms. Lemper made her Broadway debut in September 1998. A major highlight of her eight months American engagement in Chicago was starring with Chita Rivera in the Las Vegas premiere in March 1999.

Her recent album, Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, consists entirely of self-penned music and lyrics, and Ute enjoyed co-producing all of her songs together with her partner Todd Turkisher.

In film, her many credits include L’Autrichienne (Pierre Granier-Deferre), Prospero’s Books (Peter Greenaway), Moscow Parade (Ivan Dikhovichni), Prêt-à-Porter (Robert Altman), Bogus (Norman Jewison) and the most recent releases, Combat de Fauves (Benoit Lamy), A River Made to Drown In (James Merendino) and Appetite (George Milton). She has appeared on television in Rage/Outrage, The Dreyfus Affair (Arte), Tales from the Crypt (HBO), Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill (Bravo), Illusions (Granada), Songbook (Volker Scholendorff), The Wall (Rogers Waters) and The Look of Love (Gillian Lynn).

Ms. Lemper lives in New York with her four children, Max, Stella, Julian and Jonas.
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