Handel Prize winner 2020

Valer Sabadus

The 2020 City of Halle Handel Prize awarded by the Handel House Foundation is to go to the countertenor Valer Sabadus for his special services to the interpretation of Handel’s music, which he has proven in various concerts on several occasions at the Handel Festival in Halle, Dr. Bernd Wiegand, Mayor of the City of Halle an der Saale and President of the Handel House Foundation Board of Trustees, has announced.

Valer Sabadus (c) Thomas Ziegler

Announcement by the Mayor, Dr. Bernd Wiegand: “For his special services to the interpretation of Handel’s music, the 2020 City of Halle Handel Prize awarded by the Handel House Foundation goes to the countertenor Valer Sabadus. Sabadus' triumphal march through the international opera houses began with his glittering performance in the title role of the Handel opera Rinaldo at the 2011 Handel Festival. Since then, this much sought-after countertenor has toured the world. Now things have come full circle: Valer Sabadus will be demonstrating his exceptional musical skill together with the Venice Baroque Orchestra in the laureate concert on 30 May 2020 in George Frideric Handel Hall.”

Valer Sabadus was born in Arad (Romania), but moved to Germany at the age of five. His earliest musical education was in violin and piano. At the age of 17, he began his studies as countertenor at Munich University of Music and the Performing Arts. In 2009 he became a member of the August Everding Bavarian Theatre Academy, where he completed the Music Theatre master class in 2013. He made his debut at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in 2009 aged just 23 in the role of Adrasto in Niccolò Jommelli’s Demofoonte under Riccardo Muti. At the 2011 Handel Festival Halle, he shone in the title role of Rinaldo with Lautten Compagney Berlin, performing the part a short time later in a concert performance at the Rheingau Music Festival. In 2013, he made his debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Menelao in the Cavalli opera Elena. Since then, he has appeared in major roles in all the world’s most renowned venues. In 2014, he signed a contract with the major label Sony Classical. His diverse repertoire is reflected in numerous recordings, which among other distinctions have won the German Record Critics’ Prize and ECHO Klassik and been nominated for a Grammy award. In the 2018-29 season, several tours with different programmes took him right through Europe: with L’Arpeggiata and the programme Handel Goes Wild, he appeared in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Utrecht Oude Music Festival, KKL Lucerne and the Lyon Auditorium – and not least at the Handel Festival in Halle. After the release of the CD Caro Gemello, he undertook a tour with that programme with the ensemble Concerto Köln, which took him to Ambronay, Neuss, Cologne and Kassel, as well as Duisburg and Versailles. This was followed by a tour of Japan with the same programme. With Accademia Bizantina and the programme Marc Antonio e Cleopatra, he has performed in Cologne, Hamburg and Barcelona. In 2019, he presented the programme Sensitivity – Arias for Carestini and Salimbeni with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, which he also performed at the Handel Festival in Halle.

More information and photos are available at: https://www.valer-sabadus.de/.

List of the Handel Prize winner: https://www.haendelhaus.de/de/directory/32/82.