Reinild Mees is artistic director of the Festival, member of the jury and pianist.
After extensive piano studies with Gérard van Blerk (Amsterdam), Malcolm Frager (USA) and Noël Lee (Paris) the Dutch pianist Reinild Mees concentrated her activities on accompanying singers and instrumentalistst in recital. High-ranking artists as Elly Ameling, Gérard Souzay and Sandor Végh helped her refine and perfect her talents in this demanding métier.
Today Reinild Mees is a sought-after accompanist for song recitals and duo concerts. She concertizes with soloists such as Camilla Nylund, Marlis Petersen, Claudia Barainsky, Amanda Roocroft, Piotr Beczala, Sergei Leiferkus, Konrad Jarnot, Wolfgang Holzmair, Olaf Bär or Roman Trekel, appearing in Europe’s leading musical centers. Many of her concerts are being recorded on television and radio. She has released a number of highly noted CDs on the Channel Classics label with The Complete Songs of Sir Edward Elgar, Ottorino Respighi, Franz Schreker and Karol Szymanowski. Recently she released The Complete Songs of Erich Wolfgang Korngold on the Capriccio label. She also recorded song cycles of Robert Schumann with the German baritone Jochen Kupfer, playing a historical grand piano from Schumann’s time, and ‘Songs with and without Words’ by Felix Mendelssohn, playing on a historical Érard concert grand. All her CD’s got very good reviews in Gramophone, Fono Forum, Musica and other international magazines.
Reinild Mees was honored with the Szymanowski Award (which was previously won by Sir Simon Rattle) and the Ambassador of Polish Culture order for her promotion of Szymanowski’s work, both in concert and in recording. Also, the Szymanowski CD box won the most prestigious prize of Poland, the Fryderyk Award.
Next to her concert career, Reinild Mees is the founder and artistic director of the Stichting 20ste-eeuwse Lied, (The 20th Century Song Foundation), a foundation dedicated to the cultivation of the 20th-century art song. In order to promote the revival of the beautiful songs, mainly from the interbellum, which have been neglected after the Second World War, Reinild Mees has created a series of semi-staged concert programs called Spotlights, with which she has attracted widespread attention in the Netherlands and abroad. The concerts unite internationally renowned vocal soloists and well-known directors.
As a vocal coach Reinild Mees has taught at the Amsterdam and Utrecht Conservatory, the European Centre for Opera and Vocal Art (Ghent) and the Opera Studio Nederland. Currently she teaches at the Robert Schumann Hochschule (Düsseldorf).