THE VOCAL RECORD COLLECTORS' SOCIETY
DANISH VOICES IN OPERA AND SONG - PART TWO
Niels von Kohl
We are so happy to welcome back the noted Danish journalist, radio and television personality, and fellow VRCS member, Niels von Kohl, to initiate our 2012 season via a follow-up to his memorable presentation of February 2009 on the subject of Danish singers.
Mr. von Kohl's background is fascinating. After a stint as a writer on music and theater at a Copenhagen newspaper while very young, he came to the attention of Hans Hansen, known to record collectors everywhere as the collector and discographer of Lauritz Melchior. At that time, Mr. Hansen was controller of the Danish Radio Music Department, and Mr. von Kohl became a regular guest on his radio program, as well as something of a student in the ways of structuring and presenting radio programs to the public. Since all the departments of Danish Radio at that time did both radio and television, it was only a matter of time before Mr. von Kohl was producing and hosting his own TV program, presenting Danish artists and new classical music. Later, he transferred to their Current Affairs Department, and then to the Theater Department, where he was involved in writing, translations and directing. From there, the Cultural Department beckoned, and he then ended that phase of his career back with the Cultural Affairs Department. He tells us he enjoyed all of this immensely.
He left Denmark in 1985 and moved to Ethiopia (yes, that Ethiopia), then to New York City, then to Eastern Europe, then back to New York City, then to Morocco, and once more back to New York City, where he remains - but not usually for very long. During these years he has worked as a foreign correspondent for various Danish media, and for a decade has produced documentaries on politics and world development for United Nations Television, while still keeping his hand in the occasional radio production. Indeed, he tells us that in the intervening 23 months since his last VRCS program, he has produced "a few" documentaries in Morocco on desertification and the negative effects on oases caused by the disappearance of traditional local life styles. He also tells us that he has been improving his mind by avoiding the watching of all political TV programs (surely a course worthy of emulation by all VRCS members).
Mr. von Kohl's prior outing covered the history of Denmark's Royal Opera and presented a plethora of terrific Danish singers, only some of whom - Melchior, Schiotz, Schmedes, perhaps Herold (all tenors!) - had names that were immediately familiar to most American collectors, but the rest were of the very highest international caliber. Indeed, our recollection is that the show was somewhat stolen by one Tenna Kraft, a soprano of near monumental accomplishments in her home country, but known outside Denmark's borders only to the lucky few who collect recordings. Anyhow, it would appear that Niels will be following up on his first program with some more familiar voices and perhaps a great many that should be better known outside Denmark - and it really does remain an amazement that such a relatively small population should produce such a large number of wonderful singers.
Do plan to be with us for this very special presentation by Niels von Kohl.
DATE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012
TIME: 8:00P.M. SHARP
PLACE: CHRIST CHURCH BASEMENT AUDITORIUM
PARK AVE. & 60TH STREET
N. Y. C.
Return to the VRCS homepage