Arvo Pärt Porträt Arvo Pärt’s St. John Passion is having another premiere when the Raschèr Saxophon Quartett Raschèr Saxophon Quartet , together with top-class singers, wraps the piece in the beguiling sound of their instruments.


What to expect

Arvo Pärt: Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (St John's Passion)
Premiere of the version for four saxophones, organ and voices

Duration: around 65 minutes without a break


Jelena Widmann I Jaroslava Pepper I Markus Sölkner I Florian Widmann, Evangelistes
Gerd Kenda, Jesus
Johannes Chum, Pilatus
Vocalforum Graz
Raschèr Saxophone Quartet
Christian Dolcet, Organ
Direction: Franz M. Herzog


20 minutes before each performance in the foyer, we will tell you about the story of the evening.


Prices: EUR 52 | 28

Subscription (four performances of free choice)
Reductions: U27 / Ö1 Intro / Club Ö1


the evocative sound of saxophones

John the Evangelist describes with relentless consistency how Jesus of Nazareth stands trial: the accusation is unjust; the evidence is lacking; the interrogation is unacceptable. Pilatus’s cynical question about truth does not stop him from imposing the maximum penalty: a cruel death on the cross. Arvo Pärt, the musical wizard from Estonia, has portrayed this narrative with archaic poignancy. He gave the Raschèr Quartet permission to use the evocative sound of saxophones for the Passion, and it is this version that is being performed here for the first time.

Jelena Widmann


The Serbian studied singing at the University of Arts in Graz, where she gained her first stage experience as Papagena in Mozart’s Magic Flute. But the soprano is not only successful as a concert singer: with the salon orchestra “Walzerperlen” she brings a breath of fresh air to Styria.

Jaroslava Pepper

Mezzo soprano

Oratorios, concerts and operas: the Slovakian mezzo-soprano’s repertoire ranges from works of the Baroque to the Classical and Romantic periods, to music of the 20th century, and includes a wide variety of roles, such as that of Dorabella in Mozart’s “Così fan tutte”.

Markus Sölkner


Before starting his career as a tenor, the Styrian studied music education, majoring in clarinet, as well as mathematics. In addition to his work as a teacher in Graz, he inspires as a soloist in numerous concerts and made his opera debut under the direction of Philipp Harnoncourt.

Florian Widmann


Born in Tyrol, he completed his vocal studies in Graz and attended master classes with renowned opera singers. The baritone can be heard internationally as a concert singer, in oratorios and cantatas as well as in songs and operettas and teaches at music schools in Kindberg and Feldbach.

Gerd Kenda


Sein spezielles Händchen für wundervolle Chorereignisse ist im Hause styriarte ebenso bekannt wie seine markante Bassstimme: Der gebürtige Kärntner Gerd Kenda ist seit den 1980ern einer der präsentesten Protagonisten in der Grazer Gesangsszene. Seit 1985 leitet er den chor pro musica, der einer unserer Lieblingspartner für groß besetzte Vokalpartien ist.

Johannes Chum


Born in Vorau, Styria, the tenor received his first musical training as a soloist with the Vienna’s Boy Choir and was subsequently discovered and engaged by none other than the renowned conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Vocalforum Graz


The voices of the Graz Chamber Choir shine clearly. Since its founding in 1986, the choir has not only enriched the local musical life, but has also celebrated guest performances near and far abroad. The musical focus is on the one hand on the early baroque, and on the other hand on the immediate present with numerous premieres and first performances.

Raschèr Saxophon Quartet


The ensemble continues a tradition started in the 1930s by Sigurd Raschèr, the pioneer of the classical saxophone and founder of the quartet. Like its namesake, the quartet has inspired numerous composers to dedicate works to it. Since its foundation in 1969, the ensemble has been at home in the world’s most renowned concert halls.

Christian Dolcet


Born in Graz in 1980, the pianist received his musical education in his hometown, where he has been teaching at the Johann Joseph Fux Conservatory since 2008. Numerous prizes and awards have made him a sought-after soloist and chamber musician as well as an accompanist at international competitions.

Franz M. Herzog

Choir director

The Austrian conductor, composer and lecturer for choral conducting and choral voice training has already achieved numerous international successes. For his artistic direction of the "Voices of Spirit" festival, for example, he received the appreciation award of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research. In 2011 he founded the Gospel & Jazz Choir at the Johann-Joseph-Fux Conservatory in Graz, where he is currently the director of the choral conducting course.