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Barbara Thalheim

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The recipient of the 1994 German music critics' Preis Des Deutschen Schallplatten award, Barbara Thalheim is one of the most successful artists of post-reunification Germany. With her stunning vocals and artistic vision, Barbara Thalheim has continued to expand on the cabaret and musical theater traditions of her homeland. Thalheim's life has been the source of a film, Zum Sehen Geboren, by filmmaker Joachim Tschirner, released in 1989, and an autobiography, Mugge: 25 Years on the Road, published in 2000. The daughter of a communist, anti-fascist, and former Dachau Concentration camp prisoner, she's used her skills as a vocalist to overcome the political oppression of her youth. Her status as a performer has enabled her to support a varied assortment of artistic causes. During a three-year hiatus from music (1995-1998), she founded an art culture office and began an "arts in the square" program that presents concerts in disadvantaged areas of Berlin. Thalheim's first experiences in Berlin's cabaret scene came between 1968 and 1971, when she performed with the troupe at The October Club. Hoping to learn more about German theater, she took a job as a messenger girl in 1971. Starting out as a background vocalist from 1970 to 1973, Thalheim stepped into the limelight as a soloist in 1974. From 1979 until 1991, she balanced her musical career as a radio journalist for a number of stations in Germany and Switzerland. Moving, temporarily, to France, in 1993, Thalheim performed concerts with such artists as Marek Grechula, Hermann Van Veen, Hannes Wader, and George Moustaki, and began a collaboration with French accordion player Jean Pacalet. Since Thalheim's return to the concert stage in late 1998, Pacalet has served as her musical director. Thalheim continued to work with the group she assembled for her 1998 album, In Eigener Sache -- bassist Marcus Schloussen, percussionist Georen Harm, and guitarist Juergen Ehle. Since 1999, she's also performed, occasionally, with five different accordion orchestras. ~ Craig Harris

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s