JAKOB PILGRAM studied singing (under Hans-Jürg Rickenbacher), music education, and choral direction at the Music Academy of the City of Basel. He graduated in Music Education in July 2008 with distinction, then continuing his singing studies under Werner Güra at the Zurich University of Fine Arts, graduating, again with distinction, in January 2011. He also took part courses and masterclass with, among others, Gérard Wyss, Jan Schultsz, Jürg Henneberger, Daniel Fueter, Hans Adolfsen, and Markus Weiss, thereby strengthening and deepening his affinity for and understanding of chamber music and song.
In 2005 and again in 2008 he was a soloist in three Bach cantatas and in Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day in concerts conducted by Ton Koopman at Carnegie Hall in New York. During the 2005/2006 season he sang in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Theater Basel, directed by Sebastian Nübling. In 2007 he sang the role of Damon in over 20 performances of Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the Freitags-Akademie Bern, in a production directed by the puppeteer Neville Tranter. He toured again with the same ensemble in 2010, this time in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Since 2005 he has been a member of the ensemble of the Origen Cultural Festival in the Grisons area of Switzerland, where he has sung in world premiere performances of such operas as Apocalypse (2005), Benjamin by Gion Antoni Derungs (2006), David (2007), Samson by Lorenz Dangel (2009), Messias by Oliver Weber (2008), and Mikael by Pawel Lukaszewski (2011), as well as in Benjamin Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace in 2012.
In 2005 Jakob Pilgram founded the professional vocal ensemble larynx (of which he is both artistic director and conductor). Larynx was awarded the Canton of Basel-Land’s Prize for the Promotion of Culture in 2012.
Since 2004 he has been singing lieder in partnership with pianist Mischa Sutter. They won third prize in the 2012 international song competition “Schubert and the Music of Modernity” in Graz, and were awarded a special prize for the performance of lieder by the Basel Orchestral Society in 2008.