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Anu Komsi

Anu Komsi is one of Finland’s foremost international singers, a coloratura soprano with a strong reputation on the world’s concert and opera scenes. She is praised for her perfect musicianship, technical skill and wide repertoire that ranges from renaissance music to progressive jazz and the most advanced contemporary scores. By commissioning and premiering new works for her voice type, she has helped to widen and enlarge its repertoire for the last 30 years, whilst also singing bel canto and presenting forgotten coloratura masterworks for today’s public. In 2020 She was awarded the Madetoja prize by Finnish composer´s society and was also a nominee for the Nordic Council´s Music Prize. In the autumn of 2021 she received the prestigious Erik Bergman Prize for her special achievements in performing and commissioning new vocal repertoire internationally.

Her 70 opera roles contain several critically acclaimed performances of Zerbinetta, Lulu, Blonde, Gilda, Norina and Queen of the Night. In 2017 Anu sang the huge coloratura role of Catherine in the Finnish premiere of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s l’Etoile du Nord. In the more recent years she has extended her repertoire also to lyrical and dramatic soprano roles, such as Salome(2019 Turku Philharmonic), Nannetta, Susanna, Micaela, Rosalinde and Tiresias(Poulenc). Along the traditional repertoire Anu has performed significant 20th century and contemporary works like Schönberg: Moses and Aron, Ligeti: Mysteries of the Macabre, Schnittke: Life with an Idiot (in the German premiere 1995, Bremen).

Eva’s role in Karlheinz Stockhausen’s opera Donnerstag aus Licht (Basel Theatre 2016) was another critically acclaimed performance. Anu is the only singer ever to have performed all of Eva’s massive role in this 6-hour opera where it is usually shared by different singers. The show was named Best Opera Production of the Year by the German Opernwelt magazine.

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The major international opera scenes where Anu Komsi has appeared include: New York City Opera; Stuttgart State Opera; Frankfurt Opera; Munich among others.

The major international concert halls where Anu Komsi has performed include Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Vienna; Philharmonie Berlin; Royal Albert Hall, Barbican and Royal Festival Hall, London; Philharmonie, Chatelet and Cité de la Musique, Paris; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Alte Oper, Frankfurt; Gewandhaus Leipzig; Lincoln Center NY; Walt Disney Hall LA; Osaka Concert Hall; Symphony Hall, Birmingham; Philharmonie, Cologne; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Auditorio della Musica, Rome; Rudolfinum and Smetana Hall, Prague; Konserthuset, Stockholm; KKL Lucerne; Musiikkitalo Helsinki.

Anu has performed as soloist with numerous leading orchestras such as Vienna Philharmonic; Berlin Philharmonic; Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin; La Scala Orchestra Milan; New York Philharmonic; Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Los Angeles Philharmonic; BBC Symphony Orchestra,  and others

The conductors Anu has worked with include Sir Roger Norrington, Sakari Oramo, Esa Pekka Salonen, Alan Gilbert, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Franz Welser-Möst, Theodor Guschlbauer, Heinz Holliger, Peter Eötvös, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Susana Mälki, Leif Segerstam, Hannu Lintu, Francois Xaver Roth, Massimo Zanetti, Santtu Rouvali, Anna-Maria Helsing, Martyn Brabbins and Gergely Madaras.

Anu has a massive concert repertoire, especially works with orchestra which include Sibelius Luonnotar; Magnus Lindberg Accused; Lutoslawski Chantefleurs et Chantefables; Szymanowski Fairy Princess songs; Richard Strauss Four Last Songs; Aarre Merikanto Ekho; Debussy (orch. Oramo) Chansons de Jeunesse; Rued Langgaard Symphony nr 2; Mahler Symphonies 2,4,8; Nielsen Symphony 3; Vaughan Williams Symphony 3.; Nono Canti di vita e D´ amore.

Large works World premiered by Anu include Kaija Saariaho Saarikoski (2013-2020) and Leino (2000-2007) songs; Jukka Tiensuu Voice Verser (2012); Christian Mason Man Made (2018); Jonathan Harvey White as Jasmine (2000); Esa-Pekka Salonen Floof (1988) and Wing on Wing (2004); Richard Ayres Noncerto (2002); Un Suk Chin Cantatrix Sopranica (2005); Kimmo Hakola Le Sacrifice (2006).

An important phase in Anu Komsi’s career occurred in 2004-2018, when she was (alongside her extensuive soloist career) founder and Artistic Director of West Coast Kokkola Opera company, and for the last four years of that period also Managing Director. Between 2006 and 2017, the company produced the Kokkola Opera summer festival.

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