American soprano Christie Finn is actively involved in the world of contemporary vocal performance and new music theater. Finn has performed as a soloist with the Asko | Schönberg Ensemble (Netherlands), CrossingLines (Spain), the Hezarfen Ensemble (Istanbul, Turkey), ICTUS (Belgium), Nadar (Belgium), Oerknal! (Netherlands), oh ton-ensemble (Germany),
VocaalLAB (Netherlands), and several ensembles in New York City, including ekmeles, the S.E.M. Ensemble, Experiments in Opera, and Tactus. She is a co-founder and member of the experimental music duo NOISE-BRIDGE, collaborating with clarinetist Felix Behringer, and a permanent member of ExVoCo, Forum Neue Vokal Musik, and Ensemble Hörwerk, all based in Germany.
International festivals and concert series include the Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria), the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Festival Mixtur (Barcelona, Spain), MUSICON (Durham, U.K.), and Resonant Bodies (New York City, U.S.A.) In the Stuttgart area, festivals include Musik am 13., Südseite Nachts, Klangraum, Sommer in Stuttgart, Konzertreihe für aktuelle Musik, tonArt (Esslingen a. N.), musica nova (Reutlingen), Zeitgenuss (Karlsruhe), and Opernfestspiele Heidenheim. Finn is a two-time winner of an interpretation prize at the International Stockhausen Concerts and Courses (Kürten, Germany) and was awarded a prize in the Karlsruher Wettbewerb für die Interpretation zeitgenössischer Musik 2014.
The 2017-2018 season includes vocal works by Stuart Saunders Smith in Tampa (Florida, U.S.A.), Aperghis’s Récitations in Salzburg (Austria), collaboration with the Ghent (Belgium) theater company Ontroerend Goed on Loopstation, and several performances with NOISE-BRIDGE and ExVoCo in Germany. Finn, and her duo partner Felix Behringer, are currently working with composers Nicholas DeMaison, Joseph Michaels, Anthony R. Green, Matthew Ricketts, and Martin Iddon, among others, on new works for NOISE-BRIDGE to be premiered throughout 2018 and into 2019. Upcoming recording releases include Christopher Trapani’s Waterlines with Ictus.
In August 2017, Finn created the lead role of Mrs. Ramsay in the world premiere of Zesses Seglias’s opera To the Lighthouse at the Bregenz Festival (Austria). Finn was heard as the Voice of Christ in the world premiere of Klaus Dreher’s Die Graue Passion (Musik am 13. concert series in Stuttgart, Germany), and again joined Ictus to perform Christopher Trapani’s Waterlines (Antwerp, Belgium) as well as Forum Neue Vokalmusik for Stockhausen’s Stimmung (MUSICON concert series in Durham, U.K.). Finn performed in the world premiere of Luis Codera Puzo’s Empor in Barcelona, with a reprise of the work at Sommer in Stuttgart. She was also heard in Aperghis’s Sextuor and in solo works at the Opernfestspiele Heidenheim 2017 (Germany). In fall of 2016, she opened the season with Ensemble Hörwerk in a concert of premieres (LOTTE Gallery, Stuttgart), followed by a North American tour with NOISE-BRIDGE, as well as performances of works by Jesse Ronneau and Morten Feldman in the Klangraum Festival (Stuttgart).
Highlights of the 2015-6 season include performances with Ensemble arspoetica (Augsburg, Germany) and Duo Enssle-Lamprecht (Salzburg, Austria), a tour in Italy with NOISE-BRIDGE, Helmut Lachenmann’s Got Lost in the Klangraum Festival (Stuttgart), Aperghis’ music theater piece Sextuor in the tonArt Festival (Esslingen, Germany), and an encore performance of Christopher Trapani’s Waterlines with Ictus in Ghent (Belgium). In the 2015-16, season, Finn performed world premieres of over two dozen new compositions, including works by Hannes Dufek, Michael Maierhof, Francesco Maggio, Frederik Neyrinck, and many others.
Performance highlights from 2014-15 included the world premiere of the Mojiao Wang’s opera Encounter at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Christopher Trapani’s Waterlines with Ictus at the Opera Lille (France), recording Ligeti’s Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures for the Saarländischer Rundfunk (Germany), Helmut Lachenmann’s Got Lost for the opening concert of the Resonant Bodies Festival (New York City), a recital at the Residenzschloss in Ludwigsburg (Germany), a concert of works by composer Martin Schüttler with Nadar (Stuttgart, Germany), and performing Stockhausen’s Stimmung as part of 18 Stunden zur Anfechtung der Sommersonnenwende (18 Hours to Challenge the Midsummer Sun, http://18stunden.de), a festival in Stuttgart (Germany) co-organized by Finn and Dr. N. Andrew Walsh.
Career highlights from past seasons include a staged production of Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures in conjunction with Samuel Beckett’s Spiel (tour in Germany), the world premiere of Klaus Lang’s opera die fette seele (Germany), the complete Récitations of Georges Aperghis as part of the first annual Resonant Bodies Festival, Sofia Gubaidulina’s Homage à T. S. Eliot at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Amsterdam) with the Asko | Schönberg Ensemble, Luciano Berio’s sequenza iii at the Landesmuseum Niederösterreich (Austria), the U.S. premiere of Luigi Nono’s Quando Stanno Morendo (Soprano II) with ekmeles, and several experimental music theater productions with the Studio für Stimmkunst und Neues Musiktheater in Stuttgart (Germany). Music theater productions outside of Stuttgart include Jason Cady’s comic book/sitcom opera Happiness is the Problem with Experiments in Opera in Brooklyn, Georges Aperghis’ Sextuor: L’origine des Espèces (New York premiere), and VocaalLAB‘s 2011 production of the hip-hop breakdance opera MonteverdISH (cover).
Recordings include Ligeti’s Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures (Saarländischer Rundfunk) and the album The Year Begins To Be Ripe (Sonic Arts Editions) in works of John Cage and Stuart Saunders Smith. She has performed Lieder recitals in Austria, operatic works in Italy, and contemporary works by southwestern American composers with the Voices of Change Ensemble of Dallas, Texas. Opera roles include Chabris (Scarlatti’s Giuditta), Mrs. Jenks (The Tender Land) and Belinda (Dido and Aeneas). Of her performance of Betsy Jolas’ Quartet No. 2 with the Tactus Ensemble, the New York Times praised her “lovely account of this complicated score” and how she “surrendered to the music’s florid impulses.”
In addition to her career as a professional singer, Finn is also an active poet. Composer Matt Aelmore set her poetry in the five-movement Pierrot Opera, and she collaborated with Chicago-based composer Christopher Fisher-Lochhead on his piece Tandem, written for NOISE-BRIDGE. For more information about Finn’s projects in music and poetry, please visit Passion-Flowers. For her rants about music, poetry, and aesthetics, please visit her blog: The Single Artificer.
Finn also serves at the Managing Director of the Hampsong Foundation (http://hampsongfoundation.org). Past work with the Hampsong Foundation include the radio series Song: Mirror of the World and the Song of America radio series, both syndicated through WFMT Chicago, among other projects.
A native of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, she is a graduate of Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart. Finn is also a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program, where she studied with Lucy Shelton. Finn holds a Master of Music in Voice from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas), where she studied with Joan Heller, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Modern Languages & Linguistics from UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County). She currently resides in Stuttgart, Germany, where she sits on the Music Advisory Board for Kunstraum34 (http://kunstraum34.de) and is actively involved with the Stuttgarter Kollektiv für aktuelle Musik (http://skam.io).
(Last updated: Aug. 30, 2017)