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artist Karina Gauvin

Montréal, QC, CANADA

biographical info

Canada’s superstar soprano Karina Gauvin has impressed audiences and critics the world over with her luscious timbre, profound musicality and wide vocal range. The Globe and Mail calls her "one of the dream sopranos of our time," who in turn is "distinctive, sophisticated, deeply intuitive, a questioning and fearless artist."

Her repertoire ranges from the music of Johann Sebastian Bach to Luciano Berio and she has sung with many major orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Musica Antiqua Köln, Minnesota Orchestra, St-Paul Chamber Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, and Accademia Bizantina.

On the operatic or concert stage, she has performed with conductors as diverse as Charles Dutoit, Kent Nagano, Semyon Bichkov, Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Helmuth Rilling, Bernard Labadie, Christophe Rousset and Alan Curtis. Also active as a recitalist, she has collaborated with several chamber music ensembles and with pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Michael McMahon and Roger Vignoles.

2007/08 offers a full lineup of important engagements, including an american tour with Les Violons du Roy, performances with the Toronto and Québec symphonies and a recital for the Toronto Women’s Musical Club. Overseas, she sings the role of Teutile in Vivaldi’s opera Montezuma under Alan Curtis at the Théâtre Champs Elysées as well as Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Ottavio Dantone, and guests with the Norddeutsche Rundfunk in Hannover. In the new year she portrays Manlio in Vivaldi’s Tito Manlio at the Barbican in London as well as Seleuce in Handel's Tolomeo at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris.

Among her many career highlights figure Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Magnificat with the Chicago Symphony under Helmuth Rilling, and her Carnegie Hall debut in Bach’s B minor Mass under the baton of Peter Schreier. She also was Iole in Handel’s Hercules with Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, Euridice in Gluck’s Orphée with Les Violons du Roy and Alcina in Handel’s eponymous opera with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh at the Beaune Festival in France.

In the spring of 2003 she sang the title role in Georg Conradi’s opera Ariadne for the Boston Early Music Festival which was later released on the CPO label and nominated for a Grammy Award in 2006. On New Year’s Day 2006, Gauvin’s performance in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln was broadcast on Eurovision throughout Europe.

A prolific recording artist with nineteen releases to her credit, Karina Gauvin has been nominated consistently for the Juno Award over the past decade. She won the award in 2001 and 2003 with Handel’s Silete Venti / Apollo e Daphne and Mozart’s Requiem with Les Violons du Roy, respectively. Her collection of French art songs with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, titled Fête galante, received the 2000 Opus award for Best Vocal Recording and was selected as Chamber Music America’s Recording of the Year.

More recently, her characterization of Manlio in Vivaldi's opera Tito Manlio on the Naïve label with the Accademia Bizantina and Ottavio Dantone was called "riveting" by Opera News. "Soprano Gauvin really knows how to act with her voice, and she mines expressiveness from every phrase, especially in recitatives. Her arias […] are simply dazzling."

Her most recent solo recording of Purcell songs for the Atma label has also garnered critical acclaim. In the spring of 2009 Ms Gauvin will record Britten's Les Illuminations with Les Violons du Roy for the Atma label. Among her other impressive projects are debut recordings with Deutsche Grammophon of Handel’s operas Tolomeo, Alcina, Ezio and Agrippina with Alan Curtis and Complesso Barocco.

Gauvin’s outstanding performances have been recognized in prestigious competitions worldwide. She won First Prize at the CBC Young Performers Competition and received the Lieder and Public’s prize at the s’Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition in the Netherlands. In 2000 she was honored with the Opus Award as "Performer of the Year".

Other awards include the Virginia Parker Prize and the Maggie Teyte Memorial Prize in London. A graduate of the Montreal Conservatory of Music, Karina Gauvin studied with Ms. Marie Daveluy and persued her postgraduate study with Pamela Bowden at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow.

Britten: Les Illuminations
ATMA Classique
July, 2014
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Mozart Opera and Concert Arias
ATMA Classique
March, 2014
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Prima Donna
ATMA Classique
September, 2012
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CBC Records
December, 2002
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CBC Records
November, 2001
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Vivaldi: Motets pour soprano
October, 1997
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Karina Gauvin

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