Nathalie Stutzmann is regarded as one of the most remarkable musical personalities of our time and one of a few genuine contralto voices.
A fine example of a comprehensive musician, she studied piano, bassoon, chamber music and conducting thoroughly from an early age.
Nathalie Stutzmann regularly works with the greatest conductors: Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Christoph Eschenbach, Jukka Pekka Saraste, Marc Minkowski… and performs with the most prestigious orchestras, such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Orquesta Nacional de España, the Orchestre de Paris…
In addition to her intense activity as a singer, she devotes part of her career to her commitments as a conductor. Two outstanding masters took her under their wings to support her with her projects and practise the symphonic repertoire: the renowned Jorma Panula (a teaching legend, who trained Simon Rattle among others), and her long-time accomplice Seiji Ozawa.
In November 2008, she officially made her debut as a conductor at the invitation of Seiji Ozawa, and conducted several concerts in Japan with the Mito Chamber Orchestra. In 2009, she founded her own chamber orchestra, Orfeo 55, an ensemble that plays both Baroque and modern instruments, which allows her to venture in the most diverse repertoires.
Her experience as a Romantic musician and her knowledge of older genres allow her to tackle Vivalvi and Mozart as well as Beethoven, Wagner or Brahms. Her approach, both loose and rigourous, her science of phrasing and the emotional intensity of her interpretations, her exceptional mastery in the service of the passion she conveys: these are some of the elements that make her so popular in the eyes of her audience and the musicians she conducts.
“Orfeo 55 goes against the current trend of out-and-out virtuosity display, cultivating explosive and spectacular brio. The concept of Orfeo 55 is that of a rather straightforward, rigourous, rhythmic Baroque: bows biting hard into the strings, catguts resonating, without weakening the musicians’ velocity. The magnificent gestures of Nathalie’s conducting seem to embrace her musicians’ every move. Thus they tend towards a sort of homogeneous breathing, unanimously seeking expressiveness through this common impetus, which can be seen in Vivaldi’s two concertos for solo orchestra… Debut of a great conductor, she prints the same legatos as in her singing with an exemplary grace and musicality.” – Georges Masson
Orfeo 55 has already performed in Metz, Paris, Avignon, Madrid and Valencia, but also at the festivals of Saint Riquier, Sisteron and Sablé-sur-Sarthe. During the 2010-2011 season, Orfeo 55 plays a Bach programme in Metz and Bordeaux, returns to Paris and performs at the Cuenca festival in Spain. In 2010-2011 Orfeo 55 also make its debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Opera of Monte-Carlo. In addition, during the summer 2011, the chamber orchestra participates to several festivals, such as the festivals of Menton and Vichy.
During the season 2010-2011, Nathalie Stutzmann performs a classical and Romantic repertoire as the guest conductor of Finland’s Kuopio Symphonic Orchestra, of the Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan and of the Symphonic Orchestras of Montpellier, Nancy and Metz. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the passing of Gustav Mahler, Nathalie Stutzmann will be performing numerous concerts around his repertoire. She will be the guest of Sir Simon Rattle for the third and eighth Symphonies at the Berliner Philharmoniker, at the London Royal Festival Hall and at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. She will also be interpreting Mahler in Munich (Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester and Mariss Jansons), Washington (National Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach), London (London Philharmonic Orchestra and Kazushi Ono) and São Paulo (Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and Giancarlo Guerrero). During this season, Nathalie Stutzmann also sings at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, at the Boston Symphony Hall and at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid…
Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters, Nathalie Stutzmann also teaches interpretation around the world.
© Simon Fowler
A documentary about French singer Nathalie Stutzmann