Biography english

Sarah Maria Sun is known as one of the foremost and most extraordinary performers in the contemporary music scene. In addition to numerous songs, operas and oratorios, her repertoire currently includes more than 900 compositions from the 20th and 21st centuries, including more than 300 world premieres. She has a close working relationship with a wide variety of composers, including Helmut Lachenmann, Heinz Holliger, Salvatore Sciarrino and Bernhard Lang, among many others. North German Radio (NDR) has dedicated portrait concerts to her in 2012, 2016 and 2018.

She regularly performs as a soloist in concert halls and festivals such as the Suntory Hall Tokyo, the Muziekgebow Amsterdam, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Auditorio National Madrid, the Berlin and Cologne Philharmonic, the Biennale Paris, Venice and Munich, the Arnold Schönberg Center Vienna and the festivals in Witten, Donaueschingen and Herrenhausen.

Her tremendous adaptability is demonstrated on a regular basis on the music-theater stage. She has appeared at the opera houses in Zurich, Basel, Dresden, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Mannheim, Leipzig, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Zagreb, and the Opéra Bastille and the Opéra Comique in Paris. She shows her skill for haunting theatrical and musical interpretation time and again in the depiction of complex female figures. In particular, the monodramas Yes I Will Yes by Dieter Schnebel (Elbphilharmonie Hamburg), Carlotas Zimmer by Arturo Fuentes with Klangforum Wien (Klangspuren Schwaz), Lohengrin by Salvatore Sciarrino (Salzburg Easter Festival), and Kolik by Jannik Giger, Leo Hoffmann and Benjamin von Bebber (Gare du Nord Basel) are especially noteworthy. For her roles as Elsa in Sciarrino‘s Lohengrin (2017) and as Gwen in 4.48 Psychose by Philip Venables (Semper Zwei Dresden 2019), she was nominated by Opernwelt twice as singer of the year.

Sarah Maria Sun has performed with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Thomas Hengelbrock, Susanna Mälkki, Peter Rundel, Heinz Holliger and more with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the North, Bavarian, South-West and West German Radio Orchestras, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Antwerp and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras and ensembles such as musikFabrik Köln, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Intercontemporain as well as the string quartets Diotima, Arditti, Minguet and Signum.

From 2007-2014, she was the first soprano of the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, a chamber ensemble of seven singers that has been one of the world‘s leading pioneers of contemporary music for 30 years.

Sarah Maria Sun‘s discography includes more than 30 CDs, some of which have been awarded prizes. In 2017, four of her six new releases were nominated for the German Record Critics‘ Award. In fall 2019, her latest and most contrasting CDs Harawi with songs by Olivier Messiaen and Killer Instincts presenting works by Tom Waits, Kurt Weill, Leonard Bernstein, Randy Newman, John Kander, Stephen Sondheim i.a. will be released on the label Mode Records.

Sarah Maria Sun studied singing in Cologne and Stuttgart and most importantly worked with Darinka Segota and Tanja Ariane Baumgartner. She regularly gives masterclasses for vocal music from the 20th and 21st centuries; for instance, at universities and conservatoires in Oslo, Harvard, Chicago, Stockholm, Zurich, Lucerne, Rostock, Moscow, Dresden, Hanover or Berlin.

In the 2019/20 season, Sarah Maria Sun will perform Schönberg‘s Pierrot Lunaire and Weill‘s Seven Deadly Sins with the Ensemble Modern and HK Gruber at the Beethovenfest Bonn. She will also sing the role of Eliza Doolittle in Frederick Loewe‘s My Fair Lady in New Year’s Eve/New Year’s performances with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Furthermore, she will interpret the world premiere Fragmente einer Unzeit by Iris ter Shiphorst with the Ensemble Modern and Heinz Holliger at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam and at November Music in S’Hertogenbosch. Concerts at Wien Modern, the Tonhalle Maag Zürich, the Osterfestival Tirol, the Philharmonie Luxembourg i. a. will complete the season.

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