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Freund's Bio

Pia Freund & Kirsi Kiviharju

Pia Freund, photo: Heikki Tuuli

Pia Freund studied voice at the Sibelius Academy and has also studied under Professor Dorothy Irving in Sweden, among others.

Pia Freund has been a regular guest artist at the Finnish National Opera since her début as Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème. She has subsequently appeared as Anna in Nicolai’s Die lustige Weiber von Windsor and Kyllikki in Tapio Tuomela’s Äidit ja tyttäret (Mothers and Daughters). Her performance in the role of Clemence in Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin in 2004 and 2006 as well as her performance as Refka in Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater in 2008 were highly acclaimed. Recent engagements include her successful opera debut in Adriana Mater in Santa Fe Opera, USA and in L’amour de loin in the Bergen Music Festival with Den Nye Opera.

Other major roles in her repertoire are Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Minna in Rautavaara’s Tietäjien lahja (The Gift of the Magi).

Pia Freund has a concert repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music. She is acclaimed for her interpretations of Kaija Saariaho’s vocal music. The role of Clemence in the Saariaho opera L’amour de loin in the Helsinki National Opera in 2004 and 2006 was a great success. As well as the role of Refka in Saariaho’s opera Adriana Mater in the spring season 2008 of the Helsinki opera. In 2006 she premiered Kaija Saariaho’s oratorium La passion de Simone in Wiener Festwochen in Vienna. In 2007 engagements also included performances of the above mentioned works at the Helsinki Festival and in Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm. In 2008 soprano Freund visited the world famous Santa Fe opera in USA performing as Adriana Mater’s Refka.

She has also appeared in the Norrland Opera and the Dortmund Theatre, and in several international festivals such as the Prague Spring, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the Oleg Kagan Festival. In Finland, she has performed at the Helsinki Festival, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Naantali Music Festival and the Time of Music contemporary music festival in Viitasaari.

Pia Freund has worked with many distinguished conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Peter Schreier, Osmo Vänskä, Herbert Blomstedt, Harry Christophers, Hans Graf, Susanna Mälkki and Ralf Gothóni, and apart from orchestras in Finland she has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble and L’Orchestre National d’Île de France.

Pia Freund’s achievements in competitions include first prizes in the Lappeenranta singing competition in 1992, the Mustakallio singing competition in 1991 and the Kangasniemi singing competition in 1991. She has also received the culture award of the Town of Hämeenlinna and the Sibelius Award of the Sibelius Society. She has numerous discs and TV and radio recordings to her credit.

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Photo: Heikki Tuuli

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