Pia Freund, soprano
The Finnish soprano Pia Freund’s major vocal studies were at the Sibelius Academy. She has also studied further with Professor Dorothy Irving, Sweden, among others.
Freund has appeared regularly as a guest in the Finnish National Opera since 1992 when she debuted the role of Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème. Subsequently, she has sung e.g. the role of Anna in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and the role of Kyllikki in Tapio Tuomela’s opera Mothers and Daughters. Her significant roles also include Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Minna in Einojuhani Rautavaara’s The Gift of Magi.
Freund is renowned especially for interpreting Kaija Saariaho’s vocal music both in recital and orchestral performances as well as in opera stages. The role of Clemence in Saariaho’s L’amour de loin was a great success in fall 2004 and spring 2006 in the Finnish National Opera.
Freund was also praised for the role of Refka in Saariaho’s Adriana Mater in spring 2008. In fall 2006 she sang the title role in the debut of Saariaho’s oratorio La Passion de Simone in Vienna. She also sang this role in the Helsinki Festival in 2007 and in the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm, both conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. In 2008 Freund performed in the role of Refka in Saariaho’s Adriana Mater in the Finnish National Opera and in the Santa Fe Opera.
Freund has also appeared as a guest in NorrlandsOperan and in the Theater Dortmund. Furthermore, she has appeared in international festivals such as the Rheingau Musik Festival, Les Arcs Music Festival, The Prague Spring International Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Oleg Kagan Festival. In Finland she has given performances in the Helsinki Festival, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Naantali Music Festival and the Time of Music Festival in Viitasaari.
Pia Freund is a versatile singer performing a wide repertoire from baroque to contemporary music. She has had the pleasure to collaborate with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Peter Schreier, Osmo Vänskä, Herbert Blomstedt, Harry Christophers, Ernst Martinez Izquierdo and Ralf Gothóni.
She has performed as a soloist with the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre national d’Île-de-France in addition to various Finnish orchestras.
Freund is the winner of Lappeenranta National Song Contest in 1992, Mustakallio Song Contest in 1991 and Kangasniemi Song Contest in 1991. She has also received the Arts Council of Häme Art Award and Sibelius Medal of the Sibelius Society of Hämeenlinna. She has made various studio, tv and radio recordings.
Freund is renowned for her expressive and vivid as well as conscious approach in all music. Together with her fellow musicians she aspires to find new innovative angles in the musical expression. Owing to this, she frequently performs chamber music, e.g. with the string quartet Meta4. Freund also works continuously with contemporary poets and songwriters debuting several new pieces every year. Songwriters she works with include Lotta Wennäkoski, Matthew Whittall, Kaija Saariaho, and Paola Livorsi, and poets Maritza Nunez.