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Christòpheren Nomura

 

Baritone

 

(updated January 2014 – please discard any previous version)

 

"Christòpheren Nomura is definitely a face to watch – and a voice to hear.

His musical intentions are both subtle and direct. He has a wonderfully

expressive face and a first-class baritone voice – warm, robust and clear."

Richard Dyer – The Boston Globe

 

 

 

Baritone Christòpheren Nomura has emerged at the forefront of his generation of singers. Since making his New York City debut, he has performed throughout the world, hailed as one of classical music's "rising stars" by the Wall Street Journal.

 

Mr. Nomura has earned a prominent place on the operatic, concert and recital stages, appearing with many of the leading North American orchestras, in wide-ranging repertoire:  the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Boston Pops under internationally renowned conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Sergiu Comissiona, Christof Perick, Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Ton Koopman, Bruno Weil, Paul Goodman, Jane Glover, Andrew Parrott, and Nicholas McGegan.

 

He has become a regular guest artist with a number of orchestras including the Pacific Symphony Orchestra under Carl St. Clair and the North Carolina Symphony with Grant Llewellyn. In 2006 he sang the title role in the premiere of Philip Glass’ The Passion of Rama Krishna for the Pacific Symphony’s inaugural concerts in Segerstrom Concert Hall, reprised and recorded there in 2011. He also gave the premiere of Alva Henderson’s From Greater Light with the Pacific Symphony in 2009. That season brought the first of several appearances with the Oregon Bach Festival in Haydn’s Creation under Helmuth Rilling.  His debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah brought a return engagement in the 2012-13 season. Other recent performances include the Cartagena International Festival in Bach’s B Minor Mass with Dawn Upshaw, his debut with Boston’s Discovery Ensemble in Martin’s Jedermann  Monologues and the premiere of Songs of War & Loss by Anthony Plog, a commission for Nomura and the American Brass Quintet which he sang again for his Aspen Festival debut in 2012.

 

A noted Bach and early music specialist, Christòpheren Nomura has been a frequent performer with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Oregon Bach Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, Music of the Baroque, Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival, Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Baroque and the Berkshire Choral Festival. He has performed with Apollo's Fire, Tafelmusik and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. His collaborations with such ensembles as the S'Kampa, Boromeo, Brentano and St. Lawrence String Quartets and pianists Martin Katz, Dalton Baldwin, Charles Wadsworth, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and William Bolcom have brought him to the leading American Chamber Music Festivals in Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Spoleto, Music@Menlo and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

 

In the realm of opera, Mr. Nomura is a noted Mozartean, known for his portrayals of Don Giovanni, Papageno in The Magic Flute, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte. He sang Papageno for his debut with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Cosi fan tutte for his Hawaii Opera debut and the count in Figaro for his Opera Carolina debut. He has likewise had a strong association with Puccini's Madama Butterfly. He was Prince Yamadori in the SONY film co-directed by Martin Scorsese and Frédéric Mitterand, conducted by James Conlon and appeared in Butterfly for his debuts with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, Dallas Opera and  Cincinnati Opera.

 

Known for his deep commitment to the art of the recital, he has given more than 250 recitals throughout North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. He has appeared at Lincoln Center, the “Making Music” series at Carnegie Hall, the Celebrity Series in Boston, Ravinia, the John F. Kennedy Center and the Vancouver Recital Society. He was Artist-In-Residence with San Francisco Performances for four seasons.

 

Among other notable performances, he was invited to sing Bernstein's Mass at the Vatican for the "Jubilee Year," in 2000 performing before an audience of 15,000 in the Salla Nervi, simulcast to some 200,000 people in Vatican Square.

 

Christòpheren Nomura's discography includes recordings on the Sony, Dorian, Teldec, London, Denon, TDK and L'oiseau Lyre labels. His recording of the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 on Telarc was nominated for a Grammy (Best Classical Ensemble Recording). He recorded Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin for Well-Tempered Productions and Never Broken a solo recording of contemporary compositions, for Center Stage Records. All Is Bright with Grant Llewellyn and the Handel and Haydn Society made the Billboard classical charts and was named Musicweb International's "Recording of the Month."

 

Mr. Nomura has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including a four-year Fulbright Grant to study with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey and Gérard Souzay. He was winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions as well as the Naumburg, United States Information Agency Music Ambassadors and the Marilyn Horne Foundation competitions. He holds a Masters degree and Artists Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music.

 

Critical acclaim:

Baldwin-Wallce Bach Festival:
“A fine quartet of vocal soloists added emotional resonance to the performance. Baritone Christopheren Nomura sang with noble authority.”

                                                            Cleveland Plain Dealer - April 21, 2013

Bach St. John Passion, National Cathedral, Washington, DC:
“Christopheren Nomura and Nicholas Phan were powerfully expressive.”    

                                                            Washington Post - March 25

Haydn’s Creation, National Cathedral, Washington, DC:
Keith, Muller and Nomura individually brought a unique quality in their solo singing and were a perfect match when they sang in ensemble. Nomura’s baritone was commanding, but also possessed a glowing warmth. Nomura made wonderful use of falsetto as he sang of the ‘light and flaky’ snow. Such thoughtful interpretative nuances breathed life into the age old story.”

                                                            Washington Life - October 29, 2012

Aspen Music Festival with the American Brass Quintet:
“An impressive new work, Songs of War and Loss, written by Anthony Plog in 2011, found deep reservoirs of beauty and power in a series of Civil War poems by Walt Whitman. Baritone Christòpheren Nomura sang the words with conviction, warmth and lyric sound while the writing for the brass painted the scenes behind them. ‘How Solemn as One by One,’ an arresting depiction of an army company fording a stream, and ‘Reconciliation,’ a touching glimpse of a surviving soldier honoring his dead opponent, were especially moving.”

                                                            Seenandheardinternational - July 24, 2012

Wadsworth concert, Newnan, Charles Wadsworth, piano:
The concert was impressive right out of the gate, beginning with Handel, followed by Christopheren Nomura singing four Aaron Copland tunes. Charles asked the audience to hold its applause for Nomura until after the fourth song. Ha, ha ... fat chance. Nomura was welcomed to thunderous applause and a sprinkle of Bravisimos immediately following a lively rendition of ‘Zion’s Walls’ and again after the last number, ‘Chinga-Ring Chaw.’ I think the Boston Globe put it best: ‘Christòpheren Nomura is definitely a face to watch — and a voice to hear.’ This was a thoroughly enjoyable concert.”                                              Newnan Times Herald - April 25, 2012

 

Brahms Requiem, Kennedy Center, Norman Scribner’s conductor:
“Nomura brought a sense of mystery to his solo lines in ‘Herr, lehre doch mich.’  Giving just enough voice to reveal its beautifully, rounded warmth, it was later in the movement that a more robust sound came forth, with great authority.

                                                            Washington Examiner - April 23, 2012

Handel’s L’Allegro, Music of the Baroque, Jane Glover, conductor:
L’Allegro with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque under Jane Glover:
There was an excellent quartet of soloists. Bass Christòpheren Nomura effectively announced himself with a velvety account of ‘If I give thee honor due’ and subsequently fielded the rapid passagework of ‘Populous cities’ with distinction.”                                                                 Opera News - July 2012


“Christopheren Nomura skillfully deployed his firmly focused bass-baritone and showed daunting flexibility in a jaunty Mirth, admit me of thy crew.”

                                                            Chicago Classical Review - March 27, 2012

 

Brahms Requiem and Four Serious Songs with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem”
“Baritone Christòphren Nomura and soprano Heimes gave powerful solo performances. The program opened with one of the last pieces from Brahms’ pen, the Four Serious Songs. Nomura’s voice, powerful in the lower registers and velvety in the upper ones, was well-fitted to singing about death and sorrow. It was a gripping performance.”                                                               Lehigh Valley Music - March 18, 2012

Mahler Rückert songs, Lincoln Center ,“What Makes it Great:”

“His pure, rich baritone came alive in the softest notes, particularly in ‘Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,’ the evening's final song, which many consider to be Mahler's finest. This utterly devastating yet thrilling song shows the true modern soul of the composer. Nomura sang in German, pausing and emphasizing words and notes. Suddenly the music took on a different form. It was almost like understanding a conversation in a foreign language for the first time. An educated, suddenly childlike group shared a moment of silence that Mahler would have cherished before applauding this entertaining and enlightening music lesson.”             Operanews.com – May 2011

 

Cartagena International Festival:

The most popular—and populist—piece of the evening was the Largo al Factotum aria from The Barber of Seville. Baritone Christòpheren Nomura appeared on stage drinking a glass of wine, then ran to the microphone just in time to begin singing, accompanied on piano by the festival’s artistic director, Stephen Prutsman. Within seconds, the audience was laughing. Although the aria is very demanding technically—with its constant singing of triplets, allegro vivace (quick and lively) tempo, and tongue-twisting Italian superlatives (everything ending in –issimo)—you would never know, given the levity and humor Nomura brought to it. Coming close to the end, he rendered the repeated ‘Figaros’ for which the piece is known with especial gusto. At one point, he even called out to the audience.”                                                                   Americas Quarterly – January 11, 2011

 

Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs at the New Hampshire Music Festival:

Five Mystical Songs received a compelling and sumptuous performance by baritone Christòpheren Nomura. Lewis was with the richly experienced Nomura at every turn, and the baritone wove a thread of moving intensity into every line, taking us to the very heart of these surpassing poems and the music that illuminates it ever further. It is difficult to imagine a more beautiful performance of this work.” 

                                                      Boston Musical Intelligencer - August 10, 2010 

 

Pacific Symphony, Music Director Carl St. Clair’s 20th Anniversary concert:  

“Christòpheren Nomura arrived to sing Mahler's ‘Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,’ one of the composer's gorgeous farewells, dispatched with intimate feeling by Nomura, accompanied raptly by St.Clair.”  

                                                      Orange County Register - May 19, 2010

 

Bethlehem Bach Festival:

“Bach's Magnificat in D displayed Christopheren Nomura's bass-baritone, stunning in his arias.”     Bethlehem Press - May 12, 2010

 

“Bass-baritone Christòpheren Nomura excelled in a booming performance of ‘Ich will’.”      Morning Call - May 9, 2010

 

 “Dominating the solo voices was baritone Christopheren Nomura, who portrayed Jesus with a booming, resonant voice. He was the only musician to perform from memory, giving him a dramatic edge that he used to great advantage.” Five stars out of five.                                                       Birmingham News - April 10, 2010

 

Tucson Winter Festival:

"The cast for Ravel's 'Chansons madécasses' included the formidable baritone Christopheren Nomura, who brought lusty, lyrical vocals to the erotically tinged songs."        Arizona Daily Star - March 12, 2010

 

“Portraying their roles with deep conviction were soloists Christòpheren Nomura, Gillian Keith, Clare Wilkinson, Alan Bennett and Craig Phillips.”

                                                      Washington Post - February 23, 2010

 

Mahler with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra:

“Nomura’s rich, supple voice conveyed the despair of unrequited love in ‘Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht,’ the joy of spring in ‘Ging heut’ Morgen uber’s Feld’ and the passion of jealousy in ‘Ich hab’ ein gluhend Messer’.” 

                                                      Columbus Dispatch - February 7, 2010

 

“One of the evening’s highlights was the bass air, “The trumpet shall sound,” with Christòpheren Nomura, who has appeared with Cincinnati Opera, and principal trumpet Robert Sullivan. Each artist embellished their solos wonderfully, and together their artistry was stunning.”                                                          

                                                      Cincinnati.com - December 17, 2009

 

“The baritone was remarkably good, infusing his lines with emotion, drama, mystery, and – always – immense dignity.”                                                          

                                                      Classical Voice of NC - December 6, 2009

 

“Possessing an imposing instrument, bass Christòpheren Nomura as the villain of the piece Polyphemus.”                                                        Chicago Classical Review - October 17, 2009

 

Orchestra Iowa, Cedar Rapids:

Headline: Orchestra Iowa stages monumental concert

“Without a doubt, Orchestra Iowa's 'Burana at Brucemore' was the finest program I've seen in 27. And what a stellar night it was, from the concert's majestic beginning to triumphant ending, peppered with bravoes, cheers, whistles and standing ovations throughout. Baritone soloist Christopheren Nomura gave everyone the shock of the evening. Calmly lounging on a blanket in the audience during the opening piece, he heard the opening passages to his piece, jumped up, gulped his wine, grab his tux jacket - and started singing from the audience. He darted through the crowd, sang to some kids down front, plopped in an empty lawn chair, then sprinted up the ramp to take his rightful place centerstage. The ruse was totally hilarious and appropriate for his role as Figaro in the instantly recognizable “Largo al Factotum” from “The Barber of Seville.” He completely charmed the crowd with Figaro's bravado, and drew an immediate standing ovation. He raised the bar high.  The vocal soloists were superb in their physical interpretations of the text, and the orchestra has never sounded better. I could go on and on with accolades. Suffice it to say, this concert was monumental in every sense.”      

                                                      Cedar Rapids Gazette - September 13, 2009

 

“Chistòpheren Nomura balanced dignified phrasing with genuine feeling. You couldn't ask for more.”         Orange County Register - August 9, 2009

 

Haydn's "Creation," Oregon Bach Festival:

"The performance offered many excellent moments, including elaborate arias for baritone Christopheren Nomura."                                                              Oregonian - June 27, 2009

 

“But baritone Christòpheren Nomura was often deeply affecting, as in his final solo and in his singing of “after the blast of light’ning,” from the Sanctus.”

                                                            SFClassicalVoice - April 23, 2009

 

Bach Christmas Oratorio, Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival:

“The account featured fine contributions from several prominent guest soloists. Christopheren Nomura’s authoritative declamation and keen phrasing proved gripping in the baritone solos.”          Cleveland Plain Dealer - April 19, 2009

 

Hindemith's “Lilacs” Requiem, Cathedral Choral Society, Washington, DC:

“Christòpheren Nomura sang with stentorian power, preserving the force and beauty of his voice all the way to the work's conclusion.”                                                                                                                

                                                            Washington Post - March 10, 2009

 

Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" with the North Carolina Symphony:

“The soloists were all outstanding. As good as these were, it was when bass Nomura first sang that you could sense a collective ‘wow’ creep through the auditorium. Although he held his score at his side, he never looked at the music and the power and depth of his voice was tornadic in its effect.”                  

                                                            Classical Voice of NC - December 7, 2008

 

Adams' "El Nino" Choral Arts Society, DC

“Christopheren Nomura did vivid work.”      

                                                            Baltimore Sun - May 30, 2008

 

“Nomura at his most impressive."       Washington Post - May 20, 2008

 

Mahler and Schubert with the Peoria Symphony:

"The Mahler was heart-stopping. The feelings represented in these songs are vividly and precisely represented. Nomura's baritone proved flexible and sensitive to the text. Nomura's ability to capture subtle and not-so-subtle changes in the music was striking. The second song, for example, begins joyfully with all the freshness of morning and then almost imperceptibly passes into dreaminess; Nomura realized this shading over from one mood to the other with great sensitivity."

                                                            Peoria Journal Star - April 28, 2008

 

Jesus in Bach’s St. Mattehw Passion, Music of the Baroque, Jane Glover, conductor:

"Baritone Christopheren Nomura sang the part of Jesus as if wayward souls depended on it. If there's a blueprint for the portrayal of God's son in the leading hours to his crucifixion, Nomura's bold and courageous enactment ought to be it."

                                                            Chicago Sun Times - April 2, 2008

 

Mahler Songs of a Wayfarer, Memphis Symphony:

“The sweetest relationship was found in Mahler's "Songs of a
 Wayfarer," with baritone Christopheren Nomura and the MSO making 
beautiful music together. Nomura was terrifically
 controlled and expressive while Maestro David Loebel led the MSO in an 
eloquent, carefully balanced accompaniment.
”                                                                                               Commercialappeal.com - November 18, 2007

 

Rauschenberg in Scott Wheeler's "The Construction of Boston," with Boston Cecilia:

"Wheeler's Construction of Boston: "Makes you want to listen to the singing voices, especially when the singers are baritone Christopheren Nomura as Rauschenberg."

                                                            Boston Phoenix - April 5, 2007

 

“Baritone Christopheren Nomura was the stentorian Rauschenberg, his snapped rhythms imposing weather and residents on the nascent city like a stern parent.”

                                                            Boston Globe - April 3, 2007

 

Bach's "B Minor Mass" at the Berea Bach Festival in Severance Hall:

“The vocal soloists were first-rate: baritone Christopheren Nomura, nobly expressive.” Cleveland Plain Dealer - April 23, 2007

 

Christus in Bach's "St. Luke Passion" with the Washington Bach Consort:

"Nomura sang the part of Jesus with the requisite empathy and calm."

                                                            Washington Post – March 20, 2007

 

Singing Mahler and Ravel with the Annapolis Symphony:

“What hit home was Mahler's 'Songs of a Wayfarer' as performed by baritone Christopheren Nomura. Sporting luxurious tone and a vocal range that takes him from powerful notes in the lower register to a drop-dead gorgeous voice up high, Nomura entered the spirit of these remarkable songs with as open a heart as one could wish for on Valentine's Day weekend. In the opening song, he explored every emotional dimension of Mahler's halting testimony to love, loss and resignation as the lover contemplating his beloved's marriage to someone else. Mahler was a composer of tremendous extremes. Nomura conveyed this in Ging heut' morgens ubers Feld, where gentle joy mingles with wistful sadness, then morphs into the rage of Ich hab'ein glühend Messer, which articulates the torment of betrayal with scorching empathy. And it would be hard to imagine a sweeter, more romantic surrender to the joys and sorrows of life than Die zwei blauen Augen, which Nomura sang with aching beauty as the cycle ended. Novo and his players played wonderful hosts to their visitor, following him with complete conviction through an expressive score replete with interpretive challenges. They also hit the mark as they joined Nomura in Ravel's three Don Quixote songs addressed to the knight's love, Dulcinea The songs run the gamut from rapt spirituality to drunken abandon; and Novo, his soloist, and his players brought all of it home with an irresistible charm no one could resist, certainly not in the shadow of Valentine's Day.”                    

                                                           Baltimore Sun – Feb. 23, 2007

 

Bach’s “Coffee Cantata,” Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:

“Aler and Nomura were first-rate colleagues in the 'Coffee' Cantata.”

                                                            New York Times – December 12, 2006

 

Bach Cantatas, Washington Bach Consort:

Of a solid quartet of soloists, Christopheren Nomura stood out; his light, agile voice and his immaculate German diction easily ranged from stentorian recitatives to memorably lyrical arias." Washington Post - May 9, 2006

 

Handel Messiah, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, conductor

Named to SF Classical Voice’s “best of the year” list.

“Baritone Christòpheren Nomura sang expressively, ornamenting tastefully, and rarely, if ever, looking at his score. 'Behold, I tell you a mystery' was a magic moment, McGegan starting the orchestra pianissimo and Nomura keeping it down until, in the twinkling of an eye, the last trumpet appeared."                                      

                                                            SFCV.org – January 3, 2006

 

Barber’s Dover Beach with the Cypress String Quartet:

“The Cypress was joined by Christopheren Nomura, a remarkable artist. Barber's Dover Beach's dark lyricism found its voice in Nomura's delivery: round and firm through all registers, full of heft and weight, then smoke and twilight. Il Tramonto's every emotion and narrative turn was conveyed deftly by Nomura, a fine actor. And his voice: here, it was almost weightless, floating into the upper register, sheerly beautiful.” San Jose Mercury News - December 6, 2005

 

 “The other attraction in the concert was the unusual combination of baritone with string quartet, featuring Christopheren Nomura.  Nomura interprets such pieces so soulfully, so reverberantly in his rich sonic texture, no performance of his lapses into mere narration.”               Artssf.com Week of December 6-13, 2005

 

All Is Bright, with the Handel and Haydn Society, Grant Llywellyn, conductor

“The involvement of baritone Christopheren Nomura is luxury casting indeed. He's a noble soloist producing a splendidly round sound. This is as fine a performance of the piece as I've heard. With Nomura on hand, the inclusion of Howell's 'A Spotless Rose' was logical. He makes a mellifluous contribution to an excellkently prepared account of this carol. The disc ends with a setting of Hodie Christus natus est, this time by Tom Vignieri. This piece was commissioned by Grant Llewellyn for the choir and here receives its first recording. There's an important part for solo baritone, which suggests to me that it may have been commissioned specifically with this CD and the participation of Nomura in mind. He sings splendidly once again. This is as fine a Christmas disc as I've heard in a long time. If you're looking for a seasonal gift for a musical friend this year then this could be the perfect solution. But one word of warning. Don't sample it first or you may be tempted to keep it instead as a treat for yourself. I'm certain that this excellent CD will be in my player this Christmas Eve!”

            Musicweb Intl. - November 28