S i n g e r

When I was about 18 years old, a friend asked me to listen to a CD he thought I would like. I remember standing in his living room, totally struck by the sound that streamed out of his stereo and worked its way right into my heart and soul. Tears flooded down my cheeks, and my whole being was in absolute harmony with what I heard. The music was the first duet from Pergolesi's 1736 Stabat Mater with soprano Dame Emma Kirkby, countertenor James Bowman and the Academy of Ancient Music - my first true experience with baroque music. I instantly knew that I had found an art form that could allow self-expression and artistic development. Having already gone back and forth between jazz and classical music, I had now discovered music where I could combine my love for experimenting with lyrics, the lower register of my voice with my aim to create a clear and ringing sound with the higher register of my voice whilst improvising against a bassline. What bliss!


I have had the privilege of studying baroque singing with Susanne Rydén at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and with my idol and mentor Dame Emma Kirkby at the Guildhall School of Music in London. Other teachers along the way who have been tremendously important to me, serving as fantastic guides, role models and sources of inspiration, include viola da gamba players Erin Headley and Nora Roll, flautist Nancy Hadden, singers Nancy Argenta, Ingrid Hülphers, Hedvig Eriksson, Elisabeth Belgrano and Lena-Susanne Norin, lute players Nigel North, Karl Nyhlin and Anders Ericson, dancer and guitarist Steven Player, dancers Kaj Sylegård, Jane Gingell and Anna-Karin Ståhle, conductors and artistic directors Mark Tatlow and Simon Murphy, and many, many more.


I combined studies in music and singing with studies in early dance, and since graduation I have performed on a freelance basis in Sweden and Europe, singing with numerous ensembles and orchestras including the New Dutch Academy, the New York Bach Ensemble, the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble, REbaroque, the Swedish Baroque Orchestra, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and Tirami Su. My repertoire has mostly been within the early music genre, which is in many ways a very wide genre. I move between mediaeval hymns in French Latin to early German Lieder from the first decade of the 19th century and everything in between: mediaeval, renaissance, baroque and classical repertoire from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, England, Spain, Latin America, Sweden and Finland.


In recent years, I have also found ways to return to my first love - jazz – I’ve come full circle. All the knowledge and experience I have gained through my work in early music are now the  bedrock of my approach not only to the jazz repertoire, but also tango, folk music, chansons...

And, having gone through all the necessary states of learning to develop my form of expression and music making - from curiosity, perseverance, stubbornness, from I-know-how-this-should-be-done to I-don't-have-a-clue-but-let's-find-out and so on - I have realised that my aim in any style is to be the instrument through which a story and emotions can be transferred from the composer to the listener. 

 

 

 

© 2016 Anna Nyhlin

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