“Carolyn Sampson, whose voice and presence are always recognisable no matter what her disguise, provides three blissful moments of transcendence. The first with her paean to sleep…the second her harvest to love…the third being a heart-stopping performance of ‘O, let me weep.”
Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US.
- Mélisande – Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande – Scottish Opera – directed Sir David McVicar, conducted Stuart Stratford
- Minnesota Orchestra – Mahler Symphony No. 4 – in concert and on disc for BIS Records
- Tours of Japan and Europe with Bach Collegium Japan – Masaaki Suzuki
- Bernstein Kaddish – Tonkunstler Orchestra – Yutaka Sado
- Concerts with Rotterdam Philharmonic (Lahav Shani) Philadelphia Orchestra (Yannick Nézet-Séguin), Boston Symphony (Andris Nelsons), and Bavarian Radio Orchestras
- Recitals with Joseph Middleton at Lincoln Centre New York and San Francisco, Wigmore Hall, Oper Frankfurt, Japan, Concertgebouw, Vienna Konserthaus
On the opera stage her roles have included the title role in Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera (released on DVD) and Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress and Mélisande Pelléas et Mélisande both Sir David McVicar productions for Scottish Opera. Internationally she has appeared at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Montpellier and Opéra National du Rhin. She also sang the title role in Lully’s Psyché for the Boston Early Music Festival, which was released on CD and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy in 2008.
Carolyn Sampson’s numerous concert engagements in the UK have included regular appearances at the BBC Proms and with orchestras including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, Britten Sinfonia, The Sixteen, the Hallé, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras.
In Europe her many appearances have included concerts with Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Gürzenich Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.
In the US Carolyn Sampson has featured as soloist with San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Cincinnati Symphonies, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, and is a regular guest at the Mostly Mozart Festival. In October 2013 she made her Carnegie Hall recital debut to a sold-out audience in the Weill Recital Hall, and most recently gave recitals at the Lincoln Center, New York, and San Francisco Performances. She most recently performed and recorded Mahler Symphony No. 4 with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Carolyn works with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Riccardo Chailly, Ivor Bolton, Markus Stenz, Philippe Herreweghe, Harry Bicket, Trevor Pinnock, Louis Langrée, Harry Christophers, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nezet-Seguin and William Christie.
A consummate recitalist, Carolyn Sampson appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall where she was a “featured artist” in the 14/15 season. She has given recitals at the Oxford and Leeds Lieder, Saintes and Aldeburgh Festivals as well as The Concertgebouw, Oper Frankfurt, Vienna Konzerthaus, Barcelona, Freiburg and recently her debut recital tour of Japan.
Carolyn has developed a partnership with the pianist Joseph Middleton over recent years. Her debut song recital disc, ‘Fleurs’, with Joseph was released early in 2015 featuring songs by composers from Purcell to Britten, and was nominated in the solo vocal category of the Gramophone Awards. Since then they have gone on to release ‘A Verlaine Songbook’, exploring settings of the poetry of Paul Verlaine, ‘Lost is my Quiet’, a duet disc with the countertenor Iestyn Davies and most recently ‘A Soprano’s Schubertiade’ all for the BIS label.
Carolyn’s Harmonia Mundi recording of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater and Sept Répons de Ténèbres was awarded the Choc de l’Année Classica 2014. Other recordings include Mozart’s Requiem with Bach Collegium Japan and her recording of Purcell songs for BIS which was selected as Editor’s Choice in the December 2007 issue of Gramophone Magazine. Her many recordings for Hyperion with The King’s Consort include a highly acclaimed CD of Mozart sacred music ‘Exsultate Jubilate’ which was selected as BBC Music Magazine’s “Record of the Month” and was also the recipient of an ECHO Award. She recorded a highly-acclaimed CD of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Mass for Harmonia Mundi and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly for the Decca label.
Her recording with Ex Cathedra on the Hyperion label, ‘A French Baroque Diva’ – celebrating Marie Fel, a star soprano of Rameau’s time won the recital award in the 2015 Gramophone Awards. Carolyn was also nominated for Artist of the Year in the 2017 Gramophone Awards, and her recording of Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Exsultate Jubilate with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan won the Choral Award. Her recent disc of Bach Cantatas for soprano with Freiburger Barockorchester with Petra Müllejans for Harmonia Mundi was awarded a Diapason D’or, and listed in the New York Times best classical music recordings of 2017.
Recent and future highlights include tours with Freiburger Barockorchester, Bach Collegium Japan and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century; concerts with Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Danish National Radio Symphony, Göteborg Symfoniker, Tonkünstler-Orchester, as well as concerts in the UK with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort and Players, Academy of Ancient Music, and Ex Cathedra. Recital highlights include those at Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin.