Nathalie Stutzmann (Contralto)

Chief Conductor, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor, Philadelphia Orchestra

credit: Simon Fowler


Nathalie Stutzmann is considered one of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time. Proclaimed “the best contralto in the world“(BR Klassik), Nathalie has spent her career performing with the world’s greatest conductors and orchestras.

Particularly acclaimed for her performances of Mahler, Brahms and Schubert, she is also a highly-praised recitalist. Nathalie has performed more than 300 recitals with Swedish pianist Inger Södergren, with whom she has also recorded several song cycles by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Poulenc and Chausson, among others. Recitals in recent seasons include performances at Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Stockholm Concert Hall, Salle Garnier Monte Carlo, St George’s Hall Liverpool, La Monnaie in Brussels, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, and a Japan tour to celebrate the re-release by Warner/Erato of their earlier recording of the three Schubert song cycles.

Parallel to her concerts as a singer, she devotes most of her singing season to her own chamber orchestra Orfeo 55, created in 2009 and resident at Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier. Nathalie regularly records with Orfeo 55 and is currently an exclusive recording artist of Warner Classics/Erato as a singer and conductor. Recent recordings include Italian arias with “Quella Fiamma”, for which she was praised by Gramophone as being “one of the great baroque singers of our day”, as well as “Heroes from the Shadows” (Handel) awarded of a Diapason d’Or, “Une Cantate Imaginaire” (Bach), and “Prima Donna” (Vivaldi), all with Orfeo 55. This season they will perform at Philharmonie de Paris, Montpellier Opera, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Meldorf Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

Visit Nathalie Stutzmann’s Conducting page here

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    Label: Erato

    Release Date: 15 Jan 21

    Contralto Nathalie Stutzmann shines a light on the deep-voiced female singers of the Baroque era, often overshadowed by the extravagant talents and reputations of castrato singers like Farinelli and Caffarelli. Her programme of Handel, Vivaldi, Porpora, Bononcini, Caldara and Gasparini displays the variety of operatic roles – both female and male – assumed by contraltos like Vittoria Tesi and Anna Marchesini. “We must remember that the opera composers of the early 18th century saw the female contralto and the male castrato as vocally interchangeable,” says Stutzmann, “and that the voice most closely resembling a castrato is not the countertenor – produced using a falsetto technique – but the contralto, which is a natural voice.” Stutzmann both sings and conducts Orfeo 55, the instrumental ensemble she founded a decade ago.

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    Quella Fiamma

    Label: Erato

    Release Date: 27 Dec 17

    The Arie Antiche compiled by Alessandro Parisotti are known to each and every student of classical singing. But with Quella Fiamma, Nathalie Stutzmann and Orfeo 55 breathe new fire into this primer for the voice, performing these songs and arias with original orchestrations, as they would have been heard in their day. Before they were lessons, they were high art.

    This album is a selection of pieces from Arie antiche, a 19th Century collection of songs edited by Alessandro Parisotti to be a vocal primer. Though now more famous as the editor of Arie antiche, Parisotti was also a composer, and he managed to slip one of his own works into the book by attributing to Giovanni Pergolesi his song “Se tu m’ami”. The collection was very much a part of the trend to rediscover old and forgotten works, and the popularity of the three-volume set has endured to this day.

    For this album the musicians of Orfeo 55 have worked painstakingly to source original scores and to edit the parts as necessary. While the instrumental works are not part of Parisotti’s primer, they provide brief musical interludes between the songs to enhance the overall listening experience and bring these works together into a coherent programme.


    “One has to admire […] Stutzmann’s rich, wine-dark voice, noble emotional articulation and, when required, flashy virtuosity. Some of these arias are simply ravishing in her hands”

    “One of the great baroque singers of our day.”

    Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone, Jan 18

    “Die von dieser Altistin interpretierten antiken Arien sind allesamt ein Hörgenuss.”

    Dirk Kruse, BR Klassik, 21 Jan 18

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    Handel: Heroes from the shadows

    Label: Erato / Warner Classics

    Release Date: 14 Nov 14

    Heroes from the Shadows makes stars of the unfairly overlooked roles. Stutzmann conducts her superb musicians playing on Baroque instruments, while singing some of Handel’s most virtuosic arias, all with a rare mastery of both arts – neither one in the shadow of the other.

    conductor/contralto: Nathalie Stutzmann

    Orfeo 55

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    Bach - Une Cantate Imaginaire

    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 05 Nov 12

    Une Cantate Imaginaire
    conductor/contralto: Nathalie Stutzmann
    Orfeo 55

    “Stutzmann performs as soloist and director, imbuing these accounts with personality and vision. Her contralto is distinctive -at once voluptuous and androgynous, with an impressively wide range and sure technique . . . Stutzmann really captures the sublime quality of Bach’s sacred music, and the instrumentalists of Orfeo 55 shape the contours and paint the colours of his counterpoint with eloquent grace. The pristine recording throws the details into high relief.”

    Kate Bolton, BBC Music Magazine, March 2013

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    Vivaldi: Prima Donna

    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 27 Jun 11

    Prima Donna
    conductor/contralto: Nathalie Stutzmann
    Orfeo 55


    “Stutzmann’s heady mixture of raw energy, high-octane passion and stunning vocal acrobatics works marvellously in this imaginatively planned recital . . . It’s a “tour de force” not only for singing – Stutzmann also shows great prowess as a conductor, inspiring her ensemble Orfeo 55 in vibrant and expressive performances throughout.”

    Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine, 2011

    “It is one thing to be eclectic, it is entirely another to show the same talent in all fields. Moving to Deutsche Grammophon, with bag and baggage, not to mention a baton, Nathalie Stutzmann certifies that everything she does, she does well.  Under her leadership, the orchestra imposes itself in exemplary manner. The timbres are fruity, the cantabile delicate, the attack free.  The colors vary wonderfully, and she draws from the instruments a wealth of shades.”

    Sylvain Fort, Classica, May 2011

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    Bach / Marc Minkowski

    Label: Naïve

    Release Date: 04 May 09

    Bach B Minor Mass
    Marc Minkowski, conductor
    Les Musiciens du Louvre

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    Ravel L’enfant et les sortilèges

    Label: EMI

    Release Date: 07 Apr 09

    L’enfant et les sortilèges
    Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
    Berliner Philharmoniker

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    Mahler Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

    Label: Sony

    Release Date: 19 Dec 00

    Mahler Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection’
    Seiji Ozawa, conductor
    Saito Kinen Orchestra
    Live recording

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    Label: RCA Victor Red SEAL

    Release Date: 01 Jan 93

    Volume 1: Dichterliebe, Frauenliebe und Leben, Catherine Collard, RCA Victor Red SEAL 1993

    Volume 2: Liederkreis, Catherine Collard, RCA Victor Red SEAL 1994

    Volume 3: Kerner Lieder, Inger Södergren, RCA Victor Red SEAL 1996

    Volume 4: Lieder Album für die Jugend, Inger Södergren, RCA Victor Red SEAL 1998

    Volume 5: Liederkreis; Romanzen; Balladen, Inger Södergren, RCA Victor Red SEAL 2000