Personal Summary / Bio
French-born vocalist and scholar Anne Azéma directs the American early music ensemble The Boston Camerata and the French ensemble, Aziman. As a performer, she has been acclaimed by critics on five continents for her original, passionate, and vivid approach to songs and texts of the Middle Ages. De Volkskrant, an Amsterdam publication, noted that “Azéma is, in her genre, as great as Callas or Fischer Dieskau.” Anne Azéma's singing has also been widely praised in many other repertoires, from Renaissance lute songs to Baroque sacred music to twentieth-century music theatre. Her recent appointment as director of the Boston Camerata has been described as “an inspired choice” by Musicalcritiscism.com (UK). The critic of Sandiego.com recently commented, “With the new direction of Anne Azéma, [the Camerata's] leadership in the field is not in question.”
Anne Azéma is not only the performer, but also the creator of her programs. She researches and edits the repertoire, frequently transcribing the material herself from original sources. Ms. Azéma’s recent new productions include, for Aziman, The Night’s Tale: A Tournament of Love, (Arsenal.Metz and Luxembourg, 2007); CD on the K 617 label, France. For the Boston Camerata, she has recently created Land of Pure Delight (2008), A Distant Haven (2009), A Symphony of Psalms (2009), The Maria Monologues (2010), Alexander the Great: Hero, Warrior, Lover (2010). Among other projects, Anne Azéma and the Boston Camerata have recently been commissioned to create five new programs of Medieval music, in celebration of the anniversary of the Reims Cathedral (1211-2011).
Anne Azéma has been a soloist with numerous ensembles, large and small, early and contemporary. She is also the co-founder of the Camerata Mediterranea, touring with them internationally and appearing on all of their Cds (Edison Prize). Her recent festival invitations as a soloist, recitalist or director include Amsterdam, Graz, Dresden, Leipzig, Utrecht, Spoleto, Seville, Savannah, Versailles, Jerusalem, Berlin, Boston, Bergen, Ambronay, Utrecht, Casablanca, Perth, Montpellier, Wellington, Kyoto, Tanglewood and Tokyo.
Ms Azéma's current discography numbers over thirty-five recordings as a soloist, recitalist or director, on the Warner, Erato (Grand Prix du Disque), Calliope, K 617, ATMA, Harmonia Mundi, Bridge, Virgin labels.
Among her teaching activities are master classes, seminars and residencies at conservatories and universities in France, Holland, Mexico and the U.S. Recent U.S. residencies include semesters as Distinguished Artist in Residence at both the University of Oregon, Eugene, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been guest lecturer at Boston University, McGill University, the University of Georgia (Athens), the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), and the Boston Conservatory of music. In Europe, she has taught and directed master classes at conservatories in Amsterdam, the Hague, and Tilburg (Netherlands), Metz and Strasbourg (France). In the company of philologist and Professor Emeritus Pierre Bec, and colleagues Joel Cohen and Shira Kammen, she co-directed the well-known summer course in medieval monody at Coaraze (France, 1997-2006). She has contributed articles to scholarly and general audience publications. In July 2010, Ms Azéma was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.
Anne Azéma, will return to the University of Oregon, Eugene in the Spring of 2012, as the Robert M. Trotter Distinguished Visiting Professor.