Pia Freund

Photo: Heikki Tuuli

Pia Freund studied voice at the Sibelius Academy and has also studied further with Professor Dorothy Irving in Sweden, among others.

Pia Freund has been a regular guest artist at the Finnish National Opera since her début as Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème. She has subsequently appeared as Anna in Nicolai’s Die lustige Weiber von Windsor and Kyllikki in Tapio Tuomela’s Äidit ja tyttäret (Mothers and Daughters). Her performance as Clemence in Kaija Saariaho’s  L’amour de loin in 2004 and 2006 as well as her performance as Refka in Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater in 2008 was greatly acclaimed.  Recent  years’ engagements include a successful opera debut in the USA, Adriana Mater in Santa Fe Opera, and L’amour de loin in the Bergen Music Festival with Den Nye Opera. Future engagements include e.g. the premiere of a monologue opera by Lotta Wennäkoski at Musica Nova Helsinki festival in 2011.

Other major roles in her repertoire are Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Minna in Rautavaara’s Tietäjien lahja (The Gift of the Magi).

Pia Freund has a concert repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary. She is particularly known for her interpretations of the vocal music of Kaija Saariaho. In 2006 she premiered Kaija Saariaho’s oratorium  La passion de Simone in Wiener Festwochen in Vienna. She has performed that also at the Helsinki Festival and in Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm.

Pia Freund has appeared at the Norrland Opera and the Dortmund Theatre, and at several international festivals, such as the Prague Spring, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the Oleg Kagan Festival. In Finland, she is a regular guest e.g. at the Helsinki Festival, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Naantali Music Festival and the Time of Music contemporary music festival in Viitasaari.

She has worked with many distinguished conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka Pekka Saraste, Peter Schreier, Osmo Vänskä, Herbert Blomstedt, Harry Christophers, Hans Graf, Susanna Mälkki and Ralf Gothóni, and apart from orchestras in Finland she has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble and L’Orchestre National d’Île de France. Recent concert engagements include performances of Sibelius Kullervo Symphony with Orchestre national de Lorraine and Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra and, Mendelssohn Psalm witht the Orquesta Sinfonica de Navarra.

Pia Freund’s competition achievements include first prizes in the Lappeenranta singing competition, the Mustakallio singing competition and the Kangasniemi singing competition in 1990’s. She has received the culture award of the Town of Hämeenlinna and the Sibelius Award of the Sibelius Society. She has numerous discs and TV and radio recordings to her credit.