American-Canadian Zach Finkelstein has quickly established himself as a leading tenor soloist in North America and abroad, from Seattle’s Benaroya Hall to New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s Sadler’s Wells to the National Arts Center in Beijing, China.
In the concert world, Zach is known for his “refined” and “elegant” (Vancouver Observer) interpretation of the works of Bach, Mozart and Handel, among others. In the 2014-2015 seasons, Zach sang 13 performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Victoria Symphony and the Rogue Valley Symphony; seven performances of Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium (his Evangelist “first among equals”, Vancouver Sun) with Stephen Stubbs’ Pacific Music Works, Early Music Vancouver, Victoria’s Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque and the Symphony Nova Scotia; he performed with the Seattle Symphony as the tenor soloist in the Mozart Requiem under Ludovic Morlot; he sang Bach’s Johannespassion with the Portland Baroque Orchestra; Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum and Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli with Jane Glover and the Music of the Baroque in Chicago; Handel’s Israel and Egypt with Orchestra Seattle; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Bach Elgar Choir in Hamilton, Canada; Handel’s Solomon and Mass in B Minor at the Elora Festival in Ontario; and Bach Cantatas 106 and 182 at the Whidbey Island Music Festival. In 2016-17 Zach’s performance schedule includes Haydn’s Creation in Toronto with the Toronto Mendellsohn Choir and Orchestra; Bach Mass in B Minor and Advent Cantatas with the Pacific Music Works; 12 performances of the Christmas Oratorio and Messiah with the Calgary Philharmonic, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Choir, Kevin Mallon’s Thirteen Strings, Bach Choir of Bethlehem and Masterworks of Oakville Orchestra and Chorus; Matthäus-Passion (Evangelist) with Thirteen Strings; Satie’s Socrates in Texas with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Portland Chamber Orchestra; and recitals in San Antonio, TX; UC Davis, California; New York City; Seattle, WA and New York City. In 2016, Zach also won the 1st International Tafelmusik Vocal Competition and was selected as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow at the Carmel Bach Festival.
Recently hailed by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times as a “compelling tenor,” he made his New York City Opera debut in April 2013 as Mambre in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto, a production dubbed by Tommasini as one of the Top 10 classical events of 2013. In 2014-15, Zach sang the role of Damon “with sensitivity and grace” (Boston Classical Review) in Acis and Galatea, performances conducted by Nicholas McGegan leading Philharmonia Baroque in Berkeley, CA as well as with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, MA. In 2016, Zach made his haute-contre debut as Orphee in back-to-back productions of Gluck’s Orphee et Eurydice with Brava! Opera Theatre (English) and Opera Grand Rapids (French).
Mr. Finkelstein is also an evangelist for new and contemporary classical works, an oeuvre he discovered as a two-time Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Most recently in New York City, Zach premiered a new work Threshold for tenor and orchestra with the Argento Ensemble, a piece created specifically for Zach by Prix-de-Rome-winning composer Jesse Jones. The New York Times’ James Oestrich commended this “excellent” performance: “Zach Finkelstein negotiated Mr. Jones’s high tenor flights with aplomb”. Satie’s Socrate, a thirty-minute political monodrama for tenor and piano (“beautifully sung”, UK Daily Telegraph), has also become a signature piece for Mr. Finkelstein, toured regularly with the Mark Morris Dance Group across the United States as well as London, UK and a recent debut in Shenzhen and Beijing, China. Zach also performed the American premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Songs from the same earth with pianist Mike Brofman at the Brooklyn Art Song Society and returns this season to perform a recital of Jake Heggie and Reynaldo Hahn.
In the media, Zach has performed opera excerpts on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera as well as Toronto’s Classical 96.3 FM and Seattle’s KING FM. Both Musical Toronto and Opera Canada Magazine have profiled Mr. Finkelstein as a singer to watch.
Mr. Finkelstein is currently with Dean Artists Management and holds an Artist Diploma (Voice) from the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School in Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Political Science from McGill University, in Montreal. As a young artist, Zach participated in the Tanglewood Music Festival, Banff Opera as Theatre, the International Vocal Arts Institute and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme.
|Britten||Sir Phillip Wingrave/Narrator||OWEN WINGRAVE|
|Donizetti||Nemorino||ELIXIR OF LOVE|
|Handel||Damon||ACIS AND GALATEA|
|Knussen||The Cat/Milkman||HIGGELTY, PIGGLETY POP!|
|Martinu||Schoolmaster||COMEDY ON THE BRIDGE|
|COSÌ FAN TUTTE
DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
|Rossini||Mambre||MOSES IN EGYPT|
|Thomson, Virgil||St. Chavez/St. Stephen||FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS|
MASS IN B-MINOR
|Mozart||REQUIEM IN D MINOR|
|Rossini||PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE|
|Schubert||MASS IN E FLAT|
Selected Song Cycles
|Beethoven||AN DIE FERNE GELIEBTE|
|Brahms||LIEBESLIEDER-WALTZER, OP. 52|
|NEUE LIEBESLIEDER-WALTZER, OP. 65|
|Britten||BIRTHDAY HANSEL FOR HARP AND TENOR
CANTICLE V FOR HARP AND TENOR
|Ravel||CINQ MELODIES POPULAIRES GRECQUES|
|Vaughan Williams||ON WENLOCK EDGE|
*complete recital repertoire available upon request
“Zach Finkelstein, tenor, as archangel ‘Uriel’, displayed a lyric tenor sound that was warm and smooth in his recitatives. Finkelstein’s musicianship sparkled in the beautiful lines of his aria in Part II.” [Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Creation] Toronto Arts Review, David Richards
“The performances…. were excellent. Zach Finkelstein negotiated Mr. Jones’s high tenor flights with aplomb.” [Argento Chamber Ensemble, Threshold] New York Times, James R. Oestreich
“The four soloists were joined by a chorus of 8 vocal ripienists for the choral sections, and the result was truly transcendent – it was ensemble singing at its finest. My two favourite choral sections of the afternoon were Wie soll ich dich empfangen fromJauchzet, frohlocket! And Ich steh an deiner Krippen heir from Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben – both selections were achingly beautiful. Of particular note was tenor Zachary Finkelstein who brought a refined elegance to his interpretation of the Evangelist.” [Vancouver Early Music, Christmas Cantata]
Vancouver Observer, Janna Crown
“Zach Finkelstein sang Damon with sensitivity and grace”
Boston Classical Review [Boston premiere of Mark Morris Dance Group ‘Acis and Galatea’]
“Zach Finkelstein (Damon) possessed a refreshingly bright timbre that contrasted the cast’s mellower male voices nicely.”
Examiner.com [Boston premiere of ‘Acis and Galatea’]
“…the live vocal music is superbly performed…the Satie score for “Socrates,” performed by Zach Finkelstein and pianist Colin Fowler, was impeccably done.” [Mark Morris Dance Group] The Seattle Times, Michael Upchurch
“It is the final work, Socrates, to Erik Satie’s sublime song cycle, beautifully sung (with surtitles) by Zach Finkelstein, accompanied by Fowler on piano, which is the summation of Morris’s mastery of all he surveys.”
The Telegraph, Sarah Crompton
“There is a great depth of vocal talent out there and Mr. Steel has a good record of finding young artists. This fine cast included…the compelling tenor Zachary Finkelstein as Mambre, a menacing Egyptian priest, who looked as if he had wandered in from “Blue Man Group.”
New York Times, Anthony Tommasini [Moses in Egypt, New York City Opera]
“How unfair to have seen “Socrates” only once…it was beautifully sung in French by Zach Finkelstein.”
Washington Post, Sarah Kaufman
“[Socrates]is a work of subtle and majestic beauty, performed with nuanced grace by the dancers and their invaluable musical partners, pianist Fowler and tenor Zach Finkelstein.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Donald Rosenberg
“In Native Worth and Honour Clad” from The Creation by Handel (Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, conducted by Noel Edison)
“Every Valley” from Messiah by Handel (Portland Baroque, conducted by Monica Huggett)
“Deposuit potentes” from Magnificat by Bach