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. Zach’s debut album, ‘Britten and Pears: the Canticles’, featuring acclaimed recitalist Byron Schenkman, singers Vicki St. Pierre and Alexander Hajek, and Seattle Symphony principals Jeffrey Fair (horn) and Valerie Muzzolini Gordon (harp) was launched on October 1st, 2017 with CD release recitals in Seattle, Toronto, New York and Vancouver during the 2017-18 season.
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 current season, the Seattle-based tenor will be heard in Messiah for the Winnipeg Symphony, the Evangelist in Bach’s Johannes Passion for The Florida Orchestra and the Vancouver Bach Choir and Haydn’s Creation with the Sequoia Symphony. Recitals claimed his attention for the Brooklyn Song Society, Resonance in Seattle and as a UC Davis Artist in Residence; of special interest was his appearance in Guadalajara in Comala by Zohn-Muldoo.n Highlights of last season also include Messiah for the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung for the Florida Orchestra, Elijah for the Grand River Chorus and Bach’s Johannespassion for Calgary’s Luminous Voices.
During the 2017-2018 season, he was heard in Messiah for the Calgary Philharmonic, Regina Symphony and the Florida Orchestra in Tampa and for the Elora Festival, he was featured in Magnificats by J.S. Bach and his son, C.P.E Bach. Advent Cantatas, Matthäus Passion and Johannespassion were the Bach works on his schedule for Pacific Music Works, Chorus Niagara and the McGill Chamber Orchestra.
In 2016-17, the Montreal native’s schedule included Satie’s Socrate with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Weihnachtsoratorium for the Masterworks of Oakville Chorale, Messiahs for the Elmer Iseler Singers and Amadeus Choir in Toronto, We Play On in London and Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Walla Walla and for the Portland Chamber Orchestra and Bach’s Matthäuspassion for Thirteen Strings. He was featured by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and he has appeared in recitals in San Antonio, TX; Lake George, NY; Seattle, WA and New York City. In 2016, Zach also was a finalist in the Tafelmusik Vocal Competition and was selected as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow at the Carmel Bach Festival.
In past seasons, Zach has sung as many as 13 performances of Handel’s Messiah with such groups as 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. Further credits include the Mozart Requiem under Ludovic Morlot for the Seattle Symphony, Bach’s Johannespassion with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum and Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli with Jane Glover and Music of the Baroque in Chicago, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with Orchestra Seattle, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Bach Elgar Choir in Hamilton, Canada.
Hailed by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times as a “compelling tenor,” he made his New York City Opera debut as Mambre in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto. Young Finkelstein has sung 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. He 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. In New York City, he premiered a new work, Threshold, for tenor and orchestra with the Argento Ensemble, a piece created specifically for him 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. He also presented the American premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Songs from the same earth with pianist Mike Brofman at the Brooklyn Art Song Society, returned in the 2017 season to perform a recital devoted to the art songs of Jake Heggie and Reynaldo Hahn and tours new music with BASS in 2018 in Seattle, California and New York.
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.
Zach’s debut album, ‘Britten and Pears: the Canticles’ (Gild Records) will be available for purchase at www.zachfinkelstein.com as well as on iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music and Spotify.
|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
“Finkelstein’s refined, expressive phrasing and gorgeous tone hit the mark. The tenor was alert to every nuance Schubert uses to paint the emotions evoked by the poet, adding just enough pressure and urgency to make an apparently simple melodic turn suddenly light up with hidden colors.”
[Schubert and Britten et al., Schenkman & Friends] Memeteria by Thomas May
“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.”
[Creation, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir] Toronto Arts Review, David Richards
“The performances…. were excellent. Zach Finkelstein negotiated Mr. Jones’s high tenor flights with aplomb.”
[Threshold, Argento Chamber Ensemble] 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.”
[Bach Christmas Cantatas, Early Music Vancouver] Vancouver Observer, Janna Crown
“Zach Finkelstein sang Damon with sensitivity and grace”
[Boston premiere of Acis and Glatea, Mark Morris Dance Group] Boston Classical Review
“Zach Finkelstein (Damon) possessed a refreshingly bright timbre that contrasted the cast’s mellower male voices nicely.”
[Boston premiere of Acis and Glatea, Mark Morris Dance Group] Examiner.com
“…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.’”
[Moses in Egypt, New York City Opera] New York Times, Anthony Tommasini
“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
CARMINA BURANA WITH THE KAMLOOPS SYMPHONY
Zach joins the Kamloops Symphony to sing Carmina Burana on May 11 and 12, 2019. kamloopssymphony.com
MESSIAH WITH SEATTLE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA AND BYRD ENSEMBLE
From April 26 through 27, 2019, Zach is in Seattle to sing Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra (Early Music Seattle) and Byrd Ensemble. earlymusicseattle.org
BACH’S ST. JOHN PASSION FOR LUMINOUS VOICES
With the Luminous Voices, Zach sings Bach’s St. John Passion on April 19, 2019. luminousvoices.com
HAYDN’S CREATION WITH FLORIDA ORCHESTRA
Zach joins the Florida Orchestra on March 22, 23 and 24, 2019 to sing Haydn’s Creation. floridaorchestra.org
THRESHOLD IN OBERLIN COLLEGE
Zach sings Jesse Jones’s Threshold in Oberlin College on February 26, 2019. oberlin.edu
FINAL FANTASY WITH THE SEATTLE SYMPHONY
With the Seattle Symphony, Zach Finkelstein sings in the concert “Distant Worlds: Music from the Final Fantasy” on September 12 and 13, 2018. ffdistantworlds.com
SEMI-FINALIST, ORATORIO SOCIETY OF NEW YORK SOLO COMPETITION 2018
Zach has been selected as a semi-finalist in the 2018 Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition.
“Geduld, Geduld!” from Matthäus Passion by J. S. Bach
“Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen” from Matthäus Passion by J. S. Bach