PEYEE CHEN | soprano
An omnivore when it comes to performing, Peyee Chen enjoys singing Monteverdi with lute and bass viol as much as singing Bernhard Lang with electronics and electric bass. On a Saturday night during Christmas season, she may be in an evening gown singing Messiah; the evening before, she might have been in a suit, singing Ives and Tom Lehrer songs with her piano duo partner Kate Ledger. With a microphone in front of her face, she can sing a pppp high A for Prometeo by Luigi Nono, as well as yell, “He better be dead!” full force while bashing a metal goblet when premiering Still, Again by Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. Up for physical challenges, she has performed with poet Caroline Bergvall on her Raga Dawn series, outdoors and starting before sunrise at locations like the Isle of Skye, Tilbury Docks London, the rooftop of the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, and the open courtyard amongst ruins at the Mucem Museum in Marseille. She is interested in vocal and contact improvisation, DIY electronic instruments, and installation and performance art, most recently performing in Martin Creed’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s London gallery, where she sang music by Martin for 30 minutes every hour for eight hours, two or three days each week for six weeks.
As a soloist, Peyee has performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, Adelaide Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Big Ears Festival, Cadogan Hall, Hayward Gallery, GEMdays, Club Transmediale Festival, Louth Contemporary Music Festival, Grassington Festival, Rewire Festival, Tête à Tête Opera Festival, and Blackheath Hall, with ensembles such as Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Goeyvaerts Trio, Crash Ensemble, Red Note Ensemble, Consortium5, Vertixe Sonora, Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre. She can be heard on empreintes DIGITALes and Naxos.
As an ensemble singer, she is a core member of Schola Heidelberg and the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, and has performed with EXAUDI, BBC Singers, RIAS Kammerchor, Det Norske Solistkor, Edvard Grieg Kor, Les Canards Chantants, and Ergodos Voices, and with groups such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherche, SWR Experimentalstudio, BCMG, Ensemble Resonanz, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Symphoniker Hamburg. These have included performances at the Bregenzer Festspiele, Ultima Festival, Berliner Philharmonie, ZKM, Elbphilharmonie, Philharmonie Köln, Philharmonie de Paris, Festival d’Automne, Royal Festival Hall, Ruhrtriennale, Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms, Bergen International Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, NRK Radio Concert Hall, and the Schwetzingen Festival, with conductors such as Ingo Metzmacher, Simon Rattle, Oliver Knussen, David Hill, Grete Pedersen, Jeffrey Tate, François-Xavier Roth, James Weeks, and James Wood.
Community music and education are important parts of Peyee’s activities. Based in Huddersfield, she has been a guest soloist with choral societies and orchestras including Bradford Festival Choral Society, Holmfirth Choral Society, Rotherham Choral Society, Ely Choral Society and Ely Sinfonia, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Halifax Choral Society, Pontefract Choral Society, Morley Music Society, the City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, and Skipton Choral Society. She has given workshops for singers and composers at the universities of Huddersfield, York, Coventry, Leeds, and Victoria (Canada), and teaches annually at the NLMS summer school.
Peyee received a BMus from Northwestern University in 2008 and a MA from University of York in 2010 under the supervision of John Potter. Additionally, she has studied with Barbara Hannigan at Lucerne Festival Academy, Petra Hoffmann and Andreas Fischer at Impuls Academy, Donatienne Michel-Dansac at Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, and Linda Hirst at Dartington Summer School.