PEYEE CHEN | soprano

An omnivore when it comes to performing, soprano 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 also interested in vocal and contact improvisation, DIY electronic instruments, and installation and performance art, participating 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 Philharmonie de Paris, Munich Biennale, Pierre Boulez Saal, Konzerthaus Berlin, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, Adelaide Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Big Ears Festival, Cadogan Hall, Hayward Gallery, Radialsystem Berlin, GEMdays, Club Transmediale Festival, Louth Contemporary Music Festival, Rewire Festival, and Tête à Tête Opera Festival, premiering pieces written for her by composers such as James Dillon, Gavin Bryars, Sadie Harrison, Jürg Frey, Aureliano Cattaneo, Samuel Andreyev, and Ann Cleare, with ensembles such as Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Quatuor Bozzini, Ensemble Proton Bern, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Gavin Bryars Ensemble, Goeyvaerts Trio, Crash Ensemble, Novoflot, and Nico and the Navigators.

As an ensemble singer, she is a core member of Schola Heidelberg, and has performed with EXAUDI, BBC Singers, RIAS Kammerchor, Det Norske Solistkor, and with groups such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Nikel, SWR Experimentalstudio, BCMG, Ensemble Resonanz, Lautten Compagney, 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, Salzburg Festival, ZKM, Elbphilharmonie, Philharmonie Köln, Festival d’Automne, Royal Festival Hall, Ruhrtriennale, MaerzMusik, Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms, Bergen International Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, and the Schwetzingen Festival, with conductors such as Ingo Metzmacher, Simon Rattle, Oliver Knussen, Grete Pedersen, Emilio Pomárico, François-Xavier Roth, and Pablo Heras-Casado.

Community music and education are important parts of Peyee’s activities. 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, Victoria (Canada), Bilkent Ankara, Yasar Izmir, and taught at the NLMS summer school. 

Peyee received a BMus from Northwestern University and a MA from University of York under the supervision of John Potter. Additionally, she has studied with Barbara Hannigan at Lucerne Festival Academy, Petra Hoffmann, Agata Zubel, and Andreas Fischer at Impuls Academy, Donatienne Michel-Dansac at Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, and Linda Hirst at Dartington Summer School.