With assured musicality and the varied tonal palette of a lieder specialist, Canadian lyric Colin Balzer’s current season includes concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, RIAS Kammerchor, Mozarteum Salzburg, Radio Kamer Filharmonie (Amsterdam Concertgebouw), Les Musiciens du Louvre, Philharmonischer Chor Berlin, Estonian Chamber Choir and Musik Podium Stuttgart. In North America he is heard with Bernard Labadie and the Utah Symphony in the Mozart Requiem; the Ann Arbor Symphony (Händel’s Messiah), Toronto’s Tafelmusik (Händel’s Hercules), and Calgary Philharmonic (Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under Music Director Roberto Minczuk). He sings recitals in Paris and New York (the latter his first Winterreise) and performs in Mozart operas at the Bolshoi (Don Giovanni), France’s Aix-en-Provence (La finta giardiniera).
Mr. Balzer’s 2010-11 season included his New York solo recital debut on the distinguished Frick Collection series, concerts with the Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra under Kent Tritle, Les Violons du Roy under Bernard Labadie; the Mozart Requiem with Camerata Salzburg, Acis and Galatea conducted by Marc Minkowski in Grenoble, Steffani’s Niobe at the Boston Early Music Festival, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Bolshoi. In 2009-2010 he made a sensational American solo recital debut on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series; sang Messiah with the Edmonton and Toronto Symphonies; made his Atlanta Symphony debut in the Mozart Coronation Mass under Roberto Abbado; performed Mozart’s Idomeneo and Mass in C in Salzburg under Marc Minkowski; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Cantatas with Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent and sang Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Louis Langrée conducting at France’s Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Mr. Balzer has given concerts with the Het Brabants Orkest, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Luxembourg Symphony, Leipzig Baroque Orchestra, Toronto’s Tafelmusik. In addition he sang Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch at Finland’s Savonlinna Festival, Acis in Händel’s Acis and Galatea at Festival Vancouver, and Mattheson’s Boris Goudenow and Lully’s Psyche at the Boston Early Music Festival. He frequently collaborates with such distinguished conductors as Leopold Hager,Bernard Labadie, Helmuth Rilling, Simone Young, Simon Preston, Gabriel Chmura, Christof Perick, Mario Venzago and Kenneth Montgomery.
Particularly esteemed as a recitalist, he has been welcomed at London’s Wigmore Hall (accompanied by Graham Johnson), the Britten Festival in Aldeburgh, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, the Wratislavia Cantans in Poland, and at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden. Recordings to date include Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch and Wigmore Hall Song Competition, Stuttgart, Germany’s Hugo Wolf Competition and Munich’s 55th International ARD Competition, Mr. Balzer also holds the rare distinction of earning the Gold Medal at the Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau with the highest score in 25 years. Born in British Columbia, he received his formal musical training at the University of British Columbia with David Meek and with Edith Wiens at the Hochschule für Musik Augsburg.