Nora Fischer is challenging the way we listen to the voice. The Amsterdam-based singer is renowned for her adventurous approach to live performance and her creative projects fusing classical and contemporary repertoire. This can range from traditional concert programmes to genre-defying collaborations – such as her debut album HUSH, which was released on Deutsche Grammophon in 2018, and her work with Yo-Yo Ma's world-renowned Silkroad.
Using her voice as a versatile instrument, Fischer's repertoire ranges from Monteverdi to the many compositions that have been written for her in the present day. Her “affinity with experimental classical styles and sharp dramatic instincts” (New York Times) have led to many collaborations with leading contemporary composers, including Osvaldo Golijov, David Lang & Louis Andriessen. During the 2017/18 season, Nora signed with Universal Music and was nominated by the Concertgebouw to perform in major concert halls across Europe for the ECHO Rising Stars Tour.
Fischer’s unique approach has taken her around the globe, from the Philharmonie de Paris and Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Lowlands Pop Festival or a mysterious forest at the Oerol Theatre Festival. She has premiered many new operas, most recently working with the Dutch National Opera and Pierre Audi for the world premiere of Andriessen’s Theatre of the World. In February 2020, under the direction of Simon McBurney, Nora joined the LA Philharmonic to perform in Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Other contemporary collaborations include performances with the Kronos Quartet, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble and l’Arpeggiata.
In recent and upcoming seasons, Nora has projects at venues/festivals including the Lincoln Center (Mostly Mozart Festival), Barbican, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival and Lunalia, and has been invited on three tours with the Silk Road Ensemble, including her Australasian debut. In April 2019, Nora premiered a new Andriessen commission with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which she took to the BBC Proms and Musikfest Berlin with BBC Symphony Orchestra in September 2019, and to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in November 2019.
Born into a family with a rich musical tradition, Fischer trained at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Complete Vocal Institute in Copenhagen and holds a Masters in New Audiences and Innovative Practice from the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague.
Working alongside celebrated guitarist Marnix Dorrestein (a.k.a. IX), one of Fischer’s long awaited dreams finally became reality: the redefinition of early music songs. This period has provided songs with an incredible beauty that are extremely close to the pop music of today, only with a performance practice that is usually far away from the ears of this generation. With this project, Nora places these songs in our time. Stripped of mannerisms, sung in a lower key and performed in the purest version: simple, timeless and intensely beautiful. Sometimes groovy and soulful, sometimes silent and soul piercing. Approached with the creativity of songwriters in the 21st century.
Together with composer Morris Kliphuis (Kapok Jazz Trio, Kytopia), text writer Lucky Fonz III, the Ragazze String Quartet and drummer Remco Menting (Kapok), Fischer has created a new genre-defying project. The Secret Diary of Nora Plain – darting between the borders of pop, jazz and classical – tells the story of the young Nora Plain, trying to live as an individual in the increasingly monitored society of today. Through her diary entrances, we hear her struggles with the watching eyes all around her that try to penetrate her personal space more and more.
The Secret Diary of Nora Plain is an intimate, personal and unsettling song cycle about the relationship between society, privacy, and paranoia. Created by writers and performers from classical, jazz, pop & folk backgrounds, crossing all musical boundaries.
Nora partners with jazz pianist Tony Roe, exploring pieces by Ravel, Messiaen, Bartok & Weill with a twist. Retaining the harmonies, rhythms and other parameters that make these compositions so ingenious, the duo move in and out of improvisations based on the musical language of these composers. Where Nora adds a rich palette of vocal colours, Tony brings his expertise as an improvisor and a small cockpit of electronic effects, creating a different experience every performance.
Fischer has set up a special performance of the adventurous composition Ayre by Osvaldo Golijov, together with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble. This cycle of songs is a breath-taking ode to various styles of folk music ranging from Sephardic tunes to Eastern European music and Christian Arab traditions, and demanding many different styles of singing and music making from the singer.
Fischer has been invited to perform Ayre with various ensembles and in various concert halls and festivals –such as the opening festival of TivoliVredenburg Utrecht, November Music Festival, Into the Great Wide Open, Felicja Blumental International Music Festival Tel Aviv, BMC in Budapest– and remains available for bookings.
Nora Fischer joins forces with celebrated soprano Claron McFadden to journey back to their mutual musical roots, delving into the most beautiful duets and songs of the early baroque period. Their voices and musicianship blend together so naturally that the music of Monteverdi, Luzzaschi and Kapsberger becomes a rich vocal playground in which one regularly loses track of whose voice belongs to whom. Accompanied by no more than harp and viola da gamba, they take us back in time to the intensely intimate sound world of the early 17th century.