Personal Summary / Bio
French-born vocalist and scholar Anne Azéma directs the American early music ensemble The Boston Camerata, and the French ensemble Aziman. As a performer, she has been acclaimed by critics on five continents for her original, passionate, and vivid approach to songs and texts of the Middle Ages. De Volkskrant (Amsterdam, Holland) noted that “Azéma is, in her genre, as great as Callas or Fischer Dieskau.” Anne Azéma's singing has also been widely praised in many other repertoires, from Renaissance lute songs to Baroque sacred music to twentieth-century music theatre. Her recent appointment as director of the Boston Camerata has been described as “an inspired choice” by Musicalcritiscism.com (UK). The critic of Sandiego.com recently commented, “With the new direction of Anne Azéma, [the Camerata's] leadership in the field is not in question.” and L'Union-Reims (France) praises her “charismatic leadership.'
Anne Azéma is not only the performer, but also the creator of her programs. She researches and edits the repertoire, frequently transcribing the material herself from original sources. Ms. Azéma’s productions for Aziman include, The Night’s Tale: A Tournament of Love, (Arsenal.Metz and Luxembourg, 2007); CD on the K 617 label, France. For the Boston Camerata, she has created Land of Pure Delight (2008), A Distant Haven (2009), A Symphony of Psalms (2009), The Maria Monologues (2010), Alexander the Great: Hero, Warrior, Lover (2010 – 2012 - 2014). In 2011, Anne Azéma and the Boston Camerata were commissioned to create five new programs of Medieval music, in celebration of the anniversary 1211-2011) of the Reims Cathedral,France: La Messe de Machaut, Portes dou Ciel, Thibaut de Champagne, Une galerie de Rois. More recently and for the Boston series, she created Patriots and Heroes (2011), The Harvest (2012). She is currently at work on a major Medieval Play, Daniel XXI - Le Jeu de Daniel, to be premiered in Boston in the fall of 2014.
Anne Azéma has been a soloist with numerous ensembles, large and small, early and contemporary. Her ongoing collaboration with the Tero Saarinen Company (Helsinki, Finland) around early American songs has been praised on three continents. She is also the co-founder of the Camerata Mediterranea, touring with them internationally and appearing on all of their Cds (Edison Prize).
The second film she was asked to participate in has received two prizes at the Montréal FIFA (March 2014). Her festival and concert series invitations as a soloist, recitalist or director include Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Graz, Dresden, Leipzig, Utrecht, Spoleto, Seville, Savannah, Versailles, Jerusalem, Berlin, Boston, Bergen, Ambronay, Utrecht, Casablanca, Perth, Montpellier, Wellington, Kyoto, Tanglewood, Tokyo, Trieste and Treviso.
Ms Azéma's current discography numbers over thirty-five recordings as a soloist, recitalist or director, on the Warner, Erato/Warner (Grand Prix du Disque), Calliope, K 617, ATMA, Harmonia Mundi, Bridge, and Virgin labels.
Among her teaching activities are master classes, seminars and residencies at conservatories and universities in Europe, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. She has contributed articles to scholarly and general audience publications. In July 2010, Ms Azéma was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.