Soprano Winnie Nieh (pronounced “near”) from Hong Kong graduated from Harvard and received Associate diplomas from Trinity College London in piano, violin and voice at ages 13, 14 and 15. Gifted with perfect pitch and a “well-focused”, “impeccably pure and heart-breaking” voice “able to soar above piano or orchestra”, she has performed for Justice Sotomayor and appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Austrian Embassy. She made her European solo debut with legendary Maestro Helmuth Rilling in Bach’s Cantata BWV 147. She won First Place in St. Andrews Arts Council (Canada)’s International Aria Competition, Third Place & Audience Favorite in Madison Early Music Festival’s Handel Aria Competition, and was a National Finalist in New York Lyric Opera’s Competition. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Grammy award-winning vocal ensemble, Chanticleer.
Recently, she appeared as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Dixit Dominus and Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, Mozart’s Requiem and Howells’ Requiem in New York, San Francisco, New Jersey and Colorado. She premiered new works for soprano and cello written for her and cellist Matt Schwede at the Center for New Music in San Francisco, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Other recent performances include Holst’s Four Songs for Voice and Violin and Vaughan Williams’ Along the Field in Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s chamber series; Belinda in Dido and Aeneas and She in King Arthur in Utopia Opera’s Purcell double-bill at Hunter College in New York City; and Arvo Pärt’s Magnificat in San Francisco’s prominent Old First Concerts series with Lacuna Arts Chorale.
Winnie’s solo oratorio experience is wide-ranging: Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St John Passion, Magnificat in D and Cantata BWV 147 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, works by Monteverdi and Schütz, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation (as Eve) and Lord Nelson Mass, M.A. Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit, Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Der Messias, Mendelssohn’s Magnificat (Op.69/3), Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Mass in C. Her early music experience also includes Poppea in scenes from Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, appearing as a soloist in Amherst Early Music Festival’s staged lute song production with Grant Herreid, performing in Boston Early Music Festival’s masterclass and a Baroque concert with New York City Guitar Orchestra and Art Song Preservation Society of New York. Equally at ease with new music, she has premiered works in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
An art song lover, she has participated in The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall and was a Professional Fellow at SongFest, where she performed with celebrated vocal accompanist Graham Johnson. She performed in a staged Schubert Lieder performance at the Austrian Embassy in D.C. and she joined Marble Collegiate Church’s professional choir for their concert at Carnegie Hall. In opera, she recently performed in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at Lincoln Center in New York, Princess and Fire in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Elvira in a cover performance of L’Italiana in Algeri, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) in an education outreach with the Martina Arroyo Foundation, and the title role in the showcase of Simonetta (a new opera by Dr. Larry Lipkis to be premiered in New York). Her other roles include: Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Pamina and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Blondchen (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Despina (Così Fan Tutte), Madame Herz (The Impresario), Amor (Orfeo ed Euridice), Voce dal cielo (Don Carlo), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), La Fée (Cendrillon), Lucinde (Gounod’s Le Médecin Malgré Lui), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) and Violetta (La Traviata).