"Is there a more beautiful soprano voice in opera today? Listening to her rapt, long-breathed phrasing... it’s hard to think of one."
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times
"First of all, there was the voice itself, a pure, rich stream of golden, russet timbre perfectly suited to the music's autumnal mood. And then there was Isokoski's wondrous way of communicating..."
"She ranks among today's finest sopranos by virtue of the fact that her voice is one of the greatest in the world."
Soile Isokoski’s name originally means ‘the northern light’ – a light that she carries to the world today in an exceptional way. One of the most celebrated sopranos to emerge from Finland, Isokoski studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and made her stage debut with Finnish National Opera. She has gone on to capture audiences and critics alike across the world, winning the coveted Pro-Finlandia medal in 2002 in honour of her notable contribution to Finnish music.
A regular guest of the most renowned opera houses, where her signature roles include Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier, Elsa Lohengrin, Rachel La Juive, Marguerite Faust and Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, Isokoski is also a familiar face on the world’s most prestigious concert stages, working with conductors including Philippe Herreweghe, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Seiji Ozawa, John Elliot Gardiner, Sir Colin Davis, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, Marek Janowski, Bernhard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Valerie Gergiev, Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Leif Segerstam and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Isokoski’s acclaimed discography includes Strauss’ Four Last Songs under Marek Janowski (Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award 2002), as well as two Sibelius CDs under the baton of Leif Segerstam: Kullervo with Tommi Hakala (Diapason d’Or 2008) and Luonnotar and Orchestral songs (MIDEM classical award, BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award and Disc of the Year 2007). She was awarded the Sibelius Medal in 2007 and was honoured with the title of Austrian Kammersängerin in 2008. In 2011 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Helsinki.
She has performed the title role Ariadne auf Naxos (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (LA Opera); Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier (in London, Geneva, Vienna, Paris and Munich); Blanche de la Force Dialogues des Carmélites (Bayerische Staatsoper); Desdemona Otello (Deutsche Oper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper); Marguerite Faust in Vienna; Ellen Orford Peter Grimes in Dresden, and Elsa Lohengrin in Los Angeles and Dresden. On the concert platform, performances include the closing scene from Capriccio with the LSO, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, and a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Isokoski teaches singing at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences and she is a guest professor at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. She has served as a jury member for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and Mirjam Helin-International Singing Competition.
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