Anu Komsi is one of Finland’s foremost international singers, a coloratura soprano with a strong
reputation on the world’s concert and opera scenes. She is praised for her perfect musicianship,
technical skill and wide repertoire that ranges from renaissance music to progressive jazz and the
most advanced contemporary scores. By commissioning and premiering new works for her voice
type, she has helped to widen and enlarge its repertoire for the last 30 years, whilst also singing
bel canto and presenting forgotten coloratura masterworks for today’s public. She is the modern
day Jenny Lind. In 2020 She was awarded the Madetoja prize by Finnish composer´s society and
was also a nominee for the Nordic Council´s Music Prize. In the autumn of 2021 she received the
prestigious Erik Bergman Prize for her special achievements in performing and commisioning
new vocal repertoire internationally.

Anu Komsi made her debut as an opera singer in 1991 in Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles
Aventures at the Helsinki Festival, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Internationally she appeared
at the Frankfurt am Main opera in 1993 as Olympia (Offenbach: Hoffmann’s Tales), a role where
she was nicknamed “Polarstern” in the German musical press.

Her 70 opera roles contain several critically acclaimed performances of Zerbinetta, Lulu, Blonde,
Gilda, Norina and Queen of the Night. In 2017 Anu sang the huge coloratura role of Catherine in
the Finnish premiere of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s l’Etoile du Nord. In the more recent years she has
extended her repertoire also to lyrical and dramatic soprano roles, such as Salome(2019 Turku
Philharmonic), Nannetta, Susanna, Micaela, Rosalinde and Tiresias(Poulenc). Along the traditional
repertoire Anu has performed significant 20th century and contemporary works like Schönberg:
Moses and Aron, Ligeti: Mysteries of the Macabre, Schnittke: Life with an Idiot (in the German
premiere 1995, Bremen). She has performed Morton Feldman’s cult status opera in its respective
French and Danish premieres in 2004-5, and when performing the same work at the Salzburg
Festival in 2011 the press named her “Antioper Heldin” (=Anti opera heroine). John Zorn’s
Machine de L’ Etre at the New York City Opera brought her the attribute “Pyrotechnic Grace”.
Among important title roles she has performed James Dillon: Philomela (Paris Odéon; Budapest
Festival; Strasbourg Musica; Casa da Musica Porto), Peter Eötvös: Lady Sarashina (Warsaw
Opera 2013), Heinz Holliger: Schneewittchen (Basel Theatre 2014).

George Benjamin created the soprano role in his opera Into the Little Hill specially for Anu. Since
the premiere in Paris, 2006, she has performed this work in Europa and the USA already 50 times,
and still counting-most recently at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Wigmore Hall London in
2019. Eva’s role in Karlheinz Stockhausen’s opera Donnerstag aus Licht (Basel Theatre 2016) was
another critically acclaimed performance. Anu is the only singer ever to have performed all of
Eva’s massive role in this 6-hour opera where it is usually shared by different singers.The show
was named Best Opera Production of the Year by the German Opernwelt magazine.

The major international opera scenes and festivals where Anu Komsi has appeared include Opèra
de Paris Bastille, Paris; New York City Opera; Stuttgart State Opera; Frankfurt Opera; Basel
Theatre; Bremen Theatre; Munich Theater am Gärtnerplatz; Hannover State Opera; Braunschweig
State Opera; Salzburg Festival; Lincoln Center Festival; Wiener Festwochen; Lucerne Festival;
Berlin Festwochen; Warsaw National Opera; Lyon Opera; Theatre Odéon, Paris; Casa da Musica
Porto; La Scala Milan; Mi-To Festival Milan and Turin; Finnish National Opera.

The major international concert halls where Anu Komsi has performed include Musikverein and
Konzerthaus, Vienna; Philharmonie Berlin; Royal Albert Hall, Barbican and Royal Festival Hall,
London; Philharmonie, Chatelet and Cité de la Musique, Paris; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Alte
Oper, Frankfurt; Gewandhaus Leipzig; Lincoln Center NY; Walt Disney Hall LA; Osaka Concert
Hall; Symphony Hall, Birmingham; Philharmonie, Cologne; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Auditorio
della Musica, Rome; Rudolfinum and Smetana Hall, Prague; Konserthuset, Stockholm; KKL
Lucerne; Musiikkitalo Helsinki.

Anu has performed as soloist with numerous leading orchestras such as Vienna Philharmonic;
Berlin Philharmonic; Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin; La Scala Orchestra Milan; New York
Philharmonic; Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Los Angeles Philharmonic; BBC Symphony
Orchestra; BBC Philharmonic; Czech Philharmonic; Orchestre de Paris; Orchestre Philharmonique
de Radio France; Philharmonia Orchestra London; Bavarian Radio Symphony; Rotterdam
Philharmonic; Vienna Symphony; Oslo Philharmonic; San Francisco Symphony; Accademia di
Santa Cecilia, Rome; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; HR Symphony Frankfurt;
Ensemble Intercontemporain, Paris; Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt; London Sinfonietta; Avanti
Chamber Orchestra; Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon; Lyon National Orchestra; Haydn Orchestra
Bolzano; Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Finnish Radio Symphony
Orchestra; Helsinki Philharmonic; Sinfonia Lahti; Turku Philharmonic; Asko Ensemble; Netherlands
Radio Philharmonic; Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.

The conductors Anu has worked with include Sir Roger Norrington, Sakari Oramo, Esa-Pekka
Salonen, Alan Gilbert, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Franz Welser-Möst, Theodor Guschlbauer, Heinz
Holliger, Peter Eötvös, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Susana Mälki, Leif Segerstam, Hannu Lintu, Francois
Xaver Roth, Massimo Zanetti, Santtu Rouvali, Anna-Maria Helsing, Martyn Brabbins and Gergely
Madaras. Her directors list is equally impressive: Piere Audi, Arturo Marelli, Lydia Steier, Leea
Klemola, Maria Sid, Christoph Loy, Udo Samel, David Mouchtar-Samorai, Achim Freyer, Tony
Palmer, Claus Guth, Karin Beier, Anthony Pilavachi, Frank Hoffman, Lasse Pöysti, Juho
Kuosmanen. A highlight was also collaborating with Christoph Waltz in Matthias Pintscher’s opera
l´Espace Dernier.

Anu has a massive concert repertoire, especially works with orchestra which include Sibelius
Luonnotar; Magnus Lindberg Accused; Lutoslawski Chantefleurs et Chantefables; Szymanowski
Fairy Princess songs; Richard Strauss Four Last Songs; Aarre Merikanto Ekho; Debussy (orch.
Oramo) Chansons de Jeunesse; Rued Langgaard Symphony nr 2; Mahler Symphonies 2,4,8;
Nielsen Symphony 3; Vaughan Williams Symphony 3.; Nono Canti di vita e D´ amore

Large works World premiered by Anu include Kaija Saariaho Saarikoski (2013-2020) and Leino
(2000-2007) songs; Jukka Tiensuu Voice Verser (2012); Christian Mason Man Made (2018);
Jonathan Harvey White as Jasmine (2000); Esa-Pekka Salonen Floof (1988) and Wing on Wing
(2004); Richard Ayres Noncerto (2002); Un Suk Chin Cantatrix Sopranica (2005); Kimmo Hakola Le
Sacrifice ( 2006).

Anu has enjoyed a long partnership with lied pianist Pia Värri, with whom she has recorded two cd
albums: O’Heart (songs to Eino Leino poetry) and recently Sumun Läpi, complete vocal music
with piano by Kaija Saariaho. They have an extensive repertoire together: Debussy, Fauré,
Tchaikovsky; Pauline Viardot; Wolf; Erik Bergman; Richard Strauss. György Kurtag’s Kafka
Fragmente for soprano ad violin have featured in her repertoire since 1988, first with Sakari Oramo (with whom the prize-winning recording for Ondine was made), and later also with violinists Andras Keller, Isabelle Faust, Minna Pensola and Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

She has made hundreds of recordings, including Mahler Symphony 4 with SWR Symphony and
Sir Roger Norrington; B.A.Zimmermann Soldaten Vocal symphony with Finnish RSO and Hannu
Lintu; Being Beauteous-music by Britten, Henze, Castiglioni, Schönberg and Szymanowski with
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra cond. Juha Kangas and Uusinta Ensemble cond. Sakari
Oramo; Coloratura with Sinfonia Lahti cond. S.Oramo; Aarre Merikanto Ekho with Turku
Philharmonic cond.Petri Sakari; The Brightest Matter, a jazz album; Nielsen Symphony 3 with BBC
Scottish cond.Osmo Vänskä; Heinz-Juhani Hoffmann Ahti Karjalainen opera; Langgaard
Symphony 2 with Vienna Philharmonic cond.S.Oramo (Gramopohone Award); Harvey White as
Jasmine with BBC Scottish cond.Ilan Volkov (Gramopohone Award); Nielsen Symphony 3 with
Stockholm Philharmonic cond.Sakari Oramo (Gramophone Award); Saariaho Leino Songs
orchestral version with Finnish RSO cond.S.Oramo (Gramophone Award).

An important phase in Anu Komsi’s career occurred in 2004-2018, when she was (alongside her
extensuive soloist career) founder and Artistic Director of West Coast Kokkola Opera company,
and for the last four years of that period also Managing Director. Between 2006 and 2017, the
company produced the Kokkola Opera summer festival.

The last festival in 2017 was marking the 100th year of Finnish independence with a Finnish
premiere of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s opera l´Etoile du Nord (1854), based on a story taking place in
Finnish Karelia with a leading role of Katariina (Catherine) from Vyborg. The opera was performed
in Kokkola, and in November 2017 in the Helsinki Music Centre-the latter was captured by YLE
and is still to be found on their on demand service Yle Areena free of charge. The production
received praise in the Finnish media, as well as in the leading German opera magazine Opernwelt
and also in a major Russian opera publication. The performers of the opera represented European
top class artists working alongside Finnish debutants.

Anu was responsible for the planning of all the festival productions, as well as the touring
activities which took the company to Helsinki, Turku, Espoo, Oulu, Stockholm and Umeå
(Norrlandsoperan). The festival produced 25 full scale opera productions as well as over 100
concerts and events at both inside and outside venues. The scale of the repertoire was vast,
ranging from early baroque to contemporary and jazz. Anu was also director in five operas: Vivaldi
La Verita in Cimento; Detlev Glanert Leviathan and Der Engel auf dem Schiff; Puccini Suor
Angelica (with co-director Juha Mustanoja) and Kurt Weill Silbersee (with film director Juho
Kuosmanen). Silbersee got excellent reviews in the German magazine Opernwelt and was
focussed upon as the only opera event besides Savonlinna festival.

The Kokkola Opera commissioned and premiered three new works:
-Sebastian Fagerlund’s Döbeln (2009)-also performed in Turku and Oulunsalo music festivals, at
the Stockholm Concert Hall and Umeå Norrlandsoperan, and the recording made for BIS received
the Record of the Year award from YLE in 2010.
-Heinz Juhani Hoffmann’s Ahti karjalainen-Life, Kekkonen and Deeds (2012), a production that
was also praised in the Opernwelt magazine
-Seppo Pohjola’s “Harrbåda’s Maiden”, also praised in Opernwelt.


Anu Komsi on konsertti&oopperalaulaja, festivaalijohtaja ja ohjaaja, jonka ura alkoi 1990-luvulla ja
jatkuu aktiivisena maailmanlaajuisesti. Anulle myönnettiin 2020 Suomen Säveltäjien Madetoja
palkinto ansioistaan uuden musiikin esittäjänä ja tilaajana. Vuonna 2021 Anu sai arvostetun Erik
Bergman palkinnon laulutaiteen hyväksi tehdystä työstä Suomessa ja kansainvälisesti. Anu oli
myös Suomen ehdokkaana Pohjoismaisen Musiikkipalkinnon saajaksi v. 2021.

Anun ohjelmisto on valtava sisältäen lauluteoksia barokista bel cantoon ja uusimpaan uuteen
musiikkiin ja jazziin. Kantaesitettyjä teoksia on satoja kamarimusiikista sinfoniakokoonpanoihin,
oopperarooleja on kertynyt lähes 80, joista viime vuosien arvostelumenestyksiä ovat olleet
R.Straussin Salome, Lulu, yksi suurimmista koloratuurirooleista Catherine G.Meyerbeerin
oopperassa Létoile du Nord, Feldmanin Neither, Into the Little Hill, jonka pääroolin Sir george
Benjamin sävelsi Anulle, Eva Stockhausenin kuuden tunnin Donnerstag aus Licht oopperassa,
tittelirooli Heinz Holligerin oopperassa Lumikki, Tiresias Poulencin Teresan Rinnoissa. Kaija
Saariaho on läheinen säveltäjä, jonka kaksi laulusarjaa Leino laulut (2001-2007) ja uusin Saarikoski
Laulut (2013-2020) ovat Anulle omistetut. Uusin ”Sumun Läpi” levytys sisältää Saariahon
pianolauluja viiden vuosikymmenen ajalta. Saariahon innocence-oopperassa Anu laulaa Suomen
Kansallisoopperassa 2022 Äidin roolin.

Anu toimi Kokkolan Oopperakesäfestivaalin Taiteellisena johtajana 2005-2018, ja monet
produktiot saivat kansainvälistä arvostusta ja levytykset Sebastian Fagerlundin ja Heinz-Juhani
Hoffmannin oopperoista palkittiin Vuoden levyinä Yle&Emma.

Anu on esiintynyt ooppera&konserttilaulajana oopperataloissa, konserttitaloissa, festivaaleilla
kuten Milano La Scala, Salzburg festival, Opera National de Paris, Lincoln Center New York, New
York City Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Stuttgart Staatsoper, Lucerne Festival, Basel Theater, Wien
Musikverein, Wien Konzerthaus, London Proms, Royal Festival Hall London, Wigmore Hall,
Barbican Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Walt Disney Hall, Ojai California,
Casa da Musica Porto, Odéon&Theatre Musique Paris.

Anu on laulanut maailman huippuorkestereiden kanssa kuten Berliinin Filharmonikot, Wienin
Filharmonikot,Boston Sinfoniaorkesteri, New Yorkin Filharmonikot, Los Angelesin Filharmonikot,
DSO Berlin, Wienin Sinfonikot, BBC Sinfoniaorkesteri London , Birmingham CBSO, Philharmonia
London, Toronton Sinfoniaorkesteri, Rooma Santa Cecilia orkesteri. Anu on tehnyt yhteistyötä
useamman kerran kapellimestareitten kanssa kuten Sir Roger Norrington, E-P Salonen, Sakari
Oramo, Andris Nelsons , Hannu Lintu, Alan Gilbert, Dalia Stasevska, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, John
Storgårds, Massimo Zanetti.

Oopperan puolella Anu on työskennellyt ohjaajien kanssa kuten Lydia Steier, Leea Klemola, David
Mouchtar-Samorai, Marco Arturo Marelli, Achim Freyer, Juha Hurme, Christof Loy, Anthony
Pilavachi, Maria Sid, Tony Palmer.

Levypalkintoja (mm. Gramophone) Anu on saanut teoksista: Langgaard: 2.Sinfonia/Wienin
Filharmonikot/Sakari Oramo, Saariaho:Leino-laulut/RSO/S.Oramo, B.A.Zimmermann: Soldaten
Vocal Sinfonie /RSO/Hannu Lintu, J.Harvey:White as Jasmine/BBC Scottish/Volkov, Magnus
Lindberg: Accused/RSO/Hannu Lintu, Kurtág:Kafka-fragmentit/S.Oramo.

Kuluneella ja tulevilla kausilla Anua kuulee orkesterien kanssa kuten Bostonin Sinfoniaorkesteri,
BBC Sinfoniaorkesteri Lontoo, RSO, Lautten Companey, Ranskan Radion Filharmoninen
Orkesteri, Suomen Kansallisooppera, Köln WDR Sinfoniaorkesteri, Islannin Sinfoniaorkesteri,
Latvian Kansallisorkesteri. Ohjelmistoa on säveltäjiltä Mozart, R.Strauss, J. Sibelius, K.Saariaho,
J.Tiensuu, Sebastian Hilli, Debussy, C.Mason, E.Grieg, E-P Salonen, Beethoven.
Savonlinnan Oopperajuhlilla Anu debytoi Taikahuilun Yön Kuningattarena 2023.