If there’s a professional choral performance the New York area, chances are mezzo-soprano Suzanne Schwing is in it. I’ve enjoyed working with her in C4: the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, in which I appreciate her impeccable precision and artistry. C4 is only one of many ensembles with which Suzanne performs; in December alone, she appeared with the New York Virtuoso Singers Sextet, the Collegiate Chorale, the Pro Arte Singers, and as soloist with the Choral Society of the Hamptons. Suzanne will sing with the vocal quartet in the ImaginaryTimescapes performance.
As a frequent performer of contemporary music, Suzanne explains the unique challenges and pleasures she associates with singing this repertoire: “There’s a particular skill set that is required when performing contemporary music. This isn’t to say that it’s a different skill set than is required when performing older, more mainstream works; rather, it’s that same skill set being taken into uncharted territory. With contemporary music, there is little or no previous performance history from which to draw an example, and this requires perhaps a greater degree of focus during the preparation and performance of the piece. The flip side of this is that there are also few, if any, expectations attached to the piece on the part of the listeners—there’s no-one in the audience saying, “But this isn’t the tempo that Muti took on his 2007 recording,” for example—and this offers the performers greater latitude to create the new reality of the piece. The challenge of these pieces lies in their newness, which offers a heightened sense of freedom in return.”
You can hear Suzanne on 2 recordings released in 2012 in which she is a soloist—…With Peace in Mind (Choral Music of Nancy Wertsch) with the New York Virtuoso Singers and as Alto soloist for Messiah with the Choral Society of the Hamptons. Also look out for a CD of 25 world-premiere compositions with the New York Virtuoso Singers in conjunction with their 25th-anniversary celebration concerts in Merkin Hall, which she will record in early 2013.