Beth Willer, Artistic Director
Heralded for its “warm, lithe, and beautifully blended” sound (The New York Times), “impeccable musicality” (Boston Globe), and unfailing display of the “elegance, power, grace and beauty of the human voice” (Boston Music Intelligencer), Lorelei Ensemble is recognized across the globe for its bold and inventive programs that champion the extraordinary flexibility and virtuosity of the human voice. Led by founder and artistic director Beth Willer, Lorelei has established an inspiring artistic vision, curating culturally-relevant and artistically audacious programs that stretch and challenge the expectations of artists and audiences alike. Comprising nine women, the ensemble is celebrated for its rich and diverse vocal palette, and enticing delivery of Willer’s “exact, smooth, and stylish” programming (The Boston Globe).
Driven by its mission to advance and elevate women’s voices, and to enrich the repertoire through forward-thinking and co-creative collaboration, Lorelei is committed to bringing works to life that point toward a “new normal” for vocal artists, and women in music. The ensemble frequently collaborates with composers from the U.S. and abroad, delivering more than 60 world, U.S. and regional premieres since its founding in 2007. Collaborating composers include David Lang, Julia Wolfe, George Benjamin, Kati Agócs, Lisa Bielawa, Kareem Roustom, Jessica Meyer, Christopher Cerrone, Sungji Hong, Reiko Yamada, Peter Gilbert, Scott Ordway, James Kallembach, and John Supko. Recent recordings include David Lang’s love fail (Cantaloupe, 2020), and Impermanence (Sono Luminus, 2018) featuring the premiere recording of Peter Gilbert’s Tsukimi, motets of Guillaume Du Fay, and selections from the Turin Manuscript and the Codex Calixtinus.
Lorelei Ensemble maintains a robust national touring schedule, including recent collaborations with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, A Far Cry, and Cantus, and performances at celebrated venues across the country, including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, Trinity Wall Street, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Education is an important and integral part of Lorelei’s work, including residencies with young artists at Harvard University, Yale University, Duke University, Bucknell University, University of Iowa, Cornell University, Luther College, Vassar College, Macalester College, Mount Holyoke College, Connecticut College, Hillsdale College, Keene State College, Gordon College, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and the Connecticut Children’s Chorus.
In 2020-21, Lorelei Ensemble proudly presents the world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Her Story, in performances with five co-commissioning orchestras: the Nashville Symphony (Giancarlo Guerrero), the San Francisco Symphony (Guerrero), the Chicago Symphony (Marin Alsop), the National Symphony Orchestra (Gianandrea Noseda), and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Guerrero). Written for Lorelei Ensemble to commemorate the centennial of the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, Her Story is the latest in a series of Wolfe's compositions highlighting monumental and turbulent moments in American history and culture. Additional appearances in 2020-21 include The National Gallery, Eastman School of Music, Princeton University, Duke University, and a performance of Holst’s The Planets at the Tanglewood Music Center with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Thomas Adès).