Oratorio Chorale

Virginia Warnken, alto

Virginia Warnken, alto

Hailed by the New York Times as an “elegant,” “rich-toned alto” with “riveting presence,” Grammy© Award-winning mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken is becoming known throughout the American musical community for her heartfelt interpretations of the works of Bach, Handel, and their contemporaries, as well as for her exciting and unique performances of avant-garde 20th and 21st century works. She is a founding member of the groundbreaking Grammy© Award-winning alternative-classical vocal band Roomful of Teeth, described as “Powerful” by Rolling Stone Magazine, integrating western and non-western vocal techniques such as Tuvan throat singing, Inuit throat singing, yodeling, high Bulgarian-style belting, and Korean P’ansori, and collaborating with composers to forge a new repertoire for the voice using an expanded sound palette.

Ms. Warnken has been featured as a soloist with Grammy-nominated ensembles Seraphic Fire and the Trinity Wall Street Choir, as well as Philharmonia Baroque, American Classical Orchestra, TENET, Carmel Bach Festival, Green Mountain Project, Clarion Music Society, Musica Sacra, Oratorio Society of New York, Vox Vocal Ensemble, and others, and has worked with conductors such as Masaaki Suzuki, Nic McGegan, Kent Tritle, Patrick Quigley, Steven Fox, Stefan Parkman, Julian Wachner, and more. In recent seasons, she has appeared on the main stages of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall as the alto soloist in Handel’s Samson, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s C Minor Mass. Ms. Warnken is a fervent advocate of contemporary music, and has performed and premiered works by numerous prominent composers and non-classical pop/rock acts including Questlove and other members of legendary hip-hop/neo-soul band The Roots, Louis Andriessen, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Judd Greenstein, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich. In addition to performing, Ms. Warnken also enjoys teaching, and has taught privately and guest lectured at Yale, Princeton, Williams College, Wellesley, Vassar, Dickinson College, and others.