Nathan Berg (born Spalding, Saskatchewan, Canada) is an operatic bass-baritone who has had a concert, opera and recording career largely in North America and Europe. He is a Juno award winner (2002 JUNO award classical album category - vocal or choral performance), a 2014 Juno Awards nominee and three-time Grammy nominated.
After some studies at the University of Western Ontario and the Maîtrise nationale de Versailles Nathan Berg carried out the majority of his formal musical training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England studying with legendary pedagogue Vera Rózsa. While at the Guildhall School he won prizes in the Kathleen Ferrier Competition,The Royal Overseas League, Peter Pears Competition, Walter Gruner International Lieder Competition and the Guildhall's Gold Medal for Singers joining a list of singers that includes Bryn Terfel and Benjamin Luxon.
The English journalist Bernard Levin once wrote of the young Nathan Berg in The Times; "A Canadian baritone, Nathan Berg by name, with a voice not only powerful and full of meaning, but of such velvet beauty that the comparison cannot be avoided: surely the young Fischer-Dieskau sounded like this.".
Since his debut singing Messiah in Paris in December 1992 Berg has become known for his contributions in Early to Classical music periods in opera and concert. Highlights from his earlier career include performances and recordings with French early music group Les Arts Florissants with whom he recorded often (see recording list below). He also recorded Dvorak's Stabat Mater with the late Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony which proved to be Shaw's final recording and a German Lieder disc with pianist Julius Drake.
His career has moved among recital, concert and opera. In recital he has appeared at the Wigmore Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, Musee d'Orsay in Paris, BBC Radio Studios in London, the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France, the Winspear Centre in Canada and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. with pianists Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, Michael McMahon and Martin Katz. Mr. Berg's early work in concert and opera concentrated on Early Music and Classical. He has since also engaged in Romantic and later with recent operatic debuts as Wagner's Dutchman, Puccini's Scarpia and Bartok's Bluebeard and in concert with Mahler's Kindertotenlieder. A bass-baritone with "a first-class voice" (Boston Globe), he has worked with conductors including Abbado, Boulez, Davis, Dohnányi, Hogwood, Jacobs, Jurowski, McGegan, Mackerras, Nelson, Spano, Zuckerman, Masur, Dutoit, Salonen, Eschenbach, Hogwood, Maazel, Marlot, Norrington, Slatkin, Christie, Herreweghe, Tortelier, Leppard, Rilling, Haenchen, Ozawa, Welser-Möst and Tilson Thomas. He has performed in concert with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony (Washington), Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, Montreal Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Colorado Symphony, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, St Louis Symphony, Handel and Haydn Society, Seattle Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Minnesota Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, London Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Les Arts Florissants, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque, Les Talens Lyriques, Concert d'Astree, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, São Paulo Symphony and Concertgebouw Orchestra. Apart from these orchestras' home concert halls his performances have also taken place at prestigious venues and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, The Saratoga Festival, Tanglewood, The Grant Park Festival in Chicago, and Vienna's Musikverein. Among his operatic work he has appeared in Mozart's Figaro, Don Giovanni, Guglielmo and Leporello (a role which Berg won the 2005-2006 Austin Critics Table Awards award for Best Male Singer ), Puccini's Scarpia, Marcello and Coline, Wagner's Dutchman, Verdi's Ferrando, Rossini's Alidoro, Rameau's Huascar and multiple Handel roles (for example, Hercules, Zoroastro, Achilla) in such places as Glyndebourne, Paris National Opera, Netherlands Opera, La Monnaie, New York City Opera, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Opera de Dijon, Opéra de Lyon, Royal Swedish Opera, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, Opera de Lille, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Austin Lyric, Arizona Opera, Utah Opera, Opera de Nice, and the Bavarian State Opera.
Nathan Berg has recently appeared on a DVD releases of Lully's Armide conducted by William Christie and directed by Robert Carson and the 2011 production of Handel's Giulio Cesare (Opera National de Paris with Natalie Dessay conducted by Emmanuelle Haim). In 2012 he appeared as bass soloist on a recording of Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony (released in 2013), and recorded the role of Zoroastro in Handel's Orlando with Pacific Baroque released by ATMA Classique also in 2013. In the 2013 season Mr. Berg has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall in Haydn's Creation with the Houston Symphony in Berg's Wozzeck and the Valencia's Palau de les Arts in Mozart's Magic Flute.
Mr. Berg made his debut at Moscow's Bolshoi Opera in the title role of Wagner's Flying Dutchman in October, 2013 and will return to Carnegie hall later in the season to appear with Roger Norrington. He is nominated for a 2014 Juno for Handel's Orlando.
Nathan Berg's Recordings:
1994: Handel's Messiah with Les Arts Florissants,
1994: Bouzignac Te Deum, Motets with Les Arts Florissants,
1995: Mozart Requiem with Les Arts Florissants,
1995: Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Les Arts Florissants,
1995: Othmar Schoeck Lieder with Orchestra (Novalis B0000260FH) with English Chamber Orchestra,
1996: Othmar Schoeck Lieder Complete Edition Volume 2 (Jecklin Edition JD 672-2) with pianist Julius Drake,
1997: The Hyperion Schubert Edition 29 (Schubert, Einsamkeit) with pianist Graham Johnson,
1997: Othmar Schoeck Lieder Complete Edition volume 6 (Jecklin B0000260FH),
1997: Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie with Les Arts Florissants,
1998: Mendelssohn: Songs and Duets Vol 1 with Sophie Daneman and Eugene Asti,
1999: Dvorak Stabat Mater with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony (Grammy nominated - 2000 Best classical Album),
2000: Bach, Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 with Boston Baroque (Grammy nominated - 2001 Best Choral Performance),
2002: Mozart's Requiem with Violin de Roy (2002 JUNO award classical album category - vocal or choral performance ),
2003: Handel's Theodora (Valens) with Les Arts Florissants(Theodora_(Handel)/notable recording),
2003: Rameau's Zoroastre (Abramane) with Les Arts Florissants (Grammy nominated),
2004: Beethoven Symphony 9 with Jaap Van Zweden and the Residentie Orchestra,
2005: Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea with Netherlands Opera (recorded in 1994) (DVD),
2005: A Tribute to Pierre Boulez (Janáček's Glagolitic Mass with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Pierre Boulez),
2005: Rameau's Les Indes Galantes with Opera National de Paris (DVD),
2006: Rossini's Cenerentola (Alidoro) at Glyndebourne Festival directed by Sir Peter Hall (DVD/BLUERAY),
2008: Lieder Recital - Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Strauss with pianist Julius Drake,
2009: Handel's Messiah with Washington National Cathedral,
2010: Mozart Mass in C minor with Handel and Haydn Society,
2011: Lully's Armide (Hidraot) with Theatre de Champs-Élysées, Paris (DVD/BLUERAY),
2012: Handel's Giulio Cesare (Achilla) with Opera National de Paris (DVD/BLUERAY),
2013: Beethoven's 9th Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony,
2013: Handel's Orlando (Zoroastro) with Alexander Weimann and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (2014 JUNO nomination classical album category - vocal or choral performance)