Bio

Vanessa Langer is an active voice in the baroque and contemporary classical music scene, enjoying a close working relationship with emerging composers from around the world.   

A 2012 graduate of the Bard Vocal Arts Program, Vanessa received rave reviews about her recent performance with the contemporary music ensemble Wild Rumpus of which she is a member.  The concert featured excerpts of György Kurtág’s 'Kafka Fragments', and Caroline Miller’s 'Berceuse et Jeux'. 

Though all the performers on the evening’s program were accomplished virtuosos on their various instruments, it was Langer’s voice that stunned many of us in the audience. It was simply gorgeous. No matter how extreme the musical pitches became and how deftly she negotiated them, she also sounded like a soprano you’d want to hear singing bel canto opera or early music any day of the week.
— SFCivic Center Blog, Michael Strickland

Noted for her performance as an interpretive highlight of the 2015 New Music Gathering held at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Center for New Music, Isaak Shankler writes for New Music Box

“I was literally and figuratively shaken by Vanessa Langer’s arresting performance of David Coll’s Position, Influence” for soprano and sound sculpture. Coll’s metallic sculpture moaned and keened in sympathy with the virtuosic vocals of Langer who played her part with an exaggerated theatricality perfectly suited to the outsized nature of the piece.”

Upcoming performances  in 2015/16 with Wild Rumpus include concerts with Synchronomy in Los Angeles, the one-woman opera Index of Metals with video installation by Fausto Romitelli, and an appearance for San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music on the Presidio Sessions Series in San Francisco.  Chamber Music America has awarded Wild Rumpus a 2015 Classical Commissioning Grant to perform and commission composer Dan VanHassel to write a 25 minute song cycle for Vanessa and Wild Rumpus to premiere in 2016.  2016 will also see the release of the Debut Album ‘In Time’ funded by a recently awarded 2015 grant from New Music USA on which Vanessa will be heard in works by Jen Wang, Dan Van Hassel and Jenny Olivia Johnson.  She will also be heard in a solo recital of French and Russian lieder with pianist Vera Breheda.  Further projects include a recital of George Crumb and David Coll to be premiered at Spectrum in NYC and an evening length cycle To Pollen after the text of Jeremy Piven composed by David Coll.Vanessa Langer is also co-founder of Firesong, a Bay-Area based ensemble dedicated to the innovative programming and the commissioning of the next generation of vocal chamber works, which saw the premiere of The Plath Project at the Center for New Music in March 2015 supported by a Musical Grant Project award from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music. 

In 2015 she performed as Alceste in Handel Opera Project’s performance of Admeto in Berkeley, California.  Other recent Baroque operatic performances include Il Pastore in Monteverdi's Dialogo del di Ninfa e Pastore and L'Argienne in Nelee et Myrthis by Rameau at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Arts at Bard College.

Vanessa has been the recipient of various awards and fellowships including the Graduate Vocal Arts Fellowship at Bard Conservatory, the Winter Creative Music Residency Fellowship at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the New Horizon Fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival & School, the Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in the Arts, and the Albert King Scholarship from UC Berkeley.

Recently awarded a 2015 grant from New Music USA to record its debut recording “In Time” Wild Rumpus has gathering attention as a “fresh young ensemble” (Wall Street Journal, Allan Kozinn) and "a thoroughly entertaining showcase of virtuosity and imagination” (SF Classical Voice). 

IN REVIEW

“No matter how extreme the musical pitches became and how deftly she negotiated them, she also sounded like a soprano you’d want to hear singing bel canto opera or early music any day of the week.”
— SFCivic Center Blog
“Throughout it all, one could not take one’s ears or eyes off of Langer who gave an exquisite performance”
— SFCivic Center Blog
“Firesong’s unique, flexible ensemble impressed me with Vanessa Langer’s pitch-perfect singing and communicative passion. Margaret Halbig’s virtuostic yet sensitive pianism amalgamated both Langer’s silvery voice and the smooth-toned clarinet of Sophie Huet. This is a young group with great promise and already an impressive track record of new music performance.”

— Ann Callaway, composer
“Four of the “context-setting” works on the program were solos. The most fascinating of these was Langer’s performance of “Only,” Morton Feldman’s setting of an English translation of the 23rd poem in Rainer Maria Rilke’s collection Sonette an Orpheus”
— SF Examiner