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Matti Salminen, bass 

One of the most prominent basses of our times was born in Finland. Matti Salminen received his musical education in his home town Turku, at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki as well as in Italy and Germany.

Singing at the ensemble of the Cologne Opera from 1972-1980, Matti Salminen has been engaged at the Zurich Opera since 1984. He is holding guest engagements with the companies of Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Helsinki and Barcelona and has been singing in the world's leading Opera houses including Paris National Opera, the New York Metropolitan, Chicago and Los Angeles, to name but a few. For over thirty years until the late nineties he has been performing every summer at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, and at the Bayreuth Festival he has sung regularly between 1976 and 1988. An impressive number of audio and video (TV) recordings are documenting his career.

As a concert singer, Matti Salminen has performed worldwide, together with the most renowned conductors and orchestras. Besides all main parts in the operas of Mozart, Wagner and Verdi, his repertoire includes leading bass roles from russian operas, such as Boris Godunow, Iwan Chowansky, Iwan Susanin, among others. He has performed Aulis Sallinen's King Lear in a world premiere at the Finnish National Opera (2000), as well as Einojuhani Rautavaara's Rasputin which was composed especially for him and premiered in 2003. Again in Helsinki in 2005 he sang Gurnemanz in a new Parsifal production of Harry Kupfer.

Recent and upcoming projects include, among others Boris Godunov in Helsinki, Don Carlo at La Scala and in Vienna and Zurich, Der fliegende Holländer in Munich and Paris, Tristan und Isolde at La Scala and later at the Royal Opera House in London, Parsifal in Dresden and Zurich, Die Zauberflöte and Der Ring des Nibelungen in Zurich and Valencia, Fidelio in Vienna and Don Carlo at the Salzburg Festival.

Selection of awards and decorations:

- Pro Finlandia Medaille 1988
- Berliner Kammersänger 1995
- Bayerische Kammersänger 2003
- Österreichischer Kammersänger 2003
- Honorary Professor 2007
- Medalla de Oro del Gran Theatre del Liceu 2010
- Züricher Festspielpreis 2011

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Photo: Heikki Tuuli