Felicia Chen is a dynamic vocalist with an affinity for contemporary art music. Through her fearless approach toward the creation and interpretation of new works, Felicia eschews boundaries that limit the definition of music. Praised by The Boston Musical Intelligencer for creating “siren-like sounds that explored extremes of the vocal range,” Felicia employs a wide arsenal of extended techniques ranging from Sprechstimme to overtone and throat singing.
In summer 2017, Felicia heads to The Banff Centre on a full scholarship, as part of the Improviser’s View of Notated Music residency, where she will further explore extended vocal performance through improvisation and cross-discipline collaboration. Felicia recently completed a residency at Fresh Inc Festival, where she performed Dai Fujikura’s being as one, alongside Georges Aperghis’ highly theatrical and sexually-charged Sept Crimes de l’Amour. A firm believer that classical music can be a catalyst for social commentary and change, Felicia frequently collaborates with composers, musicians, and poets whose voices are underrepresented in the field. Upcoming engagements include premieres of works by Jen Wang, Kaley Lane Eaton, and Jonathan Bailey Holland, a performance of Crumb’s complete Madrigals alongside duos for voice and percussion, and a Berklee College of Music faculty recital featuring Marti Epstein’s Eleven Bashō Haiku.
Felicia’s 2016-2017 season encompasses monumental works from influential composers of the last century, including two performances of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Boston Conservatory), Druckman’s Animus II, Babbitt’s Philomel, and Ligeti’s Aventures (Berklee Words and Music Festival). At Boston Conservatory, Felicia was a core member of the institution’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, performing numerous chamber and solo works by prominent contemporary composers. Felicia was featured as a soloist in the New Music Festival for both years of her graduate degree, singing Crumb’s American Songbook I with the Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble, and Muhly’s Object Songs in performance and a masterclass with the composer.
In 2016, Felicia was the sole vocal fellow in the inaugural year of the Contemporary Performance Institute at Composers Conference. Under the direction of acclaimed cellist Fred Sherry, Felicia performed excerpts from Pierrot Lunaire and Currier’s Vocalissimus, in addition to chamber works by Berio, Carter, and Sheng. Felicia also held residencies at soundSCAPE Music Festival and the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) at New England Conservatory. That same year, Felicia made her solo debut with the DuBois Orchestra at Harvard University (in Fanny Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang) and with Chimera New Music, performing a program of works by Scelsi, Carter, and Babbitt.
Felicia was a guest artist with Celli@Berkeley, with whom she performed Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, and premiered Jared Redmond’s Deep Song. Written for Felicia and 12 cellos, the piece is featured on the ensemble’s debut album. Felicia has been a frequent soloist with her alma mater, UC Berkeley, including performances of Bach’s B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Felix Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang Symphony-Cantata, and Purcell’s Dioclesian.
Felicia’s primary mentors are new music exponents Lucy Shelton and Tony Arnold. Felicia was awarded the UC Berkeley Alfred Hertz Memorial Traveling Fellowship, which enabled her to study with Ms. Shelton in New York. Felicia received her Master of Music degree from Boston Conservatory, where she was a part of the inaugural class of the Contemporary Music Performance program and studied with Ms. Arnold and Kathryn Wright.
For more information about Felicia, check out her website.
David Voss – life is kind of splintering
for flute, guitar, and voice
Joseph Sowa – Blossom Music
for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion