The English soprano, Amanda Balestrieri, was educated in England. She won an Open Scholarship and the William Ackroyd Foundation Scholarship to Jesus College, Oxford University, where she received her MA degree in German and French. She also received diplomas from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in voice, piano (Lloyd Hartley Memorial Prize), and violin. She studied privately with Marjorie Thomas of the Royal Academy of Music in London and spent a year in Milan, Italy, where she studied with Maria Luisa Cioni. She appeared as a soloist in Oxford and London, toured in Europe with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields under Neville Marriner, and sang in the chamber chorus in the soundtrack recording for the film Amadeus. Now residing in the USA, she has studied with Myron McPherson in New York, Todd Duncan, Martha Ellison, and Mary Ann Stabile Cooper in Washington DC, and Max van Egmond at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute.
Amanda Balestrieri brings an impressive list of credits from both sides of the Atlantic. A few among many are several appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, a performance at the 92nd Street Y in New York, and a broadcast on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. She has sung under the baton of Neville Marriner, Christopher Hogwood, Leonard Slatkin, and Peter Phillips. Much in demand for her skills in Baroque repertoire, she received critical acclaim for her performances of Messiah with the Santa Fe Pro Musica and in New York with the famed St. Thomas Choir, for which she was praised in The New York Times, and for her appearance at the Maryland Handel Festival. Other notable performances were a solo recital at the Phillips Collection, Rameau’s opera Pigmalion with renowned French tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, J.S. Bach’s Easter Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Washington Bach Consort, François Couperin’s Leçons de Ténèbres with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, and Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Santa Fe Pro Musica.
Amanda Balestrieri was soloist in R. Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music with the National Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin at the reopening of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, performed Schubert's Shepherd on the Rock on the Fortas Chamber Series in the Terrace Theater, and joined maestro Christopher Hogwood in a performance of Mozart's Davide Penitente with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center Mozart Festival. She has also appeared at the Phillips Collection and the Boston Early Music Festival with the chamber ensemble ArcoVoce. She made her New York debut with Concert Royal at Merkin and Florence Gould Halls, appearing as "La Paix" in Charpentier's Les Arts Florissants with the New York Baroque Dance Company in New York, Princeton, and Lancaster Pennsylvania, and performed a program of Purcell at the Lincoln Center with the Four Nations Ensemble. She is a frequent guest with the Folger Consort, notably as Marjorie Gubbins in the Baroque farce, The Dragon of Wantley, and has recorded with the American Bach Soloists for the Koch label, and with Ensemble Five/One and the Folger Consort. In 1999 she was nominated for a “Wammie” (awards given by the Washington Area Music Association) in the Best Classical Vocalist category.
For the past few years, Amanda Balestrieri has been based in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she has appeared as a soloist with the University Singers, the University Glee Club, the Virginia Consort, and the Oratorio Society, and with the Staunton Music Festival. She recently agreed to join the voice performance faculty at the University of Virginia, and maintains a private studio in her home in Ivy.
Amanda Balestrieri’s current season includes performances with the Santa Fe Pro Musica in New Mexico, the Folger Consort at the Clarice Smith Concert Hall in Maryland, the Smithsonian Chamber Players in New York, the Beethoven Society with ArcoVoce, and Opera Lafayette in Washington DC. Last season, she performed a critically-acclaimed 18th-century Zarzuela with the New York Collegium and conductor Eduardo Lopez Banzo, a solo recital presented by the French Embassy, the prologue to Rameau’s Platée with the Violins of Lafayette, J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass (BWV 232) with the New York Collegium, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Messiah at the Washington National Cathedral, and Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light with Anonymous Four at the George Mason Center for the Performing Arts.