The German contralto, Marion Eckstein, was born in Bernkastel-Kues, and grew up in a vineyard in Monzel an der Mosel. She studied German and music education, majoring in singing with Gisela Krenkel at the University of Music in Stuttgart, before deciding after the state exams to devote herself entirely to singing. She began her vocal training with Julia Hamari, and subsequently completed in the singing class of Dunja Vejzovic her artistic studies, which she passed with distinction. She received major artistic inspiration in the Lied class of Konrad Richter, and in master-classes with Anna Reynolds, Klesie Kelly, Grace Bumbry and Luana de Vol. Marion Eckstein received a scholarship from the International Richard Wagner Association.
Marion Eckstein in her singing has always focused on concert singing. Key aspects of her work are recitals with a wide variety of topics and her engagement with contemporary music. This singer´s astonishing extensive repertoire covers all major contralto and mezzo-soprano parts of oratorios and concerts from the Baroque era, the Classical and Romantic periods as well as 20th century literature. She is especially devoted to the works of Gustav Mahler and performed and recorded his Kindertotenlieder with the Linos-Ensemble in the Konzerthaus Berlin. Other works in her repertoire are J.S. Bach's oratorios, Richard Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder and L.v. Beethoven's Missa solemnis, and Dieter Schnebel’s Dahlemer Messe.
Marion Eckstein is a sought-after soloist on international concert stages such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Tonhalle Zürich, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wiener Konzerthaus and Megaron Athens. She is also a regular guest performer at seminal festivals, such as the Salzburger Festspiele, Bachfest Leipzig, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspielen, Europäischen Musikfest Stuttgart.
Marion Eckstein has worked with conductors including Kazem Abdullah, Ivor Bolton, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Thomas Hengelbrock, Kay Johannsen, Hanns-Friedrich Kunz, Ludger Rémy, Helmuth Rilling, Manfred Schreier and Christoph Spering. She has performed the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Bamberger Symphoniker and Neuen Vocalsolisten.
In spring 2009, Marion Eckstein sang on a tour in Spain under the baton of Christoph Spering the alto part in J.S. Bach's Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244), as well as at the Dresden’s Frauenkirche under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Robert Schumann's Der Rose Pilgerfahrt and Felix Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream. A regular cooperation closely connects Marion Eckstein to Thomas Hengelbrock - with him as conductor she has sung in J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232) at the Bachfest Leipzig and F. Mendelssohn's Walpurgisnacht at the Zürich’s Tonhalle. She has also sung under his baton "Stimme von oben" and "Blumenmädchen" in Wagner´s Parsifal at the Teatro Real Madrid and also in July 2013, gave her debut at the Salzburg Festival with W.A. Mozart´s Requiem. Under the baton of Manfred Schreier she sang in April 2010 the alto part in G. Mahler's Lied von der Erde.
Her artistic work has been documented by radio productions with SWR, BR, MDR, German and Swiss radio broadcast and numerous CD releases and live concert recordings, such as G. Mahler´s Kindertotenlieder and Alban Berg´s Altenberg-Lieder with the Linos-Ensemble (Capriccio, Spring 2010) and "Lotti-Zelenka-Bach" (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Fall 2009), conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, which received a Gramophone Award in the category “Baroque-vocal”. Other CD recordings include: Georg Philipp Telemann's Messiah, George Frideric Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, and Christmas cantatas by Charpentier.