Masterclass classical song repertoire
Elly Amelings ten commandments for a singer:
1. My work is my health
2. Night and day my work shall pre-occupy me
3. I shall be my own most critical judge
4. My pitch shall always be right in the heart of the tone in its harmonious context
5. I shall use my strongest possible forte and my softest piano and all that is in between in an ever-present variety
6. I shall make music with my voice
7. I'm a musician in the first place, singing is my discipline
8. I shall try to express the music and the text, not myself
9. I shall know a good deal of the Greek/ Roman mythology and of the Old and the New Testaments
10. I shall be aware of what motivated my composers and poets.
Elly Ameling , soprano, was born in 1933 in Rotterdam , the Netherlands. She won the IVC in 's-Hertogenbosch (NL) in 1956 cum laude. She subsequently won first prize at the Concours International de Musique de Genève (CH) in 1958. This established the start of a remarkable career.
After working with Miss Ameling, Ernest Ansermet described her thus: “A good voice is a blessing from somewhere above; Madame Ameling stands continually under this downpour, of which the romanticists would have said it is of divine origin".
She combined the right mix of talent, ambition and determination to become one of the world's great Lieder singers of the second half of the 20th century. She possessed a perfectly placed voice with a creamy timbre and a soft edge. Apart from the ethereal beauty of her instrument, she was also an utterly imaginative and at the same time faithful interprete. Her singing conveyed Schubert’s love and pain, made us float in Debussy , and took us to dramatic extremes in compositions of Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss. Having once heard the Ameling phenomenon one can never forget it.
A shrewd artist with real selfknowledge Elly Ameling never went beyond her boundaries. ln this way she kept her voice in pristine state during her entire career. This is obvious when one listens to her 5 CD -boxes of live radiorecordings : one issued in 2008 on the occasion of her 75th birthday and the next box in 2013 at her 80th birthday. On these recordings, from her first to her last concert during more than four decades, we hear a soprano continuously in full control of the technique, and with an ever wider span of expression.
These CDs also contain some rare excursions into operatic repertoire : Mozart with a.o. all the female roles in the Marriage of Figaro; Gounod (Faust, Marguerite), Bizet (Carmen, Micaela) and Maillart.
During her whole career she produced studiorecordings with virtually all recordcompanies. These were awarded with many international prizes like the Edison Prize, Grand Prix du Disque and Preis der Deutschen schallplatten kritik. In 2012 EMl issued the 8-CDbox 'Elly Ameling, the Dutch Nightingale'.
She concertized on all continents in every major music centre. She sang recitals with pianists Rudolf Jansen, Graham Johnson, Joerg Demus, lrwin Gage, Dalton Baldwin, Felix de Nobel and others. She performed oratorio and the orchestral lieder- and mélodie repertoire with the leading orchestras of the world under the baton of Karl Ançeri, Ernest Ansermet, Benjamin Britten, Eduard Flipse, Jean Fournet, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Josef Krips, Rafael Kubelik, Erich leinsdorf, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Seji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Ed Spanjaard, Hans Vonk and other conductors.
1971: knighted by Her Majesty Queen Juliana of the Netherlands : Ridder in de orde van Oranje Nassau
1981: doctor honoris causa University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
1985: doctor honoris causa Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
1986: doctor honoris causa The Cleveland lnstitute of Music, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
1988: doctor honoris causa Shenandoah University, Washington DC, USA.
1996: Elly Ameling Ring, Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
2008: knighted in the highest civil order by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands: Ridder in de orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw.
2015: Hugo Wolf Medaille of the International Hugo Wolf Akademie in Stuttgart.
In 1996 Elly Ameling bade her farewell to the concert platform, during a grand gala concert , at which occasion the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam instituted the ' Elly Ameling Ring’ and placed her portrait in bronze in the picture gallery in one of the foyers.
Until this day- 2018 the soprano is busy giving masterclasses and workshops at conservatories and summerschools in Europe, Japan and the United States of America.