Grammy award-winning soprano Hila Plitmann is a glittering jewel on the international music scene, known worldwide for her astonishing musicianship, light and beautiful voice, and the ability to perform challenging new works. She regularly premieres works by today’s leading composers while maintaining a vibrant and extraordinarily diverse professional life in film music, musical theatre, and song writing.
The Los Angeles Times calls her a performer with “tremendous vocal and physical grace,” while Entertainment Today raves, “Plitmann has a vocal instrument that is simply unreal in its beauty.” USA Today quotes “Her emotional interpretation of ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ unleashes startling fury and despair.” Of her extensive soundtrack work as a soloist for the Hollywood blockbuster The DaVinci Code, CNN says: “Plitmann’s glissandi sail above the petty pulpits of earthly doctrine with an ethereal ease that argues for Plitmann’s pairing with [Kathleen] Battle or Dawn Upshaw.”
When originating the role of Exstasis in Eric Whitacre’s groundbreaking electro-musical Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings at the Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena, Hila sang, acted, danced and fought in long martial arts battles nightly for a seven week sold-out run, a tour-de force performance that prompted Backstage West to call her, “brilliant, eliciting strong empathy and singing gorgeously,” and Theatre Mania to declare she “fights like a warrior and sings like the angel she portrays.” For her work in the show she received nominations for Best Actress in a Musical from the Los Angeles Ovation Awards and The L.A.
Hila has worked with many of today’s leading conductors, including Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Esa Pekka Salonen, Andrew Litton, Giancarlo Guerrero, Steven Sloane and Carl St. Clair. She has appeared as a headliner with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and numerous other orchestras and ensembles in the United States and abroad.
In constant demand as a singer of new and contemporary music, Hila has been involved in a great many world premieres, including: Paul Revere’s Ride with the Atlanta Symphony, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of the composer; Mr. Tambourine Man written by Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano with the Minnesota Orchestra; the world premiere of Gerard Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby, a song cycle written for her by Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis; Richard Danielpour’s Towards a Season of Peace with Pacific Symphony; and Frank Zappa’s orchestral staged version of the 200 Motels with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Additional previous performances to note are and Philip Glass’ The Civil WarS with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Grant Gershon conducting); Thomas Adès’ The Tempest Suite with the Boston Symphony Orchestra & with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Adès conducting); David Del Tredici’s Final Alice with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra (all conducted by Leonard Slatkin). Other collaborations include performances of Salonen’s Sappho Songs with the Stockholm Symphony Orchestra (Salonen conducting); Selection of Bernstein and Golijov with the Seattle Symphony (Joana Carneiro conducting); Paola Prestini’s Oceanic Verses with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Singers at the Barbican Centre; A selection of Barbara Streisand songs with the Hamburg Symphony (Stuart Barr conducting), and the New York premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings at Carnegie Hall.
Among future engagements are a recording of Xiaoyang Ye’s Symphony No. 3, with the Royal Philhamonic Orchestra (José Serebrier conducting); George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill as part of the Mostly Mozart music festival at Lincoln Center (Benjamin conducting); The world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Opera Becoming Santa Claus, with the Dallas Opera; Michael Daugherty’s Labyrinth of Love with the University of Michigan symphonic band, and the world premiere Paola Prestini’s opera Gilgamesh in Boston, as part of the Ouroboros Trilogy Opera Project.
Hila has accumulated an impressive catalogue of professional recordings, appearing on the Decca, Telarc, Naxos, Signum, CRI, Reference Recordings and Disney labels. Some of her latest discography encompasses Richard Danielpour’s Toward A Season of Peace (Pacific Symphony) and Corigliano – Conjurer/Vocalise (Albany Symphony), both released to critical acclaim on Naxos; The Ancient Question…A Journey Through Jewish Songs, was released to critical acclaim in December 2012 (Signum Classics); Both David Del Tredici’s Paul Revere’s Ride (Telarc), and Hans Zimmer’s The Da Vinci Code (Decca) received Grammy nominations, and in 2009 Hila won the Grammy for ‘Best Classical Vocal Performance‘ for her work on the Naxos recording of John Corigliano’s song cycle Mr. Tambourine Man with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Hila can also be heard on the soundtrack of the film New York, I Love You, singing a song written by composer Paul Cantelon.
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Hila received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees, with high honors, from the Juilliard School of Music, and has been awarded the coveted Sony ES Prize for her outstanding contribution to the vocal arts. She currently lives in London with her husband, composer Eric Whitacre, and their son. She has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.