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.”
Hila has worked with many of today’s leading conductors, including Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Esa Pekka Salonen, Andrew Litton, and Steven Sloane. She has appeared as a headliner with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New Israeli Opera and numerous other orchestras and ensembles in the United States and abroad.
She has appeared and performed with the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Thomas Adès’ The Tempest Suite with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adès, the world premiere of Gerard Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic also conducted by Thomas Adès, 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 with Salonen conducting, Bernstein and Golijov with the Seattle Symphony conducted by Joana Carneiro, a selection of Barbara Streisand songs with the Hamburg Symphony, and the New York premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings at Carnegie Hall.
Recent and future engagements include season include performances of George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill with the London Sinfonietta as part of the Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije and also with Orquestra Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Ades’ The Tempest Suite with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, performances of Richard Danielpour’s Darkness in the Ancient Valley with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of the wind ensemble version of Michael Daugherty’s Labyrinth of Love with the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble conducted by Gary D Green, the UK premiere Paola Prestini’s Oceanic Verses with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Singers at the Barbican Centre, David Del Tredici’s Dum Dum Tweedle with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Frank Zappa’s orchestral version of 200 Motels and Philip Glass’ CIVIL warS, both with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Eric Whitacre’s Fly to Paradise, sung at Buckingham palace as part of the Coronation Festival celebrations.
In constant demand as a singer of new and contemporary music, Hila has appeared as soloist in several 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 and Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby, a song cycle written for her by Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis.
In 2007, Hila originated the role of Exstasis in Eric Whitacre’s groundbreaking electro-musical Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings. 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. Ticketholder Awards. The show is due to open on London’s West End.
Hila has accumulated an impressive catalogue of professional recordings, appearing on the Decca, Telarc, Naxos, Signum, CRI, Reference Recordings and Disney labels. Her most latest discs are Danielpour’s Toward A Season of Peace and Corigliano – Conjurer/Vocalise, both released to critical acclaim on Naxos. Hila’s discography also includes Yiddish Songs, – The Ancient Question, (Signum Classics) released in December 2012, The Ancient Question…A Journey Through Jewish Songs, released to critical acclaim in December 2011. The Da Vinci Code soundtrack (Decca) was a worldwide bestseller, spending several weeks on the Billboard charts. Both Paul Revere’s Ride (Telarc), and The Da Vinci Code 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.
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.
Hila currently lives in London with her husband (composer, Eric Whitacre) and their son. She has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.