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Bio & Resume

Megan Ihnen

Mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen is a tireless promoter of contemporary classical music for the voice. The Baltimore Theatre Journal praised Megan for her “mesmerizing dramatic and musical account of the strange mystic, Mary Magdalen de Pazzi,” in her performance of Salvatore Sciarrino’s one-woman operatic drama, “Infinito Nero”, with SONAR new music ensemble in February 2014. Megan is a new music force of nature. Her performances thrive on elaborate sound worlds and fully developed dramatic interpretations.

During the 2015-2016 season, Megan made her debut on the Detroit New Music “Strange Beautiful Music Marathon”, the Works and Process at the Guggenheim series with International Contemporary Ensemble, and on Stone Mason Projects’ “Fury” concert. Her highly regarded, interdisciplinary “Kafka Fragments” project had performances in Maryland and Colorado. Her recording of Garrett Schumann’s “Bound” with Latitude 49 was selected for both the I CARE IF YOU LISTEN Fall 2015 Mixtape and the CarpeDM Seize Des Moines “Music Mix: Volume III” which was featured at the 2016 SXSW Festival.

Megan joined Jennifer R. Ellis (harp) and Erika Boysen (flute) to form the Seen/Heard Trio in December 2015. The trio was accepted into the Avaloch Farm Music Institute residency program for June 2016 and also performs at the Omaha Under the Radar festival in July. The Seen/Heard Trio actively commissions and collaborates with diverse composers to create compelling and immersive performance projects.

Recent engagements also include the world premiere of Kevin Wilt’s “Prix Fixe” at Florida Atlantic University with Fifth House Ensemble, several performances of Amy Beth Kirsten’s chamber opera “Ophelia Forever,” Anna Meadors’s “Manifesto On The Ledge” & Matthew Triplett’s “I Promise To Be Good” with Rhymes With Opera, and a recital for two unaccompanied voices at the inaugural New Music Gathering in San Francisco with soprano Hillary LaBonte. Finally, Megan and Jennifer Ellis premiered their “Heart of Darkness” recital on the Notes on Fiction Series at the Center for Fiction in New York City in May 2015. The recital draws upon powerful 20th and 21st Century musical works to create a stark and multifaceted performance based on the themes in Joseph Conrad’s book.

Megan teaches at Graceland University in Lamoni as well as a private studio in Des Moines, Iowa. She regularly leads masterclasses on music entrepreneurship, performance, and teaching outreach principles to young artists. She holds degrees in music and vocal performance from Augustana University and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Megan is an alum of the MusicX, Bang on a Can, Fresh Inc, SICPP, and impuls festivals. She is also deeply honored to have received a Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award for Commitment to and Performance of 20th/21st Century Music in 2009 and a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Classical Music: Solo Performance in 2014.

Short Bio

Megan Ihnen is a mezzo-soprano on a mission to change the world through the commissioning, performance, and proliferation of new music.

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Concert, Recital, & Oratorio Experience

Amy Beth Kirsten: Ophelia Forever (Violated Saint)
Omaha Under the Radar, 2015

Joseph Schwantner: Wild Angels of Open Hills
Notes on Fiction, 2015

Alan Theisen: Haï-kaï
Notes on Fiction, 2015

Vivienne Olive: Whispers of a Heavenly Death
Notes on Fiction, 2015

Kaija Saariaho: Ariel’s Hail
Notes on Fiction, 2015

Armando Bayolo: Sacred Cows
Great Noise Ensemble, 2015; 2012

Garrett Schumann: Bound
Latitude 49, 2015

Klaus Lang: Ugly Horse
impuls Festival, 2015

Gilda Lyons: A Suite of Hymns
New Music Gathering, 2015

Elliott Carter: Voyage
SICPP Festival, 2014

Louis Andriessen: La Commedia (Dante Cover)
Great Noise Ensemble, 2014

Robert Honstein: We Choose to go to the Moon
Austin, TX, 2014

Salvatore Sciarrino: Infinito Nero
SONAR new music ensemble, 2014

György Kurtág: Kafka-Fragmente
New Music at the Atlas, 2014

Christian Carey: Kenyon Songs; He Wishes for Cloths of Heaven
Princeton, NJ, 2013

Jake Heggie: Statuesque
Fresh Inc New Music Festival, 2013

David Lang: I had no reason; Pay me now
Fresh Inc New Music Festival, 2013

Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder
Vivre Musicale, 2012

George Crumb: Ancient Voices of Children,
Bang on a Can Summer Festival, 2012

Missy Mazzoli: Shy Girl Shouting Music
Bang on a Can Summer Festival 2012

Milhaud: Chanson Bas
hexaCollective, 2012

Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
Great Noise Ensemble, 2011

Amy Beth Kirsten: joujou
MusicX Festival, 2011

Beethoven: Choral Fantasy
Handel Choir of Baltimore, 2011

George Crumb: Federico’s Little Songs for Children
Baltimore, MD, 2009; 2010

Erik Spangler: Mandala of the Four Directions (Premiere)
Mobtown Modern, 2010

Andrew Simpson: Lotus and Poppy
Washington, D.C., 2009; 2010

Debussy: Trois Chansons de Charles D’Orleans
Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, 2009

Staged Performance Experience

Rebecca Manchester | Kevin Wilt: Prix Fixe
Florida Atlantic University, 2015

Boss | Anna Meadors: Manifesto on the Ledge
Rhymes With Opera, 2015

Verlaine | Matthew Triplett: I Promise to be Good
Rhymes With Opera, 2015

Hansel | Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel
Baltimore Vocal Arts Foundation, 2013

Thetis | Michael Oberhauser: A Fire in Water (Premiere)
Silver Finch Arts Collective, 2013

Isella | Schubert: The Conspirators
Opera AACC, 2012

Annina | Verdi: La Traviata
Opera AACC, 2012

Nireno | Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
Peabody Chamber Opera, 2012

Fanchon | Herbert: Naughty Marietta
Opera AACC, 2012

Angelina | Rossini: La Cenerentola
Bel Cantanti Opera Festival, 2011

Senator Orrin Hatch | Melissa Dunphy: Gonzales Cantata
American Opera Theater, 2011

Mother | Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors
OperaLancaster, 2011

Estrelda | Sousa: El Capitan
Victorian Lyric Opera Co, 2010

Solo Voice | Catherine Reid: The Yellow Wallpaper (Premiere)
Peabody Chamber Opera, 2008

Voice Training and Education

Master of Music, Vocal Performance
Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute, 2009

Bachelor of Arts, Music
Augustana University, 2006

Awards and Competitions

Individual Artist Award
Maryland State Arts Council, 2014

Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award 20th/21st Vocal Music
Peabody Conservatory, 2009

Teachers

Elizabeth Hart
Phyllis Bryn-Julson

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