The Canadian lyric tenor, Colin Balzer, received his formal musical training at the University of British Columbia with David Meek and at the Hochschule fur Musik Nurnberg / Augsburg with Edith Wiens. He has particpated in master-classes with such artists as Philip Langridge, Helmut Deutsch, Robert Tear, Elly Ameling, Brigitte Fassbaender, Rudolph Jansen, and Christoph Pregardien, and also attended both the Britten-Pears School in Alderburgh and the Franz Schubert Institut in Baden, Austria. He won prize at the prestigious Holland’s ’s-Hertogenbosch Competition, as well as prizes in several competitions in Germany, including the Hugo Wolf Competition in Stuttgart, the 55th ARD International Music Competition in Munich, and he holds the rare distinction of earning the First Prize Gold Medal at the Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau with the highest score in 25 years.
Worked with such conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Simone Young, Simon Preston, Leopold Hager, Bernard Labadie, Kenneth Montgomery, Mario Venzago, Yoav Talmi, Gabriel Chmura and Christof Perick, and performing with such orchestras as the Hungarian National Radio Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Luxembourg Symphony, Het Brabants Orkest, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Munchener Kammerorchester, Les Boreades de Montreal, Tragicomedia, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis, Oregon and Vancouver Symphonies and Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, among many others. Particularly esteemed as a recitalist, he has been welcomed at London’s Wigmore Hall (accompanied by Graham Johnson), the Britten Festival in Aldeburgh, Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center, the Bruges Festival Musica Antiqua in Belgium, the Boston Early Music Festival, Festival Vancouver, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, the Wratislavia Cantans in Poland, and at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden.
In the 2005-2006 season Colin Balzer appeared with the Het Brabants Orkest (Cornelius’ Stabat Mater), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in G.F. Handel’s Athalia under the direction of Kenneth Montgomery, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Victoria Symphony (both for G.F. Handel’s Messiah), sang Mozart’s Requiem with the Indianapolis and New Jersey Symphony orchestras, performed J.S. Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann cantatas at Early Music Vancouver, and in Mozart’s Idomeneo with Leopold Hager conducting the Luxembourg Symphony. In addition he made important debuts with Bernard Labadie and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Mario Venzago and the Indianapolis Symphony, both in the Mozart Requiem. During the summer of 2005 he sang Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch at Finland’s Savonlinna Festival, Acis in G.F. Handel’s Acis and Galatea at Festival Vancouver, and the role of Gavust in the world-premiere performances of Johann Mattheson’s Boris Goudenow at the Boston Early Music Festival (including a performance at Tanglewood).
In the 2006-2007 season Colin Balzer appeared with F. Mendelssohn’s Paulus under Yoav Talmi for the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, Concerto Palatino (Gabrielli program), Collegium Musicum Basel (orchestrated Schubert and Copland songs), Hansjorg Albrecht and the Munchener Bach-Chor (Mozart’s Requiem and Freimauerer Cantata), Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy (North American tour of Mozart’s Requiem and Veserae solennes de confessore), Schwabisches Oratorienchor (Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri), Early Music Vancouver and Les Boreades de Montreal (Bach cantatas), Ann Arbor Symphony, Calgary Symphony, and the Vancouver Cantata Singers (G.F. Handel’s Messiah), Klauspeter Seibel and the Quebec Symphony (F. Mendelssohn’s Paulus), Tafelmusik (J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) and G.F. Handel’s Solomon) and a production of Lully’s Psyche at the Boston Early Music Festival, and a Mozart/Berlioz program for Music Director James Setapen’s farewell concerts with the Amarillo Symphony.
Following summer 2007 performances of Lully’s Psyche with the Boston Early Music Festival, his 2007-2008 season includes concerts throughout Germany with the Munchener Bach-Chor; Bach Cantatas with Early Music Vancouver; J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Leipziger Barockorchester; G.F. Handel’s Messiah with Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony; J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass (BWV 232) with the Quebec Symphony, and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) on a European tour with Spain’s Al Ayre Espagnol ensemble. In addition he performs G.F. Handel’s Chandos Anthems in France, Germany and Poland with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble. In 2008-2009 he sang the title role of Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Edmonton, Haydn’s Die Schoepfung with Yoav Talmi and the Quebec Symphony; G.F. Handel’s Messiah with the Calgary Philharmonic, the Mozart Requiem with the National Philharmonic and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent.
In 2009-2010 he sang parts in Chandos Anthems and Messias by Handel, Die Jahreszeiten by Haydn, Idomeneo and Mass c-dur by Mozart, Ode to Saint Cecilia by Purcell and Matthaus-Passion by Bach.
In 2010 he made his debut at the Bolshoi Theatre as Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni).