Diamanda Galás | Artist
Diamanda Galás is a Greek-American dramatic soprano, composer, pianist, organist, performance artist, and painter born 1955 in San Diego, California. Galás creates highly original and thought provoking political performance works. One of her major early works, Plague Mass, concerns the AIDS epidemic, a disease which took her brother, the playwright Philip-Dimitri Galás, in 1986. Her soprano voice is powerful but deeply unnerving. At 13, Galás began playing gigs in San Diego with her father's band, performing Greek and Arabic music. At 14 she made her orchestral debut with the San Diego Symphony as the piano soloist for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.1. In the 1970s, Galás studied biochemistry and the University of Southern California, specializing in immunology and haematology studies. Galás made her professional debut in Europe while doing post-graduate studies there in 1979. She made her solo performance debut at the Festival d'Avignon performing lead In Un Jour comme un autre, by composer Vinko Globokar, a work based upon Amnesty International's documentation of the arrest and torture of a Turkish woman for alleged treason. As well as her solo works she has collaborated with avant-garde composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Vinko Globokar and John Zorn. Outstanding albums include The Divine Punishment, Saint of the Pit, Plague Mass, Defixiones and Will and Testament. The 1988 compilation Masque of the Red Death is also recommended. As a girl, Galás acquired a taste for dark literature by authors such as Marquis de Sade, Friedrich Nietzsche, Antonin Artaud, and Edgar Allan Poe.
Artist Website: diamandagalas.com
Featured Albums: Diamanda Galás