Jane Manningwas born in Norwich and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and in Switzerland with Frederick Husler.She has more than 35 years’ international experience in an exceptionally wide-ranging repertoire, and is especially celebrated world-wide as an indefatigable interpreter of new music.. She has given more than 350 world premieres to date, and has worked closely with composers such as Ades, Bennett, Birtwistle, Cage, Carter, Harvey, Lutyens , Knussen, and Weir. Operatic roles created by her include that of Max in Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are (Brussels Opera).She gave the world premiere of John Cage’s Europera III at the Almeida Theatre and toured it throughout Europe. Judith Weir’s one-woman opera King Harald’s Saga , written for her in 1979 has become a miniature classic.
Her catalogue of CDs includes the major song cycles of Messiaen, all Satie’s vocal music, and works by, Berg, Dallapiccola, Ligeti and Schoenberg with conductors such as Boulez and Rattle.
Her interpretation of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with which she made her broadcast debut in 1965 is still regarded as definitive, and she has now performed it over a hundred times with more than 20 different ensembles world-wide, including a historic performance with Barenboim, Du Pre, Zukerman and Mehta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, followed by the work’s premiere in Israel under Mehta. In Autumn 2004 she began a three-year appointment as AHRB Creative Arts Research Fellow at Kingston University, undertaking a major study of the work from the performance perspective.
Since her first BBC song recital in 1966 (of Warlock songs) she has broadcast frequently in the traditional and light music repertoire as well as in new music, and has made many appearances at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. Operatic roles have ranged from the eponymous heroine in Lully’s Armide (University of W. Australia) and Mozart’s Fiordiligi (Barber Institute, Birmingham) to a highly-acclaimed Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (Wexford Festival) and Anna in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins (Israel Festival).
She received the OBE in 1990, a Special Award from the Composers Guild of Gt. Britain in 1973, and Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of York (1988) and Keele ( 2004).. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy and the Royal College of Music., She also acts on the Executive Committee of the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and is a Vice-President of the Society for the Promotion of New Music.
She continues to enjoy an active performing career with regular appearances in London and at leading Festivals. U.S. engagements have included concerts with the Kronos Quartet, Boston Musica Viva, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Ensemble. Recent London appearances have included her acclaimed performance of Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s 70th Birthday celebrations. She has recorded the work with the Manchester-based ensemble Psappha, and also toured it to Australian and all over the UK.
She is also much in demand for her lively and informative lectures and demonstrations, master classes and seminars. She has been Visiting Professor four times at Mills College, California, and has given lectures at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cornell, Penn, Columbia, Princeton and MIT. She has been Artist-in Residence at universities all over Canada , Australia and New Zealand , and has given classes for singers and composers in Germany, Holland, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong, South Korea and South Africa.
Her text books : New Vocal Repertory :An Introduction , and New Vocal Repertory 2, are published by Oxford University Press.. She is also a Visiting Professor at London’s Royal College of Music and has just completed six years as Honorary Professor at Keele University. She is married to the composer, writer and broadcaster Anthony Payne.