Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Ema Nikolovska
BBT Award 2022

Ema Nikolovska - Biography

Born in North Macedonia, Ema Nikolovska grew up in Toronto, first studying violin (Glenn Gould School), then voice with Helga Tucker. She received her Master’s in Voice at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, where she also completed the Opera Course. Ema was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2019-2022. In 2019 she won first prize at the International Vocal Competition in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize (Kathleen Ferrier Awards), and was a prize-winner at the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) International Auditions. In 2022 she received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust award.

Recent appearances included her role debut as Octavian Der Rosenkavalier (Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin) and as the Woman in George Benjamin’s new opera, Picture a Day Like This, at Covent Garden’s Linbury Theatre. At Staasoper’s International Opera Studio, her roles included Lucile in Henze’s Cubana, Christian Jost’s Die Arabische Nacht, Second Lady Die Zauberflöte, Schäferin Jenůfa, Giovanna Rigoletto and Diane in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Her Canadian Opera Company debut was as Fox in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

On the concert platform recent highlights have included Mozart’s Coronation Mass at the Salzburg Festival, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri and Mozart’s Requiem with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Marc Minkowski, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Vivier’s Wo du Bist du Licht with Barbara Hannigan, Ravel’s Chansons Madecasses with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and George Benjamin, Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Kent Nagano, Scriabin’s Symphony No. 1 with Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi, Mendelssohn’s Elijah on tour with Pygmalion both with Raphaël Pichon.

As recitalist, already a regular at Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal and Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall and festivals such as Schubertíada Vilabertran, Verbier, Gstaad, Aldeburgh, Leeds Lieder and Toronto Summer, in early 2024 Ema embarked on a solo recital tour of North America, including her debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall.

Ema also  participated in BBT’s 20th-anniversary celebrations at London’s Wigmore Hall, June 2023.

I am incredibly thankful for my BBT Award, which encourages me to dream big, to examine my values and creative impulses anew; this type of imaginative space can be rare to experience, especially when one is in the early stages of a career.

Ema Nikolovska

Photographs by Simon Weir