German contralto Maria Friderike Radner was born on 7 May 1981 in Düsseldorf and studied music in the same city, at the Robert Schumann Hochschule. She began to be noticed in 2008, whilst still a student, singing the title role in Handel's Solomon at the Bregenz Festival.
After graduating, she began singing internationally almost immediately, becoming known as a Wagner specialist, and singing Erda in Das Rheingold every year at Leipzig from 2010. She made debuts at La Scala (2011, The Magic Flute), Metropolitan Opera (2012, Götterdämmerung) and Covent Garden (2012, Rheingold, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung).
She died (with her husband and young son, and also colleague Oleg Bryzhak) on 24 March 2015, aged thirty-three, in the Germanwings Flight 9525 air crash in the French Alps, whilst returning from singing in Siegfried at Barcelona.
Ensemble. Traditional and Bold - Berlioz's Les Troyens, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Nuanced Tone - Wagner's Götterdämmerung in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, seen and heard in Arizona by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Mahler versus Mahler - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia