Joining a rare natural warmth with a fierce commitment to the transforming communicative power of music, Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. Her ability to reach to the heart of music and text has earned her both the devotion of an exceptionally diverse audience, and the awards and distinctions accorded to only the most distinguished of artists. In 2007, she was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, the first vocal artist to be awarded the five-year “genius” prize, and in 2008 she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Her acclaimed performances on the opera stage comprise the great Mozart roles (Susanna, Ilia, Pamina, Despina, and Zerlina) as well as modern works by Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Messiaen. From Salzburg, Paris and Glyndebourne to the Metropolitan Opera, where she began her career in 1984 and has since made nearly 300 appearances, Dawn Upshaw has also championed numerous new works created for her including The Great Gatsby by John Harbison; the Grawemeyer Award-winning opera, L’Amour de Loin and oratorio La Passion de Simone by Kaija Saariaho; John Adams’s Nativity oratorio El Niño; and Osvaldo Golijov’s chamber opera Ainadamar and song cycle Ayre.
It says much about Dawn Upshaw’s sensibilities as an artist and colleague that she is a favored partner of many leading musicians, including Gilbert Kalish, the Kronos Quartet, James Levine, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In her work as a recitalist, and particularly in her work with composers, Dawn Upshaw has become a generative force in concert music, having premiered more than 25 works in the past decade. From Carnegie Hall to large and small venues throughout the world she regularly presents specially designed programs composed of lieder, contemporary works in many languages, and folk and popular music. She furthers this work in master classes and workshops with young singers at major music festivals, conservatories, and liberal arts colleges. She is Artistic Director of the Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and the Head of the Vocal Arts Program at the Tanglewood Music Center.
A five-time Grammy Award winner, Dawn Upshaw, most recently received the 2014 Best Classical Vocal Solo Grammy for Maria Schneider's Winter Morning Walks on the ArtistShare Label. She is featured on more than 50 recordings, including the million-selling Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki for Nonesuch Records. Her discography also includes full-length opera recordings of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; Messiaen’s St. Francois d’Assise; Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; John Adams’s El Niño; two volumes of Canteloube’s “Songs of the Auvergne,” a dozen recital recordings, and an acclaimed three-disc series of Osvaldo Golijov’s music for Deutsche Grammophon.
Dawn Upshaw holds honorary doctorate degrees from Yale, the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, Allegheny College, and Illinois Wesleyan University. She began her career as a 1984 winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions and the 1985 Walter W. Naumburg Competition, and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artists Development Program.
Ms. Upshaw has recorded extensively for the Nonesuch label. She may also be heard on Angel/EMI, BMG, Deutsche Grammophon, London, Sony Classical, Telarc, and on Erato and Teldec in the Warner Classics Family of labels.
“Soprano Tony Arnold is a luminary in the world of chamber music and art song. Today’s classical composers are inspired by her inherently beautiful voice, consummate musicianship, and embracing spirit” (Huffington Post). Hailed by the New York Times as “a bold, powerful interpreter,” she is recognized internationally as a leading proponent of new music in concert and recording, having premiered over 200 works “with a musicality and virtuosity that have made her the Cathy Berberian of her generation”(Chicago Tribune). Since becoming the first-prize laureate of both the 2001 Gaudeamus International Competition (NL) and the 2001 Louise D. McMahon Competition (USA), Tony Arnold has collaborated with the most cutting-edge composers and instrumentalists on the world stage, and shares with the audience her “broader gift for conveying the poetry and nuance behind outwardly daunting contemporary scores” (Boston Globe).“Simply put, she is a rock-star in this genre” (Sequenza 21).
As the soprano of the intrepid International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Tony Arnold is a catalyst for dozens of groundbreaking projects, the most recent of which is David Lang’s Whisper Opera in ICE’s touring production directed by Jim Findlay. Her regular appearances with leading ensembles worldwide include Ensemble Modern in the 2013 premiere of Beat Furrer’s La Bianca Notte; the San Francisco Contemporary Players in the 2014 premiere of George Crumb’s Yellow Moon of Andalusia; and the Orion String Quartet in the 2014 US premiere of Brett Dean’s And Once I Played Ophelia at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. She is a frequent collaborator with Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella, JACK Quartet, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Talea Ensemble, eighth blackbird, and many others. She has toured the US extensively as a member of the George Crumb Ensemble. A noted guest artist at international festivals on four continents, Tony Arnold has been featured at the Darmstadt Festival and Witten New Music Days (Germany); Time of Music (Finland); Cervantino (Mexico); Musica Sacra Maastricht (Netherlands); Tongyeong Festival (Korea); and the Perspectives XXI Festival (Armenia). Every summer, Ms. Arnold sings and teaches at soundSCAPE in Maccagno, Italy.
With more than two-dozen discs to her credit, Tony Arnold has recorded a broad segment of the modern vocal repertory with esteemed chamber music colleagues. Her recording of George Crumb’s iconic Ancient Voices of Children (Bridge) was nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award. Other notable releases include a CD/DVD set of György Kurtág’s monumental Kafka Fragments (Bridge) with violin virtuoso Movses Pogossian; Olivier Messiaen’s mystical song cycle Harawi (New Focus) with pianist Jacob Greenberg; Jason Eckardt’s uncompromising Undersong (Mode) and Tongues (Tzadik) with ICE; and the crystalline chamber songs of Webern on Robert Craft’s most recent Webern edition (Naxos). Of the Webern, The Guardian writes, “sung with remarkable poise and warmth by soprano Tony Arnold…each [song] is a perfectly etched miniature, a nugget of impacted lyricism, and Arnold unwraps them with immense care.”
A strong advocate for the creation and commissioning of new music, Tony Arnold’s artistry has attracted many of the most gifted composers of our time. The growing repertoire of vocal chamber music now includes major works written for her voice by Georges Aperghis, Eric Chasalow, Philippe Manoury, Josh Levine, George Crumb, Pamela Madsen, Fredrick Gifford, David Liptak, Brett Dean, Christopher Theofanidis, Jason Eckardt, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Jesse Jones, Nathan Davis, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, John Zorn, David Gompper, amongst others. In 2012, Ms. Arnold and violinist Movses Pogossian were the recipients of a Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant to support the creation of Seven Armenian Songs by Gabriela Lena Frank. Upcoming in 2016, Ms. Frank will again write for Tony Arnold with violinist Ida Kavafian a new song cycle to be premiered at Music from Angel Fire. Also in 2016, Hans Tutschku will create a new work for Ms. Arnold with live electronics, to be premiered at the International Symposium of New Music in Brazil.
Tony Arnold has worked on a sustained basis with young composers and performers, sparking new musical ideas and fostering collaboration with succeeding generations. In 2015-16, she will be the Kunkemueller Artist-in-Residence at the Boston Conservatory, where she will sing, teach, and conduct a variety of multi-disciplinary events. As the recipient of the 2015-16 Brandeis Creative Arts Award, she will engage the entire Brandeis University community in a yearlong discussion about voice and identity through a series of concerts, salon events, and student-driven projects. In 2009, Ms. Arnold was the first performer ever invited to be the Howard Hanson Distinguished Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music. From 2003-15 she served on the faculty of the University at Buffalo, where she founded the extended techniques vocal ensemble, BABEL. She has been associated with the Composers Conference at Wellesley since 2008, having premiered some 20 next-generation works there. She has performed, lectured, and given master classes as a guest in over 50 universities worldwide.
Tony Arnold is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University. Growing up in suburban Baltimore, she composed, sang, and played every instrument she could persuade her parents to let her bring home, but never intended to become a professional vocalist. Instead, she applied her broad musical background to the study of orchestral conducting. Following graduate school, she was a fellow of the Aspen Music Festival (as both a conductor and singer), and she enjoyed success as the music director of several orchestras in the Chicago area. In her early thirties, Ms. Arnold reconnected with her love of singing, and discovered a special ability for making the most complex vocal music accessible to every audience. Having been inspired by many mentors, she is especially indebted to the teaching of sopranos Carmen Mehta and Carol Webber, conductors Robert Spano and Victor Yampolsky, and composer György Kurtág.
Joan La Barbara
JOAN LA BARBARA’s career as a composer/performer/soundartist explores the human voice as a multi-faceted instrument expanding traditional boundaries in developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques: multiphonics, circular singing, ululation and glottal clicks that have become her "signature sounds". In 2008, La Barbara was awarded the American Music Center's Letter of Distinction for significant contributions to the field of contemporary American music. Creating works for multiple voices, chamber ensembles, music theater, orchestra and interactive technology, her awards in the U.S. and Europe include: 2016 John Cage Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; 2013 Civitella Ranieri Fellowship; 2011 Premio Internzionale "Demetrio Stratos" Per la sperimentazione musicale; 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition; DAAD Artist-in-Residency in Berlin and 7 National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in Music Composition, Opera/Music Theatre, Inter-Arts, Recording (2), Solo Recitalist and Visual Arts; ISCM International Jury Award; Akustische International Competition Award; Aaron Copland Fund for Music; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; Collaboration Award of NY Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts and Media; Meet The Composer and ASCAP Awards. Numerous commissions for concert, theatre and radioworks, including: "in the dreamtime" and "Klangbild Köln" for WestDeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne; "Dragons on the Wall", a music score commissioned by Mary Flagler Cary Trust and "Calligraphy II/Shadows" for voice and Chinese instruments, both for Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company; choral work "to hear the wind roar" for Gregg Smith Singers, I Cantori and the Center for Contemporary Arts/Santa Fe,; "Events in the Elsewhere" from "The Misfortune of the Immortals", funded by Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace; "Awakenings" for chamber ensemble, from the University of Iowa Center for New Music; "l'albero dalle foglie azzurre" (tree of blue leaves) for solo oboe and tape, commissioned by The Saint Louis Symphony, and "A Trail of Indeterminate Light" for cellist who sings. "73 Poems", her collaborative work with text artist Kenneth Goldsmith, was included in "The American Century Part II: SoundWorks" at The Whitney Museum of American Art. "Messa di Voce", an interactive media work, in collaboration with Jaap Blonk, Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, premiered at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria on September 7, 2003 and was awarded Honorary Mention in the 2004 Prix Ars Electronica. Live Music for Dance commissions include "Landscape over Zero" (2004-05 for Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company), "Fleeting Thoughts" (2005-06 for Jane Comfort & Company), and "Desert Myths/Isle of Dunes"(premiered at NJPAC April 29, 2006 featuring Ne(x)tworks and Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company). "Atmos" for flute and sonic atmosphere, commissioned by Meet The Composer/NYSFM, premiered March 2008 at Symphony Space, performed by Margaret Lancaster; recording was released on "Io", for New World Records in 2009. In 2007-08, La Barbara received a NYSCA Music Composition award to compose a new spoken word opera,/politial dance theatre work "An American Rendition", in collaboration with choreographer/theater artist Jane Comfort, which premiered September 2008 at Duke Theatre, NYC. "Angels, Demons and Other Muses" placing the musicians of Ne(x)tworks within the audience, was presented on the Interpretations Series at Roulette in April 2010. "in Solitude this fear is lived...", a sound painting for amplified voice, orchestra and "sonic atmosphere" inspired by the minimalist work of Agnes Martin, placed the musicians of the American Composers Orchestra around and in the audience, premiering in March 2011 at Carnegie's Zankel Hall. "Journeys and Observable Events", placing musicians and actors in the many rooms of Greenwich House Music School, and allowing each audience member to create an individual experience traveling through the building, premiered May 6, 2011. Phase One of "Storefront Diva" a new work for pianist Kathleen Supové in a theatrical environment, premiered at a pop-up store at 159 Bleecker in Greenwich Village on December 27, 2011; "Storefront Diva: a dreamscape", the subsequent phase of this work premiered April 2013 as part of "Digital Debussy" project at The Flea Theater in Tribeca. La Barbara's new chamber ensemble work "Persistence of Memory" premiered at The Kitchen in December 2011; an expanded version with complementary film by Aleksandar Kostic, premiered at MaerzMusik in Berlin March 17, 2012, along with her new production of John Cage's "Song Books". La Barbara is composing a new opera reflecting on the artistic process and sounds within the mind.
La Barbara has collaborated with artists including Lita Albuquerque, Matthew Barney, Cathey Billian, Melody Sumner Carnahan, Judy Chicago, Ed Emshwiller, Kenneth Goldsmith, Peter Gordon, Christian Marclay, Bruce Nauman, Steina, Woody Vasulka and Lawrence Weiner. In the early part of her career, she performed and recorded with Steve Reich, Philip Glass and jazz artists Jim Hall, Hubert Laws, Enrico Rava and arranger Don Sebesky, developing her own unique vocal/instrumental sound. Hailed as "one of the great vocal virtuosas of our time"(San Francisco Examiner), she premiered landmark compositions written for her by noted American composers, including Morton Feldman's "Three Voices"; Morton Subotnick's chamber opera "Jacob's Room" and his media poems "Hungers" and "Intimate Immensity"; the title role in Robert Ashley's opera "Now Eleanor's Idea" as well as "Balseros", "Dust" "Celestial Excursions" and "Concrete"; Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's "Einstein on the Beach" at Festival d'Avignon; Steve Reich's "Drumming"; and John Cage's "Solo for Voice 45" with "Atlas Eclipticalis" and "Winter Music" at Festival de La Rochelle, France. Her collaboration with Judy Chicago, "Prologue to The Book of Knowing...(and) of Overthrowing"was performed at the First New York International Festival of the Arts and Telluride's Composer-to-Composer Festivals.
In addition to the internationally-acclaimed "Three Voices for Joan La Barbara by Morton Feldman" (New Albion NA018), "Joan La Barbara Singing through John Cage" (New Albion NA035) and "Joan La Barbara/Sound Paintings" (Lovely Music LCD 3001), she has recorded for A&M Horizon, Centaur, Deutsche Grammophon, Elektra-Nonesuch, Mode, Music & Arts, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage, Newport Classic, New World, Sony, Virgin, Voyager and Wergo. "Voice is the Original Instrument", La Barbara's seminal works from the 70's, was released March 2003, as a 2-cd set (Lovely Music LCD3003-2) and hailed as one of The Wire's 10 best of the year. "ShamanSong" (New World Records 80545-2) includes her compositions "ShamanSong", "Calligraphy II/Shadows" and "ROTHKO", a sound painting inspired by the Rothko Chapel. Her collaboration with visual/text artist Kenneth Goldsmith, "73 Poems", is an edition of prints, book and cd produced by Permanent Press and Lovely Music Ltd (LCD 3002). "The Time Is Now" a compilation of music composed to texts by Melody Sumner Carnahan, includes La Barbaraâ€™s works: "de profundis: out of the depths, a sign" and "A Different Train" (Frog Peak FP006). Recording projects as singer and/or producer include "Only: Works for Voice and Instruments" by Morton Feldman (New Albion NA085); "Rothko Chapel/Why Patterns" (New Albion), "John Cage at Summerstage with Joan La Barbara, Leonard Stein and William Winant", Cage's final concert performance on July 23, 1992 in NYC's Central Park (Music & Arts CD-875); "Centering - the music of Earle Brown" (Newport Classics npd 85631). La Barbara is featured on two recent Earle Brown cd releases: "Folio and Four Systems" (Tzadik TZ 8028) and "Tracer", with her ensemble Ne(x)tworks, on Mode Records, as well as Robert Ashley's "Now Eleanor's Idea", "Your Money My Life Good-Bye", "Concrete", "Celestial Excursions", and "Dust".
Her works have been choreographed by John Alleyne for Ballet British Columbia, Nai-Ni Chen, Jane Comfort, Martha Curtis, Catherine Kerr, Martha Scott, and she performed her music with Merce Cunningham for a 1976 "Events" evening. Filmscores include "Anima" (Elizabeth Harris Productions); a score for voice with electronics for Steve Finkin's "Signing Alphabet" animation to assist hearing children in learning to communicate with the deaf, broadcast worldwide since 1977 for "Children's Television Workshop/Sesame Street"; and music for films by Richard Blau, Monica Gazzo, Amy Kravitz, Elyse Rosenberg, Steven Subotnick and Harvey Wang, and for video works by Susanna Carlisle. "Immersion", an underwater dance film by Jodi Kaplan featuring La Barbara's music was shown at the 1999 "New Directors/New Films" Festival at the Museum of Modern Art and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. La Barbara composed and performed the "Angel Voice" for actress Emmannuelle Béart in the feature film "Date with an Angel", vocal solos on John Frizzell's soundscore for "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer", and performed the "Alien Newborn Vocals" for "Alien: Resurrection".
Educated at Syracuse and New York Universities and Tanglewood/Berkshire Music Center, she gained compositional tools as an apprentice with the numerous composers with whom she has worked for four decades. Current studies include Michael Beckett's Experimental Workshop at HB Studios. La Barbara served on the faculties of California Institute of the Arts, Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, The College of Santa Fe, The University of New Mexico, visiting lecturer at Princeton University 2006-07, and currently on the Composition Faculty of New York University's Department of Music and Performing Arts Professionals, as well as maintaining a private studio in New York City. She served as Vice President of the American Music Center in New York; co-Artistic Director of the New Music America Festival in Los Angeles; was Contributing Editor for Musical America/High Fidelity (1977-87) and Schwann/Opus magazines, and, from 1989-2002, produced and co-hosted "Other Voices, Other Sounds," a weekly radio program focusing on contemporary classical music. La Barbara co-founded the performing composers ensemble Ne(x)tworks and is a Director of MATA. La Barbara was Artistic Director of the multi-year Carnegie Hall series, "When Morty met John", focusing on the music of John Cage, Morton Feldman and the New York School, and Artistic Director, Curator and Host of "Insights", a series of conversational encounters with distinguished composers for The American Music Center. Joan La Barbara is a composer and publisher member of ASCAP and is a member of American Composers Forum, SAG-AFTRA and AEA
As composer and performer, Susan Botti's eclectic background and experiences are reflected in her music. Theatre and the visual arts play a formative role in the aesthetic of her work. Her musical explorations have encompassed traditional, improvisational and non-classical composition and singing styles.
Botti is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize; and grants from Meet The Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund, The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The NY Foundation for the Arts, The Greenwall Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, ASCAP, and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. She was the third Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra, premiering her works Impetuosity (conducted by Roberto Abbado), and Translucence(conducted by music director, Franz Welser- Möst).
Botti's EchoTempo (for Soprano, Percussion & Orchestra) was commissioned and premiered by Maestro Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic (with Botti and Christopher Lamb as soloists). The European premiere of EchoTempo (with the same soloists under Maestro Gunther Herbig) occurred soon after in the "Music im 21. Jahrhudert" Festival in Saarbrücken, Germany. Other performances of this work include Ms. Botti as soloist with Maestro H.K. Gruber and the NPS Radio Orchestra in Utrecht, Holland, with percussionist Peter Prommel. A commission from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for solo violin and chamber orchestra, Within Darkness, was premiered at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center, with Martha Caplin as violin soloist.
Botti's works for wind ensemble have met with acclaim - including Cosmosis (for wind ensemble, soprano soloist, and women's voices), which was commissioned by a consortium of universities, and premiered at Carnegie Hall, with conductor Michael Haithcock leading the University of Michigan wind ensemble and chorus, with the composer as soloist. Another consortium of university bands (NWECG) commissioned a new work for wind ensemble from Botti, Terra Cruda, which premiered in the 2011-2012 season, recorded by the Hartt Wind Ensemble/Glen Adsit for Naxos. Recently premiered was Botti's Concerto for Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, with Carrie Koffman (saxophone) and Glen Adsit conducting the Hartt Wind Ensemble.
A chamber music project, Gates of Silence, was a 3-part commission from the Blakemore Trio (Vanderbilt University) - works for violin & piano; piano trio; and piano trio plus soprano (Botti). Inspired by Virgil's Aeneid, this work incorporates poetry by National Book Award finalist, Linda Gregerson. This poetry, Dido Refuses to Speak, was awarded a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Gates of Silence was premiered in Nashville, and at Merkin Hall in NYC. A recording of this work with the Botti and the Blakemore Trio was released on Albany Records, with support from the Copland Fund.
Also recently premiered is Cristalli for solo piano. Commissioned by Alice Weston for her Crystal Clues to the Sublime, (a multimedia presentation with animated photography) it was premiered at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Museum, with a live piano performance by Phillip Bush.
A recording of Botti's vocal chamber music, listen, it's snowing, (New World/CRI) features her operatic soliloquy, Telaio: Desdemona (for soprano, string quartet, harp, piano & percussion). Called "striking emotional music..." (Opera Magazine), this work was commissioned by The American Artists Series of Detroit, and has been performed in New York City, Taipei, Detroit, Santa Fe, Atlanta, and Washington D.C.
In addition to performing her own vocal works, Botti specializes in the performance of contemporary music by composers of diverse styles, including: Gubaidulina, Crumb, Kurtág, Cage, Chihara, Pintscher, Matheson, and Partch, among others. She was featured as a composer and singer on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series in a concert honoring Steven Stucky's 20th anniversary as the LA Phil's Composer in Residence. Composer/conductor Tan Dun created several major works highlighting her vocal and theatrical talents, including his Orchestral Theatre III: Red Forecast for soprano and orchestra, which she premiered with the BBC Scottish Symphony and performed at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. Tan Dun also wrote the role of "Water" for her in his internationally renowned opera, Marco Polo (Sony Classical), which she premiered at the Münchener Biennale, and subsequently performed in Europe and Asia, and at the New York City Opera. She can also be heard as vocal soloist in Tan Dun's soundtrack for The Banquet.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Botti's early training included studies in music, art, and theater. She received her Bachelor of Music from the Berklee School of Music; and her Masters in Music Composition from the Manhattan School of Music. Her vocal teachers included Hilda Harris, Drew Minter, Myron McPherson, and Nancy Armstrong. Botti was an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (from 2000-2006). She is currently a member of the Composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC (from 2006), and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Vassar College.
Winner of two Walter W. Naumburg Awards - as chamber musician and solo recitalist - soprano Lucy Shelton continues to enjoy an international career bringing her dramatic vocalism and brilliant interpretive skills to repertoire of all periods. An esteemed exponent of 20th- and 21st- Century repertory, she has worked closely with today’s composers and premiered over 100 works. Notable among these are song cycles by Elliott Carter, Oliver Knussen, Louis Karchin and James Yannatos; chamber works by Carter, Joseph Schwantner, Mario Davidovsky, Stephen Albert, Lewis Spratlan, Charles Wuorinen, Gabriella Lena Frank, Bruce Adolphe, Alexander Goehr, Poul Ruders, Anne Le Baron and Thomas Flaherty; orchestral works by Knussen, Albert, Schwantner, David Del Tredici, Gerard Grisey, Ezra Laderman, Sally Beamish, Virko Baley and Ned Rorem; and an opera by Robert Zuidam. In recent seasons, Shelton has premiered works written for her by Shulamit Ran, Dan Visconti, Frank Stemper, Kathleen Ginther, Tamar Muskal and Fang Man.
An avid chamber musician, she has been a guest artist with ensembles such as the Emerson, Brentano, Enso, Mendelssohn, Chiara and Guarnieri string quartets, the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, 21st Century Consort, Speculum Musicae, Da Capo Chamber Players, Sospeso, New York New Music Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, Da Camera of Houston, eighth blackbird, Dolce Suono Ensemble, the Ensemble Moderne, Nash Ensemble, Klangform Wien, Schoenberg-Asko, and Ensemble Intercontemporain. Shelton has participated in numerous festivals including those of Aspen, Santa Fe, Ojai, Tanglewood, Chamber Music Northwest, BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Caen, Kuhmo, Togo and Salzburg. In the fall of 2013, she is honored to begin a three-year term as a Board Member of Chamber Music America.
Shelton has appeared with major orchestras worldwide including Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Cologne, Denver, Edinburgh, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Minnesota, Munich, New York, Paris, St. Louis, Stockholm, Sydney and Tokyo under leading conductors such as Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Reinbert De Leeuw, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Oliver Knussen, Kent Nagano, Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Mstislav Rostropovich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin and Robert Spano.
Highlights of recent seasons include Shelton’s 2010 Grammy Nomination (with the Enso Quartet) for the Naxos release of Ginastera’s string quartets, her Zankel Hall debut with the Met Chamber Orchestra and Maestro James Levine in Carter’s A Mirror On Which To Dwell, multiple performances of a staged Pierrot Lunaire in collaboration with eighth blackbird (most recently at the Ojai Festival, and in Austin Texas) and, in celebration of the work’s centenary, concert versions with 10 different ensembles worldwide. Shelton also coordinated two intense 8-day residencies at the University of Oregon (Eugene) and Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), where she coached composers and singers in “The Art of Unaccompanied Song”.
Over the years Shelton has participated in various composers’ birthday and memorial celebrations as follows: Elliott Carter’s 100th in Turin, Italy and New York; Oliver Knussen's 50th in London; Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' 70th in Turin, Italy; James Primosch's 50th in Philadelphia; both George Perle's and Milton Babbitt's 90th in Princeton and New York, followed in a few years by their memorials. In May 2013 Shelton sang Elliott Carter’s “What Are Years” for his memorial tribute concert held at Juilliard.
Shelton’s extensive discography is on the Deutsche Grammophon, Koch International, Nonesuch, NMC, Bridge, Albany and Innova labels and includes works by Carter, Knussen, Stravinsky, Messiaen, Wuorinen, Del Tredici, Adolphe, Rands, Ginastera, Kim, Le Baron, Baley, Ung and Schwantner.
A native of California, Shelton’s primary mentor was mezzo-soprano Jan De Gaetani. Ms. Shelton taught at the Third Street Settlement School in Manhattan, Eastman School, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute and the Britten-Pears School. She joined the resident artist faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center in 1996 and in the fall of 2007 she was appointed to the Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Faculty. Shelton teaches privately in her New York City studio.
In recognition of her contribution to the field of contemporary music, Shelton has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from both Pomona College (2003) and the Boston Conservatory (2013).
Judith Kellock died tragically early on March 27th 2015 from complications following cancer surgery. Judy championed 20th Century Music, and young composers and performers, influencing the lives and careers of her many students over her 23 year career at Cornell University and through master classes held world wide.
She will be missed by many people.
Judith Kellock has been described in the press as "a singer of rare intelligence and vocal splendor, with a voice of indescribable beauty." A primary influence in her musical life was the late Jan DeGaetani, with whom she studied for many years. Other teachers have included Grace Hunter, Hazel O'Donnell, Phyllis Curtin at Tanglewood, and Wilma Thompson at Boston University.
Ms. Kellock has been featured with the St. Louis Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Greek Radio Orchestra, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the West Virginia Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, and orchestras throughout New England. At the Aspen Festival she has been soloist with the Symphony Orchestra as well as in chamber music and oratorio. Other festival performances include Monadnock, Arcady, Stockbridge Chamber Concerts, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, Boston chamber music Society, and SongFest, a performance and training program in southern California, where she has served on the faculty for many years. Highly acclaimed for her song recitals and chamber music performances, she is also sought after by composers for her interpretation of contemporary music. She is a founding member of the new music group Ensemble X, whose music director is composer Steven Stucky. Ms. Kellock's residency in Prague included recitals of German Lieder and American art song with pianist Phillip Moll, as well as master classes and lectures at the Prague Conservatory. As a recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts recitalist fellowship, she toured the West Coast with a variety of programs. Since 2005, Ms. Kellock has been music director of a concert series in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, Chamber Music for the Neighborhood, celebrating the diversity and energy of Queens.
"It was to be plunged into another world, one of outright, risk-taking virtuosity, extremes of range and color, all of which Judith Kellock proved more than equal to." (Boston Globe)
Ms. Kellock has sung major operatic roles in Italy and Greece, toured with the Opera Company of Boston and performed with the Mark Morris Dance Company at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels. At the Music festival of the Hamptons, she sang the role of Mme Herz in Mozart’s comic singspiel The Impresario, in an English translation by Lukas Foss. Her recordings include The Astronaut's Tale, an opera by Charles Fussell , as well as music of Samuel Barber, Paul Hindemith, Lukas Foss, Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, Judith Weir, Arthur Berger, Chen Yi, Toshio Hosokawa, Donald Womack, Peter Askim and Lawrence Moss. She has recorded for the Koch International, Turnabout, Sine Qua Non, Fleur de Son, Albany, Capstone, Arabesque and Gasparo labels.