Head of Vocal Arts Program
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 the devotion of an exceptionally diverse audience, and the awards and distinctions accorded only to the most distinguished of artists.
Her performances on the opera stage comprise the great Mozart roles (Pamina, Ilia, Susanna, Despina) as well as modern works by Messiaen, Poulenc, and Stravinsky. From Salzburg and Paris to the Metropolitan Opera, where she began her career in 1984 and has since made nearly 300 appearances, Ms. Upshaw has also championed numerous new works created for her including the Grawemeyer Award-winning opera "L'Amour de Loin" by Kaija Saariaho; John Adams's nativity oratorio "El Nino"; and Osvaldo Golijov's "Three Songs For Orchestra".
It says much about Dawn Upshaw's sensibilities as an artist and colleague that she is a favored partner of many leading musicians of our day,including Richard Goode, the Kronos Quartet, James Levine, Sir Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. This season she joins Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for the world premiere of a new work by Henri Dutilleux, which they will also perform in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and at Carnegie Hall, where Upshaw inaugurates a "Perspectives" series featuring her in a range of appearances, including a Berio/Golijov folk song evening; performances of Bach and Bartok with the Australian Chamber Orchestra; a recital with Gilbert Kalish; and a workshop for singers and composers in which she will be joined by John Harbison. Ms. Upshaw also collaborates this season with the Kronos Quartet in a tour of the western US, and with Richard Goode in a tour of the European capitals. She debuts with the San Francisco Opera as Janacek's "Cunning Little Vixen", a role she performed to great acclaim this winter at Covent Garden.
A two-time Grammy Award winner, Ms. Upshaw is featured on more than 50 recordings, including the million-selling Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki, and several beloved Nonesuch discs of music theater repertoire, which she has performed with theChicago Symphony and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, as well as at London's Proms Festival and on radio and television. She was the subject of a one-hour Bravo profile, and has been a featured performer in numerous PBS productions, including a hosting role on Evening at Pops' "Copland Centennial Celebration".