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DAWN UPSHAW JOINS THE BARD COLLEGE CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC Renowned Soprano to Develop College’s Vocal Arts Curriculum

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The Bard College Conservatory of Music is delighted to announce that soprano Dawn Upshaw has been appointed the Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace E. Ramsey Kellogg Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Bard. In its initial phase, Upshaw’s involvement will focus on designing a course of study for the conservatory’s new vocal and vocal-dramatic program. Her role at Bard will further develop over time, consistent with her demanding international performing schedule. The new conservatory will open its doors in fall of 2005; the vocal and vocal-dramatic program will begin in fall of 2006. “Dawn Upshaw is one of the greatest artists of our time,” said Conservatory director Robert Martin. “The Bard Conservatory is privileged to give students access to her artistry, and proud that she has chosen to join us in creating a unique educational experience for our students. That she is willing to undertake a teaching role while maintaining her demanding performance schedule is a testament to her commitment to the next generation of musicians.” Upshaw, an ardent champion of new work who has premiered dozens of major compositions by many of today’s most celebrated composers, will also be involved with the development of Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts as a performance laboratory for composers, performers, and directors. “I am thrilled to have been invited to create a course of study for young singers at Bard,” said Upshaw. “My first experiences with new music were as an undergraduate student, and I think it is vitally important that singers and performers have the chance to create works together. With its commitment to a broad liberal education for its students, and its fantastic new halls, Bard offers an ideal environment to integrate education and performance. I look forward to working with my colleagues on a program that will serve the whole singer, and I am intrigued to discover how bringing such resources together will serve as a training ground for all of the vocal and dramatic arts.” “We are profoundly lucky to have an artist of such brilliance and wide-ranging accomplishment join Bard’s Conservatory, particularly in view of her convictions of what it takes to train young people to become artists of the first rank who can connect art with life,” said Bard College president Leon Botstein. In addition to her opera and concert career, the three-time Grammy Award-winning Upshaw is currently on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Institute, where she is also a frequent performer. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, where she is currently featured as a Perspectives Artist. She regularly presents master classes as part of her touring schedule, and is a recital partner with Richard Goode, who has recently become associated with the Bard College Conservatory. About Dawn Upshaw 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 form 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. Her acclaimed performances on the opera stage comprise the great Mozart roles (Pamina, Ilia, Susanna, Despina) as well as modern works by Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Messiaen. From Salzburg and Paris 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 by Kaija Saariaho; John Adams’s nativity oratorio El Nino; and Osvaldo Golijov’s chamber opera Ainadamar and song cycle Ayre. Last season Dawn Upshaw was named by Carnegie Hall as a “Perspectives” Artist – the first singer to be so honored – and she continues this series in 2004-05. She performs with David Zinman and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; with James Levine and the Met Chamber Ensemble; and in a staged version of Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragments” directed by Peter Sellars. Other season highlights include L’Amour de Loin in Helsinki (to be recorded on DVD); Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Paris Opera; appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra and David Robertson; and a North American recital tour with Richard Goode. 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, Sir Simon Rattle, 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 40 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, unusual contemporary works in many languages, and folk and popular music. She furthers this work around the country in master classes and workshops with young singers at major music festivals, conservatories, and liberal arts schools. A three-time Grammy Award winner, Dawn Upshaw is featured on more than 50 recordings, including the million-selling Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki. “Voices of Light” – her newest solo recording with pianist Gilbert Kalish – features music of Messiaen, Debussy, Golijov and Faure and was released by Nonesuch in August. Her discography also includes full-length opera recordings of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro; Messiaen’s St. Francoise d’Assise; Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; John Adams’s El Nino; two volumes of Canteloube’s “Songs of the Auvergne”, and a dozen recital recordings. Upshaw has also recorded several beloved Nonesuch discs of music theater repertoire, which she has offered with the Chicago Symphony and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, as well as at London’s Proms Festival and on radio and television. This summer she is featured on NPR’s “Creators at Carnegie” series, in live performances of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre as well as concert music of Bach and Bartok performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. 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.” Dawn Upshaw holds honorary doctorate degrees from Yale, the Manhattan School of Music, 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. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, and raised in Park Forest, Illinois, she now lives near New York City with her husband and their two children. About the Bard College Conservatory of Music The Bard College Conservatory of Music’s double-degree program is guided by the principle that musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. While training and studying for the bachelor of music degree with world-class musicians and teachers and performing in state-of-the-art facilities, such as the new Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard Conservatory students will also pursue a bachelor of arts degree at one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. The graduating musicians will be capable of pursuing professional careers with broad, deep knowledge afforded by a liberal arts education, ready to enter their professions with interpretive skills well beyond simple musical competence. The Conservatory is geared toward students determined to have a career in music, enhanced by the benefits of a liberal arts education; those seeking a combined career in music and some other field; and those whose career goals lie in a field other than music, but still want to study music deeply. Conservatory students will participate fully in the scholarly life of the college by pursuing a major in a field other than music. The double-degree program will be demanding and, as a general rule, take five years to complete. The primary mission of the Bard College Conservatory of Music will be to provide the best possible preparation for a person dedicated to a life immersed in the creation and performance of music. To fulfill that mission, the Conservatory’s instrumental and composition faculty will include world-class musicians and composers, including pianists Melvin Chen, Jeremy Denk, Richard Goode, and Peter Serkin; violinists Ani Kavafian, Weigang Li, Laurie Smukler, and Arnold Steinhardt; violists Michael Tree and Ira Weller; clarinetists David Krakauer and Laura Flax; cellists Sophie Shao and Peter Wiley; double bassist Marji Danilow; flutist Tara Helen O’Connor; oboist Laura Ahlbeck; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; horn players Julie Landsman and Jeffrey Lang; the Colorado String Quartet; and composer Joan Tower. Courses in music history, theory, and aural skills will be taught by the faculty of Bard’s Music Program. In addition, members and principals of the American Symphony Orchestra will be available for instruction, coaching, and leading of sectional rehearsals in the Conservatory Orchestra. Bard College is a selective, private, coeducational liberal arts college whose undergraduate programs are enriched through its affiliations with research institutes and graduate programs. Founded in 1860, the College draws 1,300 students from all regions of the United States. Fourteen percent of Bard’s students are from abroad, creating a diverse and internationally informed environment. The College’s curricular strength is bolstered by innovative scholarship programs in literature, arts, and science, including a collaboration with The Rockefeller University. For further information about Bard, visit its website, For more information about the Bard College Conservatory of Music, call 845-758-7196, e-mail, or log onto the program’s website, # # # 12/6/04

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This event was last updated on 02-25-2005