Dawn Upshaw

Singer Dawn Upshaw is known worldwide for powerful performances ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. Her numerous distinctions include five Grammys, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” prize, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 2014 Best Classical Vocal Solo Grammy for Maria Schneider’s Winter Morning Walks

Upshaw began her career by winning the 1984 Young Concert Artists Auditions and the 1985 Walter W. Naumburg Competition. She attended the Metropolitan Opera Young Artists Development Program, and has made over 300 appearances there. From Salzburg to Glyndebourne, Upshaw has played and recorded everything from the great Mozart roles through contemporary roles written for her.

Upshaw’s recital programs mix lieder, unusual contemporary works, folk, and popular music.  She collaborates with today’s leading musicians, including the Kronos Quartet, James Levine, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. New works she has championed include John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, Kaija Saariaho’s Grawemeyer Award-winning opera L’Amour de Loin, John Adams’s oratorio El Niño, and Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar.

Upshaw’s over fifty recordings include the million-seller Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Messiaen’s St. Francois d’Assise, and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Her recordings are available on Nonesuch, Angel/EMI, BMG, Deutsche Grammophon, London, Sony Classical, Erato, and more.

Upshaw regularly gives master classes and workshops, and is artistic director of the Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a faculty member of the Tanglewood Music Center.


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