Cuban-born conductor and Frost School of Music 2008 Distinguished Alumna Lucy Arner, B.M. '86, brings to the podium a special affinity for Italian and French opera, having worked in some of the world’s greatest opera houses. She received the Henry C. Clark Conductor Award during her 2011 Florida Grand Opera debut of The Tales of Hoffmann. An accomplished pianist, she was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s music staff, specializing in Italian repertory. Arner is on the faculty of Mannes College of Music.
Cuban American soprano Elizabeth Caballero, B.M. ’99, recipient of the Frost School of Music 2013 Distinguished Alumna award, has performed in many of the great opera houses of North America. Her national opera and concert engagements include performing at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Florentine Opera, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, and Florida Orchestra. She performed Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème for the Metropolitan Opera after garnering attention in the role at New York City Opera. She returned to The Met as Frasquita in their new production of Carmen as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
Judy Drucker, B.M. ‘48, University of Miami Frost School of Music 1986 Distinguished Alumna, established the Concert Association of Florida as one of the state’s most formidable artistic presenting organizations. As founder of the “Great Artist” series, Drucker presented a host of internationally eminent orchestras, classical musicians, and dance companies in South Florida. The impressaria made it her mission to enrich the South Florida community and its youth with world-class musical performances and master classes.
University of Miami School of Music 1993 Distinguished Alumnus Bruce Ferden, B.M. ’71, was an internationally recognized conductor and musical director, leading orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. His engagements took him from The Metropolitan Opera to the Netherlands Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony and Kiel (Germany) Symphony. He was music director for the Spokane Symphony and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, and general music director of symphony and opera for the city of Aachen in Germany.
Sandra Lopez, B.M. ’96, Frost School of Music’s 2010 Distinguished Alumna, has captivated audiences around the world with her critically acclaimed performances in a wide variety of roles. She has appeared at opera houses and in-concert performances from North America to Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera på Skäret, and many others, and has toured in concert with Andrea Bocelli. Lopez is the recipient of numerous vocal competition awards and grants.
Marvis Martin, B.M., ’77, named University of Miami Frost School of Music 1987 Distinguished Alumna is an African-American operatic soprano best known for her concert performances and recitals, including her renditions of Joseph Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne, and of Bess in Bobby McFerrin's touring concert version of Porgy and Bess. A gifted and versatile artist, Martin has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Netherlands Opera, and as a song recitalist, concert singer, and orchestral performer.
Johanna Meier, 1956-1958, received the first ever University of Miami School of Music Distinguished Alumni award in 1984. Recognized as one of the foremost Wagnerian sopranos of her era, Meier had a major international career as a fourteen-year member of the Metropolitan Opera. She performed with most of the major symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, and founded the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute in South Dakota. She received the 2014 National Opera Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Frost School of Music's 1997 Distinguished Alumnus Curtis Rayam, B.M., '73 is an American tenor who rose to international prominence when he substituted for the ailing Luciano Pavorotti and sang the title role of Idomeneo to critical acclaim. Rayam’s illustrious career has taken him through some of Europe’s most venerable opera houses. He has performed extensively in the U.S., Germany, Austria, France, Israel, Vienna, and South Africa with major opera companies and symphony orchestras.
Rosa Vento, B.M. ’83, named University of Miami School of Music 2001 Distinguished Alumna, has performed to popular acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, under the baton of such conductors as Sir Colin Davis, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Zubin Mehta. She has appeared in numerous leading opera roles as well as concert venues around the world. A winner of numerous competition awards, Vento has a private voice studio in New York City and serves as faculty for NYU’s Steinhardt School and AMDA.
Conductor Willie Anthony Waters, B.M. '73, named University of Miami Frost School of Music 1985 Distinguished Alumnus, is a regular guest of distinguished opera companies and symphony orchestras in North America, Europe, and Africa. He served as General and Artistic Director of the Connecticut Opera and as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Florida Grand Opera. Waters has conducted recordings and concerts for many of opera's notable artists. He is Artistic Director/Opera for the Houston Ebony Opera Guild.