Soprano, pianist lend talents to scholarship benefit *By John
Davis* /Poughkeepsie Journal/
April 27, 2007
Celebrated soprano Dawn Upshaw will sing tonight at Bard's Fisher
Center in support of the college's musical scholarship fund for
Accompanied by renowned classical pianist Gilbert Kalish, Upshaw
will perform a variety of works by Alban Berg, William Bolcom,
Stephen Foster, Robert Schuman, Ruth Crawford Seeger and Hugo
"She is actually one of the most in-demand sopranos in the
country," said Mark Primoff, Bard College director of communications.
A four-time Grammy Award winner, Upshaw's vocal repertoire runs
the gamut from the "sacred" works of Bach to those of contemporary
Paul Merrill of New York City plans to attend tonight's concert
at Bard. He will drive down from his weekend home in Worcester
in Ostego County.
Merrill, who first saw Upshaw perform 20 years ago and several
times since, is always captivated by her stage presence.
"She's such a natural personality on stage," he said. "She just
doesn't come across as an opera diva."
Upshaw, though, is no stranger to the opera house.
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.
Kalish is a noted solo artist, his playing having been captured
on more than 100 recordings. He was pianist with the Boston
Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years and chairman of the faculty
at Tanglewood Music Center from 1985 to 1997.
Kalish, who toured the United States with Upshaw in recital, is
looking forward to playing with her again tonight.
"Dawn is a most pleasant, good-natured, wonderful lady," he said.
She has a beautiful, very special voice."
The two will perform in the center's Sosnoff Theater which seats
"Not only is it gorgeous, it just has incredible acoustics,"
Upshaw, who holds honorary doctorate degrees from Yale University,
the Manhattan School of Music, Allegheny College and Illinois
Wesleyan University, is artistic director of the graduate program
in vocal arts at the Bard College Conservatory of Music.
Launched in 2005, the conservatory offers a double-degree program
for Bard's music majors.
The "broader knowledge gained through a liberal arts education,"
Primoff said, is intended to make the music students more than
simply master technicians.
"It gives you a depth and breadth you wouldn't necessarily have,"
he said of the double-degree program.
The money raised at tonight's concert will provide scholarships
for conservatory students.
/Reach John Davis at [log in to unmask] or 845-437-4807/
Emily Darrow <[log in to unmask]>
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