Jessye Norman, soprano with Mark Markham, piano
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
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In celebration of its 130th anniversary, The Schubert Club presents a recital by one of the great vocal artists of our day, American soprano Jessye Norman. The New York Times has called Miss Norman “one of those once-in-a-generation singers who is not simply following in the footsteps of others, but is staking out her own niche in the history of singing.”
“A Tribute to the American Masters”
|A CELEBRATION OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE|
|Falling in Love with Love||Rodgers and Hart|
|You'll Never Walk Alone||Rodgers and Hammerstein|
|But Not For Me||George Gershwin|
|I Got Rhythm||George Gershwin|
|The Man I Love||George Gershwin|
|Sleepin' Bee||Harold Arlen|
|Climb Ev'ry Mountain||Rodgers and Hammerstein|
|Lonely Town||Leonard Bernstein|
|My Man's Gone Now||George Gershwin|
|A CELEBRATION OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL
MOSAIC - A TRIBUTE TO THE GREATS
|For Nina Simone:||My Baby just cares for me – Donaldson/Kahn|
|For Lena Horne:||Stormy Weather – Harold Arlen|
|For Odetta:||Another Man done gone - Traditional|
|For Ella Fitzgerald:||Mack the Knife - Weill/Brecht|
|Meditation for piano||Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington|
|Don't Get Around Much Anymore||Ellington|
|I've Got It Bad And That Ain't Good||Ellington|
|It Don't Mean A Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing||Ellington|
Join us after the concert for a champagne and chocolate reception with music by MacPhail Community Youth Choir and FAIR School Downtown, Director J.D. Steele
Miss Norman’s contributions to this rich history continue as she shares her sumptuous sound, her joy and her passion with audiences around the world–in recital performances and appearances with symphony orchestras and chamber music collaborators. The size, power, and luster of her voice deserve equal acclaim with her thoughtful music-making, innovative programming of the classics, and fervent advocacy of contemporary music.
Known as a dramatic soprano par excellence since her debut as Elisabeth in Tannhaüser at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Miss Norman also earns accolades for her recitals. In the words of Fiona Maddocks of The Independent, “A pattern can be detected in most Jessye Norman concerts. In the first half, with her voice still warming up, pleasure is tempered with a slight anxiety that perhaps she will not prove as exciting as you thought. In the second, some strange alchemy occurs, not simply explained by the fact that the program is structured to reach a climax, as any solo recital would. By the end, quite apart from any emotional uplift, you leave with a sense of having been physically overwhelmed.”
Miss Norman has appeared three times before in recitals on The Schubert Club’s International Artist Series. It is a delight to bring her once again to Ordway Center for this special celebratory anniversary concert.
This recital is a special celebratory concert and is not part of the International Artist Series subscription package.
Sponsored by Classical MPR and Target
Jessye Norman on 60 minutes
Jessye Norman biography
Jessye Norman is one of the most celebrated artists of our century. She is also among the most distinguished in a long line of American sopranos who refused to believe in limits, a shining member of an artistic pantheon that has included Rosa Ponselle, Maria Callas, Leontyne Price and now this daughter of Augusta, Georgia. "Pigeonholing," said Norman, "is only interesting to pigeons." Norman’s dreams are limitless, and she has turned many of them into realities in a dazzling career that has been one of the most satisfying musical spectacles of our time.
She has been equally at home in American spirituals, French chansons or German Lieder. In opera, she has made her own Wagner’s Sieglinde and Elisabeth but also Gluck’s Alceste, Mozart’s Countess Almaviva, Strauss’ Ariadne and Stravinsky’s Jocasta. She has conquered centuries of musical styles, bringing to life not only Purcell’s Dido but the Dido of Berlioz, Beethoven’s Leonore and also Bizet’s Carmen. She has been an earthy temptress in the opera Parsifal, an unfortunate bride in Bluebeard’s Castleand a wise old nun in Dialogues of the Carmelites. From Haydn to Mahler to Schoenberg and Berg, from Satie and Poulenc to Gershwin and Bernstein, the range of Norman’s musical reach has been and continues to be breathtaking. No matter what the language, she makes every word matter, every note tell. She is a diva in the truest sense, in that there is something of the divine in the music she makes.
"The greatness of music speaks for itself when Jessye Norman sings,’’ wrote Octavio Roca in The Washington Post after one of Jessye Norman’s early Kennedy Center recitals, reflecting years later in The Washington Times that "listening to Jessye Norman find her way into a song is like watching in wonder as a beautiful morning reaches the climax of noon. Warmth and blinding light are everywhere in her voice." That same formidable voice was described by Edward Rothstein in The New York Times as "a grand mansion of sound. It defines an extraordinary space. It has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward. It opens onto unexpected vistas. It contains sunlit rooms, narrow passageways, cavernous falls."
She was born into a musical family, learned the piano when she could barely walk and sang "Jesus Is Calling" in public when she was only six. Norman pursued her formal musical studies at Howard University, then later at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Michigan. She made her operatic debut in a 1969 production of Tannhaeuser at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, a now legendary series of performances that placed the music world at the young American’s feet. Norman, word soon spread, was not just another sensation but the real thing. She was showered with invitations for operas and recitals, and she soon conquered stages from Lincoln Center to Covent Garden, Carnegie Hall to the Musikverein, from La Scala to the Paris Opera and the Vienna State Opera, from Tokyo to San Francisco, Houston and Boston, from Granada to Graz and from Salzburg to Hong Kong.
The French, who named an orchid after Jessye Norman, also made her a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and followed this by awarding her the Legion of Honor. She is an honorary fellow of Harvard and Cambridge universities, and she has received honorary doctorates from, among others, Juilliard, Howard, Harvard and Yale. In 1990 Jessye Norman was named honorary ambassador to the United Nations by U.N. secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar. She made Metropolitan Opera history by singing both Cassandra and Dido in a historic production of Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz during the Met’s centennial season. She embodied the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity in France’s own bicentennial by singing "La Marseillaise" at the Place de la Concorde. She is a lifelong member of the Girls Scouts of America as well as of Great Britain’s Royal Academy of Music, she swims one hundred laps a day, and she is possessed of a laughter that is at least as irresistible as her voice.
That voice has been a sweet caress for audiences all over the world. But perhaps her caresses are warmest when she sings right here at home. Jessye Norman said not long ago that she simply "would like it to be that it made a difference to some people that I came and went, that I was here." She has made a difference to anyone who loves music, and indeed it matters quite a lot that she is here: Jessye Norman, a great American singer.
Mark Markham biography
Pianist Mark Markham is widely recognized around the world as one of the great artists of his generation. With an extraordinary technique combined with an unerring sense of style from the Baroque to jazz, his communicative powers to touch an audience have no boundaries. His playing has been described as "brilliant", "exquisitely sensitive", and "in full service to the music".
Born in Pensacola, Florida, Mr. Markham made his debut in 1980 as soloist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and in the same year was invited by the renowned Boris Goldovsky to coach opera at the Oglebay Institute, hence the beginning of a multi-faceted career. His teachers at the time, Robert and Trudie Sherwood, were supportive of all his musical endeavors from solo repertoire, vocal accompanying, and chamber music to Broadway and jazz. During the next 10 years as a student at the Peabody Conservatory, where he received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in piano performance, this same support for the diversity of his musical gifts came from Ann Schein, a pupil of the great Artur Rubinstein. While under her tutelage he won several competitions including the First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the 1988 Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition in New York City. He has given solo recitals at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the New York Public Library; the Baltimore Museum of Art; and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In 1987 Mr. Markham was appointed pianist of the Contemporary Music Forum of Washington, DC. During five seasons he gave numerous premiere performances at the Corcoran Gallery with this ensemble. This work led to other premieres throughout the US by composers Shulamit Ran, Larence Smith, and Richard Danielpour. Mr. Markham has also performed with the Brentano, Mozarteum, Glinka, and Castagnieri quartets and the Baltimore Woodwind Quintet, as well as with Edgar Meyer, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, and Ira Coleman. While a student at the conservatory Mr. Markham toured with soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson. This collaboration resulted in critically acclaimed recordings of works by Messiaen, Carter, Dallapiccola, Schuller, and Wuorinen. In addition, he has toured the US, Europe, and Asia with countertenor Derek Lee Ragin.
Since 1995 Mr. Markham has been the recital partner of Jessye Norman, giving over 200 performances in over 25 countries, including recitals in Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, La Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece, and at the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize presentation to President Jimmy Carter in Oslo. This year he will perform with Ms. Norman in London, Paris, Lyon, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ghent, Zurich, Oman, Beirut and Baden-Baden.
Much appreciated by the public for his improvisational skills, Mr. Markham performed at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, where he collaborated with Sir Peter Ustinov for a live television broadcast throughout the country. His gift for jazz has been recognized in the Sacred Ellington, a program created by Ms. Norman in which he serves as pianist and musical director and which has toured Europe and the Middle East. Most recently, his recording with Jessye Norman of "Roots: My Life, My Song" was nominated for a Grammy.
In 1990 Mr. Markham was invited to join the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where he served for ten years as vocal coach and professor of vocal repertoire and accompanying. A former faculty member of Morgan State University, the Britten-Pears School in England, and the Norfolk Chamber Festival of Yale University, he has presented master classes for pianists and singers throughout the US, Europe, and Asia and has been a guest lecturer for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the Johns Hopkins University. Mr Markham currently resides in New York City.