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Soprano Dawn Upshaw will perform at the Mahaney Center for the Arts May 12. Photo Brooke Irish

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Liza Sacheli

Grammy-Winning Soprano Dawn Upshaw to Sing at the Mahaney Center for the Arts May 12

April 28, 2017

Pianist Gil Kalish to Partner on a Beautiful Song Recital

Middlebury, VT—A five-time Grammy Award winner, soprano Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. She will give a traditional song recital on Friday, May 12 at 8:00 P.M. with her regular duo partner, pianist Gil Kalish, featuring works by Schubert, Janáček, Ravel, Clarke, Bartók, and Bolcom. This closing event of the 2016–2017 Middlebury College Performing Arts Series is also the most highly-anticipated concert of the year. The audience is invited to stay for a post-concert reception.

Audiences can also get a behind-the-scenes perspective on Upshaw’s work as an educator at a master class for Middlebury College students on Saturday, May 13 at 10:00 A.M. at Robison Hall. The session is free and open to observers from the greater community.

About Soprano Dawn Upshaw

“Upshaw’s instrument has the kind of power, clarity and pure beauty that can transfix a listener.”—The Pioneer Press

Combining her rare natural warmth with a fierce commitment to the transforming communicative power of music, Dawn Upshaw has an extraordinary ability to reach to the heart of music and text. She has earned both the devotion of an exceptionally diverse audience and the awards and distinctions accorded to only the most distinguished of artists. In 2007, she was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation—the first vocal artist to be awarded the five-year “genius” prize—and in 2008 she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

From Salzburg, Paris, and Glyndebourne to the Metropolitan Opera—where she began her career in 1984 and has since made nearly 300 appearances—Upshaw has performed many of opera’s greatest roles, and 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 and oratorio La Passion de Simone by Kaija Saariaho; John Adams’s Nativity oratorio El Niño; and Osvaldo Golijov’s chamber opera Ainadamar and song cycle Ayre.

From Carnegie Hall to large and small venues throughout the world, Upshaw regularly presents specially designed programs composed of lieder, contemporary works in many languages, and folk and popular music. She furthers this work in master classes and workshops with young singers at major music festivals, conservatories, and liberal arts colleges.

Upshaw holds honorary doctorate degrees from Yale, the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, Allegheny College, and Illinois Wesleyan University. She is Artistic Director of the Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and the Head of the Vocal Arts Program at the Tanglewood Music Center.

About Pianist Gil Kalish

Gilbert Kalish leads a musical life of unusual variety and breadth. His profound influence on the musical community as educator and as pianist in myriad performances and recordings has established him as a major figure in American music making.

A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, Kalish studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford, and Isabella Vengerova. He was the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a group devoted to new music that flourished during the 1960s and 70s. He is a frequent guest artist with many of the world’s most distinguished chamber ensembles, and holds long-standing partnerships with mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani, cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, as well as Ms. Upshaw.

Kalish is Distinguished Professor and Head of Performance Activities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1969 to 1997, he was a faculty member of the Tanglewood Music Center, serving as the “Chairman of the Faculty” there from 1985 to 1997. He often performs as guest artist at distinguished music institutions such as the Banff Centre, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, and the Marlboro Festival, and is renowned for his master class presentations.

Kalish’s discography encompasses classical repertory, 20th-century masterworks, and new compositions. Of special note are his solo recordings of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata and the sonatas of Joseph Haydn, as well as an immense discography of vocal music with Jan DeGaetani and landmarks of the 20th century by such composers as Carter, Crumb, Shapey, and Schoeberg. In 1995, he was presented with the Paul Fromm Award by the University of Chicago Music Department for distinguished service to the music of our time.

This Performing Arts Series concert is part of the Nelson Chamber Music Series, and is made possible with support from Performing Arts Series Society (PASS) members Marny and Rob Lichtenstein and the PASS members at large. Discounted tickets are available for PASS members.

The Dawn Upshaw/Gil Kalish concert will take place on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 8:00 P.M. at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts’ Olin C. Robison Concert Hall. The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south/S. Main Street. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot, in rows marked faculty/staff/visitors. Assigned seating tickets are $25 for the general public; $20 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to



Photo captions:

Soprano Dawn Upshaw will perform at the Mahaney Center for the Arts May 12. Photo by Brooke Irish

Soprano Dawn Upshaw will perform at the Mahaney Center for the Arts May 12. Photo by Dario Acosta

Pianist Gil Kalish will perform with soprano Dawn Upshaw at the Mahaney Center for the Arts May 12.

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax