Skip directly to content
Browse by:
  • Monday, May 4, 2009
    Boston Globe: Dawn Upshaw "One of the Most Significant, Dramatically Moving Singers" Today
    Dario Acosta

    Dawn Upshaw was in Boston yesterday for a performance with her longtime collaborator, pianist Gilbert Kalish, at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. On the eclectic program were works by Ives, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen, Golijov, and Bolcom, as well as Michael Ward-Bergeman's Treny (Laments), with the composer joining on hyper-accordion, an instrument of his own design. The musical diversity on Sunday's program is just one example of the broad range of musics to which Upshaw has dedicated her career. That, from a singer known for her ability to transform whatever she performs "into a soul-rattling artistic experience" is the subject of an extensive feature profile in the Boston Globe by staff writer Jeremy Eichler.

    Eichler describes Upshaw as "one of the most significant and dramatically moving singers before the public today," and, what's more, "right now she is unmistakably in her prime." He continues:

    Her voice has a pure-toned radiance and earthen warmth, a certain empathic timbre, and often a palpable undertow of yearning. Of course, the classical music world has many singers with magical voices, but Upshaw's rare gift as a performer is an ability to inhabit a work on the most profound levels, to live the music on stage rather than sing it at you. At the end of a strong Upshaw performance, one feels not dazzled by a glittering operatic star, but rather swept into the world of a fellow life-traveler.

    The writer goes on to suggests that, rather than rest on her laurels or play things safe with a more traditional repertoire, as others might, "Upshaw has become a restless searcher, abandoning safer career tracks in favor of a quest for meaningful collaborations with kindred spirits." In that vein, she "often focuses on the works of living composers as varied as [György] Kurtág, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, John Harbison, and Osvaldo Golijov." Even so, Eichler says, Upshaw "has avoided being tagged as a specialist or being consigned to a new-music niche, surely because her performances of contemporary scores so often find the expressive core within complex modern languages, enabling a challenging work to speak far beyond the usual circle of connoisseurs."

    There's much more in the complete article at boston.com.

    ---

    Upshaw's interest in the works of the aforementioned composers can be heard on her upcoming tour dates, in two UK performances of Golijov's Ayre with the Andalucian Dogs (an ensemble founded by the composer) and the Brodsky Quartet scheduled for later this month; his Ainadamar with the Cincinnati Opera in July; and Saariaho's La Passion de Simone at the Opéra de la Bastille in Paris in between. For more tour information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    Journal Articles:Artist News

Enjoy This Post?

Share This Post

Boston Globe: Dawn Upshaw "One of the Most Significant, Dramatically Moving Singers" Today

Browse by:
nonesuch's picture
on May 4, 2009 - 3:52pm
Article Type: 
Publish date: 
Monday, May 4, 2009 - 14:00
Excerpt: 

Dawn Upshaw was in Boston yesterday for a performance with pianist Gilbert Kalish at Jordan Hall of works by a wide variety of composers, from Ravel to Golijov. Upshaw, with her ability to transform whatever she chooses to perform "into a soul-rattling artistic experience," is the subject of an extensive feature profile in the Boston Globe that describes her as "one of the most significant and dramatically moving singers before the public today ... Upshaw's rare gift as a performer is an ability to inhabit a work on the most profound levels, to live the music on stage rather than sing it at you."

Copy: 

Dawn Upshaw was in Boston yesterday for a performance with her longtime collaborator, pianist Gilbert Kalish, at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. On the eclectic program were works by Ives, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen, Golijov, and Bolcom, as well as Michael Ward-Bergeman's Treny (Laments), with the composer joining on hyper-accordion, an instrument of his own design. The musical diversity on Sunday's program is just one example of the broad range of musics to which Upshaw has dedicated her career. That, from a singer known for her ability to transform whatever she performs "into a soul-rattling artistic experience" is the subject of an extensive feature profile in the Boston Globe by staff writer Jeremy Eichler.

Eichler describes Upshaw as "one of the most significant and dramatically moving singers before the public today," and, what's more, "right now she is unmistakably in her prime." He continues:

Her voice has a pure-toned radiance and earthen warmth, a certain empathic timbre, and often a palpable undertow of yearning. Of course, the classical music world has many singers with magical voices, but Upshaw's rare gift as a performer is an ability to inhabit a work on the most profound levels, to live the music on stage rather than sing it at you. At the end of a strong Upshaw performance, one feels not dazzled by a glittering operatic star, but rather swept into the world of a fellow life-traveler.

The writer goes on to suggests that, rather than rest on her laurels or play things safe with a more traditional repertoire, as others might, "Upshaw has become a restless searcher, abandoning safer career tracks in favor of a quest for meaningful collaborations with kindred spirits." In that vein, she "often focuses on the works of living composers as varied as [György] Kurtág, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, John Harbison, and Osvaldo Golijov." Even so, Eichler says, Upshaw "has avoided being tagged as a specialist or being consigned to a new-music niche, surely because her performances of contemporary scores so often find the expressive core within complex modern languages, enabling a challenging work to speak far beyond the usual circle of connoisseurs."

There's much more in the complete article at boston.com.

---

Upshaw's interest in the works of the aforementioned composers can be heard on her upcoming tour dates, in two UK performances of Golijov's Ayre with the Andalucian Dogs (an ensemble founded by the composer) and the Brodsky Quartet scheduled for later this month; his Ainadamar with the Cincinnati Opera in July; and Saariaho's La Passion de Simone at the Opéra de la Bastille in Paris in between. For more tour information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

featuredimage: 
Dawn Upshaw by Dario Acosta 2

Related Posts

  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021
    Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    Darius Marder, the director of the film Sound of Metal, is on The Backstory podcast to discuss the film and its sound design with host Jason Bentley and fellow guest Ludwig Göransson, composer of the scores to Black Panther, Tenet, and The Mandalorian. You can hear their conversation here. "Early accolades for sound design, and rightly so," Bentley says of Sound of Metal. "The use of sound in this film is a powerful tool to support the storytelling. Darius wrote the screenplay with his brother Abraham, who also contributed music, and whose song 'Green' for the film has been shortlisted for an Oscar nomination."

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Monday, February 22, 2021
    Monday, February 22, 2021

    Composer, pianist, and singer Gabriel Kahane is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Charles Ives Fellowship. He is one of eighteen recipients of the Academy's 2021 music awards. Harmony Ives, the widow of Charles Ives, bequeathed to the Academy the royalties of Charles Ives’s music, which has enabled the Academy to give awards in composition since 1970, including two Charles Ives Fellowships of $15,000 each. The awards will be presented virtually at the Academy's Ceremonial on May 19.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
[{"parent":{"title":"Get on the list !","body":" Get exclusive information about NONESUCH tour dates, video premieres and special announcements ","field_newsletter_id":"14075483","field_label_list_id":"6389157","field_display_rates":"-1","field_preview_mode":"false","field_lbox_height":"","field_lbox_width":"","field_toaster_timeout":"16000","field_toaster_position":"From Bottom","field_turnkey_height":"800"}}]

Performs On