Sunday, January 5, 2014

Edith Wiens Teaches After Leaving Opera Stage A Decade Ago

The soprano today spreads
knowledge through teaching
"The world-renowned soprano has been feted in Berlin, Vienna, London and Buenos Aires. She can now add her hometown to that list. Wiens returned to the city this fall for the first time in 'quite a while' to receive her honorary doctor of letters from the University of Saskatchewan. 'It was just fabulous. It made me feel very patriotic,' Wiens said. Although she retired from performing 10 years ago and now teaches at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, Wiens sang at the TCU Place ceremony this fall. 'I love to teach, but there’s nothing like singing,' she said. Wiens has taken on some of the most challenging pieces by Mozart, Wagner, Brahms and others. For her work, she won a Grammy Award and was installed as an officer of the Order of Canada. Born in Saskatoon in 1950 to Mennonite parents, Wiens later attended bible college in Vancouver and earned a master’s degree in music at Ohio’s famed Oberlin College, the first U.S. post-secondary institution to regularly admit female and African-American students. Her singing career was launched after a first-place showing at a European competition in 1979. Over the next two decades,
Edith Wiens with conductor Kurt Masur in earlier days
she would perform with the top symphonies and opera companies in the world, including 14 appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Wiens, whose husband and two sons are acclaimed musicians, accepted a position in New York at the Juilliard School several years ago to teach others. Several of them have already achieved high honours at global competitions. Wiens is spending six weeks in at a Munich fine arts school, evaluating and hosting auditions for 120 applicants vying for the 15 spots. In 2014, she’s scheduled to teach “master classes” in Frankfurt, London and Zurich." [

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