Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday: Barbara Hendricks

"Qui la voce...Vien diletto"
I Puritani (Bellini)
Soprano Barbara Hendricks was born November 20, 1948, in Stephens, Arkansas. She graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and chemistry at the age of 20. She then attended Juilliard School of Music in New York, where she studied with mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel and participated in master classes led by soprano Maria Callas. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in music. In 1974, Hendricks made her professional operatic debut in Europe at the Glyndebourne Festival in Cavalli’s La Calisto and in America at the San Francisco Opera in Cavalli's Ormindo. During her career, she has appeared at major opera houses throughout the world, including the Opéra national de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, and La Scala. In 1998 she sang Liu in the historical performance of Turandot at the Forbidden City in Beijing. Hendricks has performed more than twenty roles, twelve of which she has recorded,

"Je veux vivre"
Roméo et Juilette (Gounod)
including Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Ilia (Idomeneo), Antonia (Les Contes d'Hoffman), Micaela (Carmen), Manon (Manon), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande), Liù (Turandot) and Gilda (Rigoletto). Her portrayal of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro was her debut role in Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich, as well as the role she sang in the last performances that the late Karl Böhm conducted of this opera. She appeared as Mimì in the Luigi Comencini film for La Bohème and in 1995 she sang the role of Anne Truelove in the Swedish film Rucklarens väg, an adaptation of Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. In 2007, she appeared in the film Disengagement by Amos Gitai and starring Juliette Binoche. She also recorded Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde which is the main theme for the film. She was a member of the jury at

Bachianas Brasileiras (Villa-Lobos)
the International Film Festival in Cannes 1999, presided by David Cronenberg. Barbara Hendricks has toured Japan with von Karajan (1977), Bernstein (1985), with the Vienna State Opera (1986) and the Hamburg Opera (1996). In 1974, she sang the American premiere of Gilbert Amy's Un Espace Déployé with the Chicago Symphony and Sir Georg Solti, who invited her back for the world premiere of the American Bicentennial Commission of David Del Tredici's Final Alice, which she subsequently performed with the Boston, Philadelphia and Cleveland Symphonies, and the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras. She sang the American premiere of the Dies Irae of Penderecki in 1976 with the Los Angeles Philarmonic and Zubin Mehta. She gave the world premiere of Tobias Picker's The Rain in the Trees with Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1996; as a special guest of Lord Menuhin, she premiered

"Elle a fui, la tourterelle"
Les Contes d'Hoffman (Offenbach)
works by five internationally known composers, dedicated to Lord Menuhin for his 80th Birthday Celebration at the closing concert of the Lincoln Center Music Festival; and in 1997, the world premiere in Japan, of songs by young Japanese composer Mari Takano. In 2000 she performed Sven-David Sandström's Mölna Elegy commissioned for her by the Gotland Chamber Festival. She performed in 2002 the world premiere of Bruno Mantovani’s Das erschaft der Dichter nicht commissioned for her by the Ensemble Intercontemporain of Paris. In addition to her busy concert and opera schedule in Europe and in the United States, she alternates every other year with extensive tours to the Far East or Latin America and performs regularly at international music festivals worldwide. Since her 1974 New York Town Hall debut, Barbara Hendricks has been acclaimed as one of the leading and most active recitalists of her generation and in addition to her

"Canzonetta sull'aria"
Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
with Eugenia Moldoveanu
vast repertoire of German Lieder she is also known as a leading interpreter and staunch promoter of French, American and Scandinavian music. The pianists with whom she has performed and recorded include Dmitri Alexeev, Michel Béroff, Yefim Bronfman, Michel Dalberto, Youri Egorov, Ralf Gothoni, Radu Lupu, Maria Joao Pires, Roland Pöntinen, Staffan Scheja, Andras Schiff and Peter Serkin. Because of her love for chamber music, she regularly participates and also organises chamber music festivals with friends who share her passion. Barbara Hendricks has performed her extensive orchestral repertoire with all of the leading conductors and orchestras of our time. She is one of today's best-selling recording artists and has worked with conductors such as Barenboim, Bernstein, Davis, Dorati, Giulini, Haitink, Karajan, Maazel, Mehta, Sawallisch and Solti. She made her jazz debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1994 and has since then performed regularly in

"Der Hirt auf dem Felsen" (Schubert)
renowned jazz festivals throughout the world with the Magnus Lindgren Quartet. In 1975 she made her first recording for Decca of Clara in Porgy and Bess with Lorin Maazel conducting the Cleveland Symphony. The first collaboration with EMI (now known as EMI Classics) was in 1978 with the recording of the voice of heaven in Verdi's Don Carlo conducted by Herbert Van Karajan with Mirella Freni, Jose Carerras and the Berlin Philharmonic. Although she continued to record with other companies, Deutsche Gramaphone, Telarc, Teldec, Erato, CBS (Sony today), in 1983 EMI FRANCE offered her an exclusive contract for solo recordings. She has made nearly eighty recordings of opera, more than twelve roles of her active repertoire, including Gluck, Mozart, Puccini, Bizet, Lalo, Donizetti, Strauss, recitals of Schubert, Strauss, Wolf, Mozart, Fauré. Debussy, Duparc, Ravel, Grieg, Sibelius, Nielsen, many orchestra and oratorio works with the most prestigeous conductors and orchestras of

"Après un rêve" (Fauré)
our time, as well as jazz, operetta and Negro spirituals. More than fifty of these have been for EMI. In January 2006, she left EMI, and created the new label Arte Verum for which she records exclusively. Hendricks also performs jazz music and made her jazz debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1994. Since that time, she has performed at major jazz festivals around the world. Hendricks is also known for her love of chamber music and has organized a number of chamber music festivals. In March 2000 she added Tatiana in Eugene Onegin at the Nice Opera with Vladimir Chernov. In 2004 she premiered Arvo Pärt’s l’Abbé Agathon for eight cellos commissioned for her by the Festival L’Ensembles de Violoncelles in France. At the end of 2004 she will sing the part of The Angel in the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’s opera, Angel based on the Tony Kushner play Angels in America at the Châtelet Theatre, Paris. After nearly 20 years of

"Sometimes I feel like
a motherless child" (spiritual)
service to the cause of refugees and her untiring support for the UNHCR she has been named Honorary Ambassador For Life by the UNHCR and will be given special tasks that demand her long unparalleled experience and commitment. At the end of 1991 and 1993, she gave two solidarity concerts in war-ridden former Yugoslavia (Dubrovnik and Sarajevo). In 1998 she founded the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation to personalise her struggle for the prevention of conflicts in the world and to facilitate reconciliation and enduring peace where conflicts have already occurred. In 2001, at the special request of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan, she sang for the Nobel Prize ceremony and gala concert in Oslo, and in May 2002 for the East Timor Independence Day Ceremony. She has received numerous awards for her artistic achievements and humanitarian work: Doctorat Honoris Causa from the

"I Feel Pretty"
West Side Story (Bernstein)
University of Louvain in Belgium (1990), Doctor in Law from the University of Dundee in Scotland (1992), Doctor of Music from the Nebraska Wesleyan University (1988), and Doctorat Honoris Causa from the University of Grenoble in France (1996). Honorary Doctor of Music from the Juilliard School of Music in New York (2000). Since 1990, she has been a Member of the Swedish Academy of Music. In 1986, the French government made Barbara Hendricks a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1992, she was awarded the rank of Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by President François Mitterrand. In 2000 she was The Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts (Spain) recipient for her advocacy for human rights and for the contribution of her artistic work to mankind's cultural heritage. In 2001 she received the Lions Club International Award to encourage the actions of her foundation. The University of Gerona, Spain, awarded her the Premio Internacional Xifra Heras in 2004, given to persons who embody the characteristics of humanity, humility and honesty. In November 2010, she released an autobiography title Ma Voie: Mémories. She has lived in Europe since 1977 and currently lives on Lake Geneva in Switzerland with her husband and three children. She is also a citizen of Sweden. [Source, Source] Career timeline highlights after the jump.

"I Love My Man [Billie's Blues]" (Holiday)

1948 Born on November 20, 1948, in Stephens, Arkansas, USA
1965 Graduated with honors, Horace Mann High School, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
1969 Graduated Bachelor of Science, Mathematics and Chemistry, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Began studies at Juilliard School of Music, Jennie Tourel, Professor
1970 First prize, Liederkranz Competition, New York, USA
1971 Prize winner, Concours International D'Execution Musicale, Geneva, Switzerland
1972 Grand Prix, Prix Mozart, Concours International de Paris, France
1973 Recipient, National Opera Institute Grant; Graduated Bachelor of Music in Voice, Juilliard School of Music; Second prize, Naumburg Competition, New York, USA; Debut recital, Salle Gaveau, Paris, France
1974 Debut recording 'Clara', Porgy and Bess, Cleveland Symphony, L. Maazel, Conductor; Debut Chicago Symphony, G. Solti, Conductor
1976 Town Hall recital debut, New York, USA
1977 World premiere, Final Alice, David Del Tredici, Chicago Symphony, G. Solti, Conductor; Debut Salzburg Festival, Mahler Symphony No. 2, James Levine, Conductor
1978 Debut Deutsche Oper Berlin, 'Susanna', Le Nozze di Figaro, D. Barenboim, Conductor; Marriage to Martin Engström, Menton, France
1981 Birth of son, Sebastian Amadeus, Paris, France
1982 Debut Covent Garden, 'Nanetta', Falstaff, C.M. Giulini, Conductor; Debut Paris Opera, 'Juliette', Romeo et Juliette, A. Lombard, Conductor
1983 Salzburg Festival, Brahms Requiem, H. von Karajan, Conductor
1984 Birth of daughter, Jennie Victoria, Paris, France
1986 Recipient of the 'Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres' from French Government; Debut Metropolitan Opera, New York, 'Sophie', Der Rosenkavalier, J. Tate, and J. Levine, Conductors
1987 Nominated 'Ambassador of Goodwill' for refugees by the High Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations; Debut at La Scala, Milano, Italy, 'Susanna', Le Nozze di Figaro, R. Muti, Conductor; Debut film, La Boheme, J. Conlon, Conductor, L. Comencini, Director
1988 Recipient of Honorary Doctor of Music Degree, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Recipient of Laurent Perrier Champagne Award for Service to the Community and to French Culture
1990 Honorary Member of the Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy; Recipient of Doctorat Honoris Causa from the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium; Member of the Swedish Academy of Music
1991 Peace concert on New Year's Eve in Dubrovnik, Ex-Yugoslavia
1992 President and founder (with Dr. Bernard Kouchner) of the Association 'a la Premiere Heure du Premier Jour'; Recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Dundee, Edinburgh, Scotland
1993 Appeared in inaugaration gala for President Bill Clinton; Recipient of the 'Chevalier de la Legion D'Honneur' from French President Francois Mitterrand; Peace concert on New Year's Eve in Sarajevo, Ex-Yugoslavia
1994 Nominated 'Special Advisor' on Interculturality to the Director General of UNESCO
1995 Special guest for 5th Anniversary of the Reunification of Germany
1998 Creation of Barbara Hendricks Foundation 'For peace and reconcilation'
1999 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Paris VIII, France; Member of the Jury of the Cannes International Film Festival
2000 Tatiana in Eugen Onegin at the Nice Opera House; Nominated Doctor Honoris Causa at Juilliard School of Music in New York; Premiere of Mölna Elegy, by Sven-David Sandström, commissioned for her by the Gotland Chamber Music Festival; Awarded the Principe de Asturias Foundation Price for outstanding contribution to the arts and humanitarian affairs
2001 Gala concert at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, Oslo; Lions Club International award for humanitarian action
2002 Special guest and performance at the East Timor independence day; Premiere of Bruno Mantovani’s “Das Erschaft der Dichter Nicht”, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Paris
2004 Premiere of Arvo Pärt’s ”l’Abbé Agathon”; Premiere of Peter Eötvös’ opera “Angels of America”, Theatre du Chatelet, Paris; Premio Internacional Xifra Heras; Doctor Honoris Causa, Liege University, Belgium