Dawn Upshaw and Donnacha Dennehy to Lead Carnegie Hall Workshop for Young Singers and Composers

Thursday 7th April, 2011

"Next week, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, in partnership with The Bard College Conservatory of Music, will present a Professional Training Workshop led by soprano Dawn Upshaw and composer Donnacha Dennehy. In this intensive seven-day workshop beginning April 11, the duo will mentor four composers and ten singers on the collaboration between composer and performer in creating new vocal music. The participants will preview their new works for voice and ensemble in a Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Queens on Saturday, April 16, and premiere them in Zankel Hall on Sunday, April 17. The ensemble will be conducted by Alarm Will Sound's artistic director, Alan Pierson.

Carnegie Hall commissioned four young composers—Shawn Jaeger, Aviya Kopelman, Christopher Mayo, and Shen Yiwen—to write new voice and ensemble works for selected singers, three chosen by audition and seven from The Bard College Conservatory of Music graduate program in vocal arts, where Dawn Upshaw is artistic director. She and Dennehy mentored these musicians through the collaborative compositional process, leading up to these premiere performances.

The singers selected in this year’s workshop include: Fanny Alofs, mezzo-soprano; Julia Bullock, soprano; Jeongcheol Cha, bass-baritone; Leroy Davis, bass-baritone; Jeffrey Hill, tenor; Mellissa Hughes, soprano; Clarissa Lyons, soprano; Margot Rood, soprano; Nian Wang, mezzo-soprano; and Ilana Zarankin, soprano.

For more information on the workshop's public events, visit carnegiehall.org.

Nonesuch releases its first recording of music by Donnacha Dennehy, Grá agus Bás, on May 3. The album includes the title piece, which translates as Love and Death, as well as the composer’s song cycle That the Night Come. The Dublin–based Crash Ensemble—which Dennehy co-founded—performs both works, conducted by Alan Pierson. Irish singer Iarla O’Lionáird is the soloist for Grá agus Bás; Dawn Upshaw is featured on That the Night Come. The album is currently available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store.

Norman Lebrecht, writing in his Arts Journal blog, describes That the Night Come as "captivating," comparing it to Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3 and the 1992 best-selling Nonesuch recording of the piece, which also featured vocals by Upshaw.

Dawn Upshaw joins the National Symphony Orchestra, led by Christoph Eschenbach, in performances of Osvaldo Golijov's She Was Here and Mahler's Symphony No. 4 at The Kennedy Center on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org."

- Press Release from Nonesuch Records

Well done, Donnacha! Don't forget - Grá agus Bás is written by Donnacha, performed by Crash Ensemble with Iarla Ó Lionáird and Dawn Upshaw and will be available on April 29th in Ireland - ahead of the UK on May 2nd and the US on May 3rd.