Marilyn Horne continues to be one of America's most beloved artists. She has received numerous accolades and honors in the arts as well as academia. Ms. Horne was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in October 2009 and the next month was honored in Washington, DC, as the 2009 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors Award. President Clinton named her a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1995. In 1992, she received the National Medal of Arts from President Bush and the Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Horne sang at the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton White Houses and at President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. In October 2000, Ms. Horne returned to the town of her birth-Bradford, Pennsylvania-where a street on the public square was named in her honor. On that occasion, she also presented the opening season gala for the Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center, where she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Distinction from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
In 2012-2013, Ms. Horne marked her 14th year of residency at the University of Oklahoma, her seventh with Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and her sixth with Manhattan School of Music. She has given master classes for four years at the University of Maryland, has recently offered first-time master classes at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University and at St. Joseph's College, and was part of the inaugural season of a new master class program, Lieder Alive! at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As vocal program director at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, she teaches public master classes and private lessons to some of the world's most promising young artists.
Among Ms. Horne's many worldwide prizes are the Fidelio Gold Medal from the International Association of Opera Directors and the Covent Garden Silver Medal for Outstanding Service, in addition to honors from France's Ministry of Culture and Italian Republic. Her international success in the most difficult of coloratura mezzo-soprano roles led to the revival of many of Rossini's and Handel's greatest operas. In an unprecedented move, Ms. Horne received Italy's first Rossini Medaglia d'Oro, created especially for her.
Ms. Horne began her musical studies with her father and first sang in public at the age of two. At the age of 20, she made her operatic debut with the Los Angeles Guild Opera and, at that same age, dubbed the voice of Carmen in the highly successful film of Carmen Jones starring Dorothy Dandridge in the title role. Her early operatic career included three years at the Gelsenkirchen Municipal Opera, Germany, where she sang a wide variety of starring roles. In 1960, she returned to the US, where she presented her sensational debut in Berg's Wozzeck with the San Francisco Opera, followed by her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in 1961.
In celebration of her 60th birthday in January 1994, Ms. Horne launched the Marilyn Horne Foundation, dedicated to the art of the vocal recital and presentation of young singers in recital throughout the United States. In 2010, the programs of the foundation became part of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. With Ms. Horne as artistic advisor, these programs continue the work of the foundation and are part of the Marilyn Horne legacy at Carnegie Hall.