Performance Thursday, January 16, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Marilyn Horne Song Celebration

Zankel Hall
Marilyn Horne, founder and guiding voice of The Song Continues series, has long demonstrated a commitment to nurturing gifted young vocal talent. The legendary songstress is honored on her 80th birthday in a festive evening of songs performed by an all-star lineup of special guest artists.


  • Samuel Ramey, Host
  • Frederica von Stade, Host
  • Barbara Cook, Vocalist
  • Renée Fleming, Soprano
  • Brenda Rae, Soprano
  • Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Isabel Leonard, Mezzo-Soprano
  • David Daniels, Countertenor
  • Piotr Beczala, Tenor
  • Lester Lynch, Baritone
  • Martin Katz, Piano
  • Warren Jones, Piano
  • Lee Musiker, Piano

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately three hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Samuel Ramey

    For almost three decades, Samuel Ramey has reigned as one of the music world's foremost interpreters of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire. With astounding versatility, he commands an impressive breadth of repertoire encompassing virtually every musical style from the fioratura of Argante in Handel's Rinaldo, which was the vehicle of his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984, to the dramatic proclamations of the title role in Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, which he sang in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera televised by PBS. Mr. Ramey's interpretations embrace the bel canto of Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti; the lyric and dramatic roles of Mozart and Verdi; and the heroic roles of the Russian and French repertoire.

    Mr. Ramey has appeared on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera; Teatro alla Scala; Vienna Staatsoper; Opéra de Paris; Arena di Verona; Deutsche Oper Berlin; San Francisco Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Houston Grand Opera; Teatro La Fenice; Teatro Colón; Royal Opera, Covent Garden; and the operas of Munich, Hamburg, Geneva, Florence, Zürich, and Amsterdam, among others. In concert, he has performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, National Symphony Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and San Francisco.

    A native of Colby, Kansas, he was named Kansan of the Year in 1995, and in 1998, the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the rank of Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

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  • Frederica von Stade

    Frederica von Stade continues to be extolled as one of the music world's most beloved figures. Known to family, friends, and fans by her nickname "Flicka," the mezzo-soprano has enriched the world of classical music for three decades.

    She has made more than 70 recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disque awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and best of the year citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. She has enjoyed the distinction of holding simultaneously the first and second places on national sales charts for Angel/EMI's Show Boat and Telarc's The Sound of Music.

    Ms. von Stade is the holder of honorary doctorates from Yale University, Boston University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (which holds a Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice), the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and her alma mater, Mannes College The New School for Music. In 1998, Ms. von Stade was appointed as an officer of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983, she was honored with an award given at the White House by President Ronald Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.

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  • Barbara Cook

    Barbara Cook's silvery soprano, purity of tone, and warm presence have delighted audiences around the world for more than 50 years. A 2011 Kennedy Center Honoree, Ms. Cook's most recent notable appearances include her celebratory 85th birthday concert last season at Carnegie Hall, her Tony Award-nominated performance in the musical Sondheim on Sondheim, and a series of critically acclaimed concerts at New York's Café Carlyle, Feinstein's at Loewes Regency, and 54 Below. A leading star of the Broadway stage during the '50s and '60s, her many credits include the creation of three classic roles in the American musical theater: Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, Marian the Librarian in Meredith Willson's The Music Man (Tony Award) and Amalia in Bock and Harnick's She Loves Me (Drama Desk Award). In 1975, she made her Carnegie Hall debut and embarked on a second career as a concert and recording artist performing to critical acclaim in most of the country's major concert halls and cabarets throughout the United States, as well as internationally. In 2006, she became the first female non-classical singer to be presented in solo concert by the Metropolitan Opera. Her latest CD is Loverman, based on her critically acclaimed concert Let's Fall in Love.

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  • Renée Fleming

    One of the most celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in July, President Obama awarded Ms. Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist.

    As a musical statesman, Ms. Fleming performs at occasions of world importance, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to a historic first in 2012 when she sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II. In 2008, Ms. Fleming became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala. In November, she curated and hosted American Voices, an unprecedented celebration of the best American vocalism at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

    Ms. Fleming won a 2013 Grammy Award, her fourth, for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her album Poèmes. Her latest album, Guilty Pleasures-a follow-up to her Grammy-winning The Beautiful Voice-was released in September. Other awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, honorary membership in the Royal Academy of Music, and honorary doctorates from Carnegie Mellon University, Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School. Ms. Fleming serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall and Sing for Hope. In 2010, she was named the first-ever Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she is also a member of the board and a vice president.

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  • Brenda Rae

    American soprano Brenda Rae is fast establishing herself as an exceptional artist in the world of opera. She has performed major roles with the opera companies in Frankfurt, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, Bordeaux, Santa Fe, and Glyndebourne. She thrills audiences and critics alike in a wide range of repertoire.

    In the 2013-2014 season, Ms. Rae returns to Oper Frankfurt for three exciting productions. She sings the role of Zerbinetta in a new Brigitte Fassbaender / Sebastian Weigle production of Ariadne auf Naxos and adds two new Mozart roles to her repertoire: Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and Donna Anna in a new production of Don Giovanni directed by Christof Loy. Performances outside of Frankfurt include Giulietta in Les contes d'Hoffmann at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Ms. Rae ends the season at Santa Fe Opera, where she sings Madame Popescu in Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor and the Cook in Stravinsky's Le rossignol.

    Ms. Rae's 2012-2013 season was filled with thrilling company and role debuts. In Frankfurt, she sang the title role in Maria Stuarda in concert and Cleopatra in a new production of Giulio Cesare, both to enormous success. She also made house debuts with the Opéra national de Paris (Anne Trulove in the The Rake's Progress) and the Hamburgische Staatsoper (Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos). She also went to Austria to perform in the renowned Schubertiade Music Festival and made her hugely successful US operatic stage debut at the Santa Fe Opera singing Violetta in La traviata.

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  • Jamie Barton

    American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is the winner of both the main and the song prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, a winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a Grammy nominee.

    Ms. Barton's 2013-2014 season includes returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Adalgisa in Norma, the Houston Grand Opera as Fricka in their upcoming Ring cycle, and as Katisha in Opera Memphis's The Mikado. In concert, Ms. Barton sings Verdi's Requiem with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis as well as Britten's Spring Symphony with The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst. She also appears in recital at Pace University and at Atlanta's Spivey Hall.

    An avid recitalist, Ms. Barton has appeared under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Weill Recital Hall with tenor Russell Thomas as well as in a solo recital with On Wings of Song. Ms. Barton received extensive training as a recitalist at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a fellow in vocal studies for the summers of 2006 and 2007.

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  • Isabel Leonard

    In the 2013-2014 season, Isabel Leonard returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Dorabella in Così fan tutte under James Levine, which will be broadcast in HD in the spring. Ms. Leonard also makes debuts at the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Dallas Opera as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In concert, she appears with Nathan and Julie Gunn at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois. Metropolitan Opera audiences heard Ms. Leonard in two important role debuts during the 2012-2013 season: Miranda in Adès's The Tempest and as Blanche in John Dexter's ground-breaking production of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites.  She also appeared in the English-language production of The Barber of Seville, which was broadcast internationally in HD.  Last season also brought another important role and company debut as Sesto in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito at the Canadian Opera Company. In recital, Ms. Leonard was featured in her Zankel Hall recital debut at Carnegie Hall and appeared at the University of Notre Dame, Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, San Francisco Performances, and at Atlanta's Spivey Hall to rave reviews. She debuted in Berlioz's Les nuits d'été with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra under Edo de Waart and closed the season in Japan at the Saito Kinen Festival, where she performed the title role in L'enfant et les sortilèges and Concepción in Ravel's L'heure espagnole with Seiji Ozawa conducting.

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  • David Daniels

    American countertenor David Daniels is known for his superlative artistry, magnetic stage presence, and a voice of singular warmth and surpassing beauty, which have helped him redefine his voice category for the modern public. Mr. Daniels has appeared with the world's major opera companies and on its main concert and recital stages and made history as the first countertenor to give a solo recital in the main auditorium of Carnegie Hall.

    Mr. Daniels's 2013-2014 season is highlighted by a return to a role he originated at the Metropolitan Opera: Prospero in The Enchanted Island opposite Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo. Mr. Daniels also sings Lichas in the Peter Sellars production of Hercules with the Canadian Opera Company under the baton of Harry Bicket. With Gran Teatre del Liceu, Mr. Daniels sings Ottone in David McVicar's production of Agrippina, and with The English Concert, he sings Didymus in Handel's rarely heard Theodora in an international concert tour culminating with a performance at Carnegie Hall. Concert engagements include Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with conductor Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Recital engagements this season include appearances with Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, and Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid.

    Honored by the music world for his unique achievements, Mr. Daniels has been the recipient of two of classical music's most significant awards: Musical America's 1999 Vocalist of the Year and the 1997 Richard Tucker Award.

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  • Piotr Beczała

    Piotr Beczała is one of the most sought-after lyric tenors of our time and a constant guest in the world's leading opera houses. The Polish-born artist is acclaimed by audiences and critics alike not only for the beauty of his voice, but also for his ardent commitment to each character he portrays.

    Mr. Beczała started the 2013-2014 season at the Met in a new production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin opposite Anna Netrebko and opened the season of the Teatro alla Scala singing Alfredo in La traviata. Further highlights of the season include the Prince in Rusalka (Met), Gustavo in Un ballo in maschera (San Diego), as well as Rodolfo (Labohème) in Paris. At the Vienna State Opera, he appears as the eponymous heroes of Faust and Les contes d'Hoffmann. On the concert stage, he performs in Europe and returns to Salzburg's Whitsun Festival to perform Rossini's Stabat Mater under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano. Mr. Beczała is a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Opéra de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Zurich Opera, and the Met, where he has performed Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, La bohème, Roméo et Juliette, Faust,  and Manon.

    Mr. Beczała is represented on various CDs and DVDs. Three solo aria CDs have been released on the Orfeo label: Salut, Slavic Opera Arias, and Verdi. Since 2012, Mr. Beczała has been an exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon and released his first album, My Heart's Delight, with the yellow label in the spring of 2013.

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  • Lester Lynch

    Recognized for his charismatic portrayals and commanding voice, Lester Lynch is receiving rave reviews as he tackles some of the most important baritone roles from Scarpia (Tosca) to Rigoletto to Count di Luna (Il trovatore). Engagements during the 2013-2014 season include Amonasro in Aida with Pittsburgh Opera, Crown in Porgy and Bess with Opéra de Montréal, and Lescaut in Manon Lescaut in Baden-Baden, as well as concert engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker led by Sir Simon Rattle in Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for Gordon Getty's Joan and the Bells, and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for Handel's Messiah. Recent seasons include performances as Crown in Porgy and Bess with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Amonasro in Aida with the Dallas Opera, the title role in Rigoletto with Canadian Opera Company, Gérard in Andrea Chénier with the Bregenz Festival Festpiele, Carbon in Cyrano de Bergerac with San Francisco Opera, and Herald in Lohengrin with Lyric Opera of Chicago. In addition, he has joined Washington National Opera as Porgy in Porgy and Bess, Glimmerglass Festival as Scarpia in Tosca, Minnesota Opera as Nottingham in Roberto Devereux, Lyric Opera of Chicago as both Crown and Porgy in separate performances of Porgy and Bess, Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Germont in La traviata, and the Dayton Opera as the title role of Macbeth. Concert performances include engagements with The Cleveland Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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  • Martin Katz

    One of the world's busiest collaborators, Martin Katz has been in constant demand by the world's  most celebrated vocal soloists for more than three decades. He has appeared and recorded regularly with Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Karita Mattila, David Daniels, José Carreras, Cecilia Bartoli, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Kathleen Battle.

    Mr. Katz is a native of Los Angeles, where he began piano studies at the age of five. He attended the University of Southern California and studied the specialized field of accompanying with its pioneer teacher Gwendolyn Koldofsky. While yet a student, he was given the unique opportunity of accompanying classes and lessons of such luminaries as Lotte Lehmann, Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Bernac, and Gregor Piatigorsky.

    The professional profile of Martin Katz is completed with his commitment to teaching. For almost three decades, Michigan has been his home, where he has been happy to chair the University of Michigan School of Music's program in collaborative piano and play an active part in operatic productions. He has been a pivotal figure in the training of countless young artists, both singers and pianists, who are working around the world.

    The university has recognized his work, naming him the first Artur Schnabel Professor of Music. In addition, he is a regular guest at Santa Fe Opera, Songfest, Chicago College of Performing Arts, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, and the New National Theatre of Tokyo. Mr. Katz's comprehensive guide The Complete Collaborator is widely seen as the  standard for textbooks on this subject.

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  • Warren Jones

    Warren Jones, who was named Musical America's 2010 Collaborative Pianist of the Year, performs with many of today's best-known artists: Stephanie Blythe, Christine Brewer, Anthony Dean Griffey, Bo Skovhus, Eric Owens, and Richard "Yongjae" O'Neill. He is also principal pianist for the exciting California-based chamber music group Camerata Pacifica. In the past, Mr. Jones has partnered with such great performers as Marilyn Horne, Håkan Hagegård, Kathleen Battle, Samuel Ramey, Barbara Bonney, Carol Vaness, Judith Blegen, Salvatore Licitra, Tatiana Troyanos, James Morris, and Martti Talvela.

    Mr. Jones is a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music as well as the Music Academy of the West. He received the 2011 Achievement Award from the Music Teachers National Association of America, the organization's highest honor. On multiple occasions, he has been an invited guest to the White House to perform for state dinners in honor of the leaders of Canada, Russia, and Italy, in addition to being invited by the Supreme Court Justices for musical afternoons in the East Conference Room at the Court.

    A graduate of the New England Conservatory, Mr. Jones currently serves on the Board of Visitors for that institution. He has also been honored with a doctor of music degree from San Francisco Conservatory. His discography contains 29 recordings on every major label. Mr. Jones's newest musical ventures include conducting, having led sold-out critically acclaimed performances of Mascagni's L'amico Fritz, Rossini's Il barbiere
    di Siviglia,
     and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in recent summers.

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  • Lee Musiker

    Lee Musiker is a Steinway Artist who has performed with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The New York Pops, Boston Pops, Hollywood Bowl, and London Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted the New York Philharmonic, as well as the Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras, in addition to the Houston and National symphonies. Mr. Musiker has also conducted Jerry Lewis's Labor Day Telethon, as well as the Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Lincoln Center Jazz orchestras.

    A native New Yorker and fourth-generation musician, Mr. Musiker returned to New York after a two-year tour with the Buddy Rich Band and began playing in the orchestra pits of many hit Broadway shows. He has been a guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, and has also been featured in Steinway and Keyboard magazines. 

    Mr. Musiker has been Barbara Cook's musical director since 2007, and has also collaborated with Mel Tormé, Maureen McGovern, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joel Grey, Rita Moreno, Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Kathleen Battle, Denyce Graves, Nathan Gunn, Sylvia McNair, Julia Migenes, Ann Hampton Callaway, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Michael Bublé, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Norah Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, and Jewel, in addition to instrumentalists Doc Severinsen, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, John Pizzarelli, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Mintzer, and Joshua Bell.

    Since 2001, Mr. Musiker has been touring with the legendary Tony Bennett, and most recently was the music director / pianist for the multiple Grammy and Emmy award-winning album and television special Tony Bennett: Duets-An American Classic.

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At a Glance

Longtime artist manager and opera impresario Matthew Epstein, pianist Martin Katz, and Carnegie Hall Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen, chose the composers and assembled the arias and songs for this evening's performance. A great deal of thought went into the choices, all of which reference Marilyn Horne's brilliant career. They go from Baroque to Broadway, just as she did.
Program Notes
The Song Continues is supported, in part, by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation and The DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund.
Workshops and master classes are made possible, in part, by Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.
This concert is part of the Marilyn Horne legacy at Carnegie Hall.
This concert and the Pure Voice series are sponsored by the Jean & Jula Goldwurm Memorial Foundation in memory of Jula Goldwurm.