This concert and the Pure Voice series are sponsored by the Jean & Jula Goldwurm Memorial Foundation in memory of Jula Goldwurm.
Recipient of the Metropolitan Opera's 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, soprano Susanna Phillips continues to establish herself as one of today's most sought-after vocalists. During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Phillips returns to the Metropolitan Opera for her ninth consecutive season, starring as Clémence in Kaija Saariaho's L'amour de loin conducted by Susanna Mälkki, as well as the return of her acclaimed Musetta in Puccini's La bohème. In March 2017, Ms. Phillips makes her Zurich Opera debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She also appears as Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare with Boston Baroque and Martin Pearlman.
This season's orchestra engagements include a return to the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting a program of American songs; Mozart's "Exsultate, jubilate" and Mass in C Minor with Jane Glover and the Music of the Baroque; Britten's War Requiem with Kent Tritle and the Oratorio Society of New York; and Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Phillips also gives recitals at the Celebrity Series of Boston, Huntsville Chamber Music Guild, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and her popular duo program with Eric Owens at Carnegie Hall and Washington Performing Arts.
Highlights of Ms. Phillips's previous seasons include numerous Metropolitan Opera appearances as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Julie Taymor's production of Die Zauberflöte, and Musetta in La bohème. She also appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Stella in André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony. Additional highlights include Donna Anna in Frankfurt, Arminda in Mozart's La finta giardiniera at Santa Fe Opera, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Paul McCreesh and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, and the title role in Handel's Agrippina with Boston Baroque under Mr. Pearlman. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Ms. Phillips frequently returns to her home state for recitals and orchestral appearances.
Pianist Myra Huang regularly performs in recitals and chamber music concerts around the world. She has been a guest artist at notable venues, including the US Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, and Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts, as well as at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She performed with Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens at Orchestra Hall in Chicago in 2014. This season, she was presented by the Mariinsky Theatre as part of their South American tour.
Ms. Huang has served on the music staff of the Washington National Opera and New York City Opera (2004-2006). She was also a member of the music staff at Valencia's Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia from 2006 to 2008, where she worked closely with Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta. She is a regular staff pianist for the Operalia competition directed by Plácido Domingo, performing at opera houses around the world. Ms. Huang served as the full-time head of music staff at New York City Opera from 2011-2013, and is a visiting artist at programs like the Houston Grand Opera Studio, National YoungArts Foundation, and Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas at Austin, where she trains young opera singers and pianists. This year, she joined the music staff of the Music Academy of the West, and she makes her Wigmore Hall debut with tenor Nicholas Phan in February 2017.
The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and Time Out New York named her album Winter Words with Mr. Phan among the best classical recordings of 2011. Their second album, Still Falls the Rain, received the same praise in 2012. Her albumPaysages with Ms. Phillips won the 2011 Classical Recording Foundation Young Artist of the Year award.
Clarinetist Alicia Lee maintains a busy freelance career throughout New York City, performing and touring regularly with groups that include the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Knights, Alarm Will Sound, NOVUS, and ACME. She has performed at the Marlboro, Lucerne, Spoleto (Italy and US), and Yellow Barn chamber music festivals, as well as Bay Chamber Concerts and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Ms. Lee is a founding member of Decoda, a chamber music collective comprised of virtuoso musicians, entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates of the arts. The artists of Decoda first collaborated with one another in the renowned Ensemble Connect fellowship program-created by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education-and they now extend that relationship as a Carnegie Hall affiliate ensemble. For residencies and performances, she has traveled to venues as diverse as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, Indiana's DePauw University, and The Colburn School, as well as to Mérida, Mexico. Ms. Lee is also the director and on the faculty of the Decoda | Skidmore Chamber Music Institute.
Ms. Lee is the newest member of the contemporary music group NOW Ensemble, a dynamic collective of composers and performers. She was formerly the associate principal and E-flat clarinet player of the Santa Barbara Symphony, a position she held for seven seasons. She also performed as solo bass clarinetist of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway during the 2013-2014 season. She holds a bachelor's degree in French language and literature from Columbia University, and pursued musical studies at The Juilliard School with Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima as a part of the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program. She earned additional degrees from the University of Southern California and The Colburn School, where she was a student of Yehuda Gilad.