Elīna Garanča has established herself as one of music's major stars through her performances at leading opera houses and with symphony orchestras around the world. She has captured critical and popular acclaim for her beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage portrayals. She was born into a musical family in Riga, Latvia. After studying at the Latvian Academy of Music with her mother, she won the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in 1999 and was a finalist in the 2001 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
She began her professional career as a resident artist with the Meiningen Court Theatre, where she appeared in a number of leading roles, and also performed as a resident artist of Oper Frankfurt.
In 2005, Ms. Garanča became an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first solo recording, Aria Cantilena, was released in March 2007, earning her the prestigious ECHO Klassik award for Singer of the Year in 2007. Her last two albums have also won ECHO Klassik awards: Romantique in 2012 and Meditation in 2015.
Her landmark 2015-2016 season included appearances at the ECHO Klassik awards ceremony; on the Moscow and St. Petersburg stages with Dmitri Hvorostovsky; opera productions at the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin; and a role debut in a new production of Roberto Devereux at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Garanča returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Paris Opera, and Metropolitan Opera. On the concert stage, she sings Mahler songs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, and embarks on a major European tour to promote her new release on Deutsche Grammophon. She also makes her Mexican debut on a four-concert tour.
Highlights of recent seasons have included her critically acclaimed house debut in the title role of Bizet's Carmen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She reprised this role in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera, broadcast in more than 1,000 cinemas worldwide. Ms. Garanča was also named Musical America's 2010 Vocalist of the Year; also in 2010, she won the MIDEM Classical Award for Singer of the Year and was honored as the ECHO Klassik Female Singer of the Year. She has given numerous gala concerts and recitals in Europe and the US, including Verdi's Requiem at La Scala with Daniel Barenboim, Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, and René Pape.
For more information, visit elinagaranca.com.
Pianist Kevin Murphy, a leading figure in the world of classical vocal music, has served as director of coaching and music administration for Indiana University Opera Theater and professor of practice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 2011. He recently joined Anne Epperson in creating a new Collaborative Piano Program at the Jacobs School of Music. In 2011, he was appointed director of the program for singers at Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, and 2013-2014 marked his first season as artistic consultant for the Tucson Desert Song Festival. Previously, Mr. Murphy was director of music administration and casting advisor at New York City Opera and director of musical studies at Opéra National de Paris.
Mr. Murphy was the first pianist and vocal coach invited by James Levine to join the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera; from 1993 to 2006, he was also an assistant conductor at the Met. In his capacity as a member of the Met's music staff, Mr. Murphy played continuo harpsichord for many productions and toured Japan with the company.
In addition to his on- and off-stage partnership with his wife, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, Mr. Murphy has collaborated in concert and recital with artists such as Michelle DeYoung, Thomas Hampson, Danielle de Niese, Lawrence Brownlee, Marcelo Álvarez, Iestyn Davies, Bejun Mehta, Gary Lakes, Kathleen Battle, Nathan Gunn, Elīna Garanča, Matthew Polenzani, Cecilia Bartoli, Frederica von Stade, Plácido Domingo, Paul Groves, Renée Fleming, Gerald Finley, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Wolfgang Brendel, Christine Brewer, and Pinchas Zukerman. He is sought after and respected for his work as a private vocal coach and teacher, and has guest taught at San Francisco's Merola Opera Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Israel and Italy, Glimmerglass Opera, Tanglewood, University of Cincinnati--College-Conservatory of Music, and The Juilliard School. He has also assisted Seiji Ozawa with his Mozart / Da Ponte opera festival in Japan and has been a guest coach at the Dutch National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Ravinia Festival.
A native of Syracuse, Mr. Murphy earned his bachelor's at Indiana University and his master's at the Curtis Institute of Music. He resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife and their four children.