Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.
Sally Matthews was the winner of the 1999 Kathleen Ferrier Award. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, after which she became a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera (Covent Garden) from 2001-2003 and was part of BBC Radio 3's New Generation Artists. Since then, Ms. Matthews has given recitals regularly with pianist Simon Lepper at La Monnaie, Brussels; the Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; and Wigmore Hall, London.
In 2001, she made her Royal Opera debut as Nannetta in Falstaff with Bernard Haitink; roles at Covent Garden since have included Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte; Sifare in Mitridate, re di Ponto; Anne Truelove in The Rake's Progress; and Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites.
Ms. Matthews has appeared regularly at Dutch National Opera, Theater an der Wien, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera in roles that include Jenůfa, Daphne, Madeleine, Konstanze, and Donna Anna. In the coming seasons, she will make her role debuts as Elisabeth in Don Carlos, Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, the title role in Rusalka, and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.
She made her Salzburg Festival debut in 2016, singing Silvia in the world première of Thomas Adès's The Exterminating Angel, a role she repeated for her Metropolitan Opera debut and at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Ms. Matthews sings regularly with orchestras, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with such conductors as Sir Antonio Pappano, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Robin Ticciati, and François-Xavier Roth. Her repertoire includes Mahler's symphonies, R. Strauss's Four Last Songs, Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri, Brahms's A German Requiem, Haydn's The Creation and The Seasons, Messiaen's Poèmes pour Mi, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang, and Berg's Seven Early Songs. Ms. Matthews gave the European premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Hibiki at the 2017 BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Kazushi Ono.
After graduating from St. John's College, Cambridge, where he studied archaeology and anthropology, Iestyn Davies honed his craft at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
An esteemed Handelian, Mr. Davies has astounded audiences globally with his vocal agility in roles such as Orlando, Rinaldo, Ottone in Agrippina, and David in Saul. His intelligent and considered interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with Thomas Adès, George Benjamin, and Nico Muhly. On the opera stage, he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Teatro alla Scala; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; English National Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; and Welsh National Opera.
Concert highlights include performances at the Teatro alla Scala, Royal Concertgebouw, Tonhalle, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Center, and BBC Proms. He has appeared in concert and recital at Carnegie Hall, and regularly appears at Wigmore Hall, where he has curated his own residency. He recently delighted London theater audiences in performances as Farinelli in Farinelli and the King with Mark Rylance at the Globe Theatre and subsequently on the West End stage at the Duke of York's Theatre.
The 2016-2017 season included a return to the Royal Opera House in performances of Written on Skin and The Exterminating Angel, as well as concerts in Moscow, San Francisco, Cleveland, and London. In 2017-2018, Mr. Davies returns to the Metropolitan Opera for The Exterminating Angel and also makes his Broadway debut in Farinelli and the King.
A prolific recording artist, Mr. Davies is the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in the Young Artist category (2009); the 2012 Gramophone Recital Award for Arias for Guadagni with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen; the 2013 Critics' Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent (Singer); the 2014 Gramophone Recital Award for Arise, my muse; and the 2017 Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award for his disk of Bach cantatas with Arcangelo and Mr. Cohen. He was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire at the 2017 New Year Honours.
This season, Joseph Kaiser appears at the Metropolitan Opera as Edmundo de Nobile in the company premiere of Thomas Adès's The Exterminating Angel. Further role debuts include Mozart's Idomeneo at the Opernhaus Zürich and Wagner's Lohengrin at La Monnaie in Brussels. In concert, he performs in Stravinsky's Oedipus rex at the Baltic Sea Festival conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Kent Nagano conducting the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Alan Gilbert leading the New York Philharmonic.
Past highlights include Martinů's Julietta at the Opernhaus Zürich; Alceste at the Vienna State Opera; Eugene Onegin and Capriccio at the Opéra national de Paris; Peter Grimes at the Theater an der Wien; Salome and Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Arabella, Don Giovanni, and Jenůfa at the Bayerische Staatsoper; as well as Eugene Onegin and Theodora at the Salzburg Festival. In North America, he has performed in Roméo et Juliette, Die Zauberflöte, Jenůfa, Salome, Capriccio, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Rodelinda at the Metropolitan Opera; The Passenger at Houston Grand Opera and the Lincoln Center Festival; The Aspern Papers at the Dallas Opera; Adriana Mater at the Santa Fe Opera; and Iphigénie en Tauride at the Canadian Opera Company.
Mr. Kaiser's impactful and intuitive dramatic abilities have resulted in successful collaborations with many of the world's most esteemed stage directors, including Tim Albery, Andrea Breth, Robert Carsen, Barbara Frey, Andreas Homoki, Christof Loy, Sir David McVicar, Denis Podalydès, David Pountney, Peter Sellars, and Stephen Wadsworth.
Appearing on leading international stages, the Canadian tenor has given concerts with Daniel Barenboim and the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala; Charles Dutoit and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra; Pablo Heras-Casado and the Orchestra of St. Luke's; Marek Janowski and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Donald Runnicles and the Berliner Philharmoniker; Sir Simon Rattle and The Philadelphia Orchestra; and Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
British composer Thomas Adès is one of the foremost musicians of his generation. His opera The Tempest has been produced in London, Vienna, New York, and many other cities around the world. His newest opera, The Exterminating Angel, debuts at the Metropolitan Opera later this month, after successful premieres at the 2016 Salzburg Festival as well as at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Commissions for large-scale orchestral works--including In Seven Days, Polaris, Tevot, and Totentanz--have come from the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic, as well as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Barbican Centre, and other major presenting institutions. He also has written prize-winning works for chamber ensembles, solo piano, and chorus.
Mr. Adès also maintains international careers both as a conductor and pianist. He has conducted many of the world's leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to his engagement at the Met conducting The Exterminating Angel this season, he leads concerts with the London and Czech philharmonics, and the City of Birmingham and Berlin Radio symphony orchestras. He currently serves as the first-ever artistic partner to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducting subscription concerts and appearing with the BSO Chamber Players, in addition to teaching and curation. He frequently appears as a pianist in solo recital or with colleagues such as tenor Ian Bostridge, cellist Steven Isserlis, and pianist Kirill Gerstein.
His many honors include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla; Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards in the large-scale composition category for Asyla, The Tempest, and Tevot; the Ernst von Siemens Composers' Prize for Arcadiana; and the British Composer Award for The Four Quarters. His CD recording of The Tempest from the Royal Opera House won a Gramophone Award; and his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année (2013), a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, and an ECHO Klassik Award for Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014). In 2015, he was awarded Denmark's prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize.