Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sergio A. Mims: Carnegie Hall Presents Jessye Norman in Recital with Pianist Mark Markham in 'Hooray for Love' on Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jessye Norman
(James Alexander)

Sergio A. Mims writes:

Hooray for Love! Features Songs from the Great American Songbook and More
Grammy-Award winning soprano Jessye Norman returns to Carnegie Hall on Saturday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m. with pianist Mark Markham for a special Valentine’s Day program entitled Hooray for Love! The concert features classics from musical theater and the Great American Songbook including selections by Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, and Duke Ellington, plus songs by Satie, Weill, Poulenc, Bizet, and others. This performance marks Miss Norman’s first solo recital in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage since May 2008.

Jessye Norman brings her sumptuous sound, her joy of singing and spontaneous passion to recital performances, operatic portrayals, and appearances with symphony orchestras and chamber music collaborators to audiences around the world. The sheer size, power, and luster of her voice share equal acclaim with that of her thoughtful music-making, innovative programming of the classics, and fervent advocacy of contemporary music. Miss Norman’s collaborations with artists on the cutting-edge in their fields, such as Robert Wilson, André Heller, Bill T. Jones, Steve McQueen, and Laura Karpman serve to add new dimensions and exciting new challenges to her work.

The Jessye Norman School of the Arts in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia (now in its tenth academic year) serves as a platform and unique study facility for talented middle school students in music performance, writing, drama, dance, and graphic art. The students attend this after-school program tuition-free. A fellowship and master class series in her name established at the University of Michigan School of Music, Drama, and Dance further attest to Miss Norman’s encouragement and support of emerging talent.

Miss Norman is the recipient of many awards and honors. In December 1997, she was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, making history as the youngest recipient in the Honors’s more than twenty-year existence. Her many other prestigious distinctions include honorary doctorates at some forty colleges, universities, and conservatories around the world, the most recent being the Doctor of Music honoris causa from the Manhattan School of Music and Northwestern University in 2011. She has been awarded the Frederick Douglass Medal by the New York Urban League for her continuing exemplary attention to her artistic goals and civic responsibilities and the Handel Medallion—New York City’s highest honor in the performing arts.

In February 2006, Miss Norman became the fourth opera and classical music singer to be presented the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award for Classical Music. In 2007, she was elected as a fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was made a “living landmark” of New York City by the Landmarks Conservancy and was awarded the Nelson A. Rockefeller Award for the Arts by the State University of New York at Purchase College. In February of 2010, Miss Norman was among those presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House.

Miss Norman’s distinguished catalogue of recordings has won numerous awards, including France’s Grand Prix National du Disque for the music of Wagner, Schumann, Mahler, and Schubert; London’s prestigious Gramophone Award for her outstanding interpretation of Strauss’s Four Last Songs; Amsterdam’s Edison Prize; and recording honors in Belgium, Spain, and Germany. Her Grammy Award-winning recordings include Songs of Maurice Ravel and Wagner’s Lohengrin and Die Walküre.

Miss Norman curated and directed Carnegie Hall’s Honor! Festival, a three week-long celebration of the African American contribution to the legacy of Carnegie Hall and to the cultural mosaic of the world, which took place in March of 2009.

In addition to her busy performance schedule, Miss Norman serves on the Board of Directors for The New York Public Library and she is a member of the Board of Governors for the New York Botanical Garden. She is also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Howard University, the Lupus Foundation, and Paine College.

Her memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing, was published in May 2014 by Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt.

Program Information
Saturday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
, Soprano


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