Whitney Hale


College: Fine Arts

Grammy Winner Christine Brewer to Sing with UK Symphony Orchestra

Published: Feb 14, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2013) — The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Nardolillo, will help welcome Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer to the Bluegrass this weekend to perform in celebration of the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner. The program will feature some of the greatest and most celebrated music of Wagner's career. The concert will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.


Christine Brewer’s appearances in opera, concert and recital are marked by her own timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Named "one of the top 20 sopranos of all time" (BBC Music), Brewer's range, golden tone, boundless power and control make her a favorite of the stage and a highly sought-after recording artist, one who is, “in her prime and sounding glorious” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times).


This concert season, Brewer will perform Brünnhilde’s Immolation scene from "Götterdämmerung" with the UK Symphony Orchestra at the Singletary Center, as well as with the Orchestra Philharmonique du Luxembourg. She will round out her season with Britten’s War Requiem with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. The UK concert will also feature Wagner's "Prelude to Die Meistersinger," "Wesendonck Lieder" and "Prelude to Lohengrin."


An avid recitalist, Brewer has graced such prestigious venues as Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Oberlin Conservatory, the Friends of Chamber Music, Washington D.C.’s Vocal Arts Society, and many others. She has appeared in Lincoln Center’s “Art of the Song” series at Alice Tully Hall, the Boston Celebrity Series, as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, California’s Mondavi Center, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Her voice has also been featured at the Gilmore, Ravinia, and Cleveland Art Song festivals. Brewer's concert work includes Ludwig Beethoven’s "Missa solemnis" with both the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles and the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, as well as Janácek’s "Glagolitic Mass" with the Toronto and Chicago Symphonies led by James Conlon.


On the opera stage, Brewer is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Strauss’s "Ariadne auf Naxos," which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théatre du Chatelet, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera and Opera Theater of St. Louis. Attracting glowing reviews with each role, the soprano has performed Wagner’s "Tristan und Isolde" at San Francisco Opera, Christoph Gluck’s "Alceste" with Santa Fe Opera, the Dyer’s Wife in Richard Strauss’s "Die Frau ohne Schatten" at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Paris Opera, and Lady Billows in Benjamin Britten’s "Albert Herring" at Santa Fe Opera.  She is also celebrated for her work on lesser-known operas such as the title roles in Gluck’s "Iphigénie en Tauride" with the Edinburgh Festival, the Rio de Janeiro Opera and Madrid Opera, and Strauss’s "Die ägyptische Helena" with the Santa Fe Opera.


Brewer’s recordings include a contribution to Hyperion’s prestigious Schubert series with pianist Graham Johnson; the Janácek Glagolitic Mass and Antonin Dvorák's Te Deum with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Telarc); Dvorák’s "Stabat Mater" (Naxos); and two recital recordings titled “Saint Louis Woman” and “Music for a While,” produced and released by Opera Theatre of St. Louis.  Recent releases include a live recital disc from Wigmore Hall (Koch); "Strauss’s Four Last Songs" with the “Liebestod” from "Tristan und Isolde," "Strauss’s Great Opera Scenes," and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem with Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony (Telarc); "Fidelio" in German with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live); Samuel Barber’s "Vanessa" with the BBC Symphony (Chandos) and the Grammy Award-winning "William Bolcom Songs of Innocence and Experience" (Naxos), both conducted by Leonard Slatkin; Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI); a disc of lieder for Hyperion’s new Richard Strauss series with pianist Roger Vignoles; "Fidelio" in English and “Great Operatic Arias” with the London Philharmonic (Chandos); and Britten’s War Requiem with the London Philharmonic and Kurt Masur (LPO Live).


To see video of Brewer singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for the HEARTbeats Foundation, visit YouTube at http://youtu.be/0exMDOjYmDU.


Since Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UK Symphony Orchestra, it has enjoyed great success accumulating recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Gil Shaham, Mark O'Connor, Sarah Chang, Marvin Hamlisch, as well as Pink Martini and the Boston Pops.


To hear members of UK Symphony Orchestra talk about their experiences playing with professionals, like Christine Brewer, click play below. 

UK Symphony Orchestra members benefit with several performances with premier artists.

To read a transcript of this video, click here. Video by Jenny Wells/UK Public Relations and Marketing


UK Symphony Orchestra has also received acclaim for recording projects, including the live recording of "In Times Like These" with folk icon Arlo Guthrie. Other orchestra recording credits include: the premiere cast recording of Thomas Pasatieri's "The Hotel Casablanca" with UK Opera Theatre; "Music of the Horse," a collection of equestrian-inspired music sponsored by UK School of Music and the Keeneland Foundation; and more recently a critically acclaimed recording of composer George Frederick McKay's "Epoch: An American Dance Symphony" with the UK Women's Choir. UK Symphony Orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label. UK Symphony Orchestra is one of several ensembles house at the UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts.


Tickets for the UK Symphony Orchestra concert with Christine Brewer are on sale now and prices range from $45 to $25 depending on seat location. There is a student price of $15. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at (859) 257-4929, visiting online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the venue.




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu


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