Winner of two Walter W. Naumburg Awards—as chamber musician and solo recitalist—soprano Lucy Shelton continues to enjoy an international career bringing her dramatic vocalism and brilliant interpretive skills to repertoire of all periods. An esteemed exponent of 20th- and 21st-century repertory, she has premiered over 100 works.
Notable among these are song cycles by Elliott Carter, Oliver Knussen, Louis Karchin and James Yannatos; chamber works by Carter, Joseph Schwantner, Mario Davidovsky, Augusta Read Thomas, Bruce Adolphe, Alexander Goehr, Poul Ruders, Anne Le Baron, Thomas Flaherty, Warren Benson, Stephen Albert, Lewis Spratlan, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Charles Wuorinen.
She has also premiered orchestral works by Knussen, Albert, Schwantner, David Del Tredici, Gerard Grisey, Ezra Laderman, Sally Beamish, Virko Baley and Ned Rorem; and an opera by Robert Zuidam.
An avid chamber musician, Shelton has been a guest artist with ensembles such as the Emerson, Brentano, Enso, Mendelssohn, and Guarnieri string quartets, the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, 21st Century Consort, Speculum Musicae, Da Capo Chamber Players, Sospeso, New York New Music Ensemble, Musica Viva, Da Camera of Houston, eighth blackbird, the Nash Ensemble, Klangform Wien, Schoenberg-Asko, Ensemble Moderne and Ensemble Intercontemporain. Shelton has participated in numerous festivals including those of Aspen, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, Chamber Music Northwest, BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Caen, Kuhmo, Togo and Salzburg.
Shelton has appeared with major orchestras worldwide including Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Cologne, Denver, Edinburgh, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Minnesota, Munich, New York, Paris, St. Louis, Stockholm, Sydney, and Tokyo under leading conductors such as Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Reinbert de Leeuw, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Oliver Knussen, Kent Nagano, Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Mstislav Rostropovich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, and Robert Spano.
Highlights of recent seasons include Shelton’s 2010 Grammy Nomination (with the Enso Quartet) for the Naxos release of Ginastera’s string quartets, her Zankel Hall debut with the Met Chamber Orchestra and Maestro James Levine in Carter’s A Mirror on Which to Dwell, multiple performances of Pierrot Lunaire in collaboration with eighth blackbird (most recently at the Ojai Festival, and this season at the Kennedy Center and in Chicago), a ten-day visiting professorship at the University of Oregon, and participation in various composers’ birthday celebrations: Elliott Carter’s 100th in Turin, Italy and New York; Oliver Knussen’s 50th in London; Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ 70th in Turin, Italy; James Primosch’s 50th in Philadelphia; George Perle’s 90th and Milton Babbitt’s 90th in Princeton and New York.
During the 2011-2012 season, Shelton will premiere five works written for her by Shulamit Ran, Dan Visconti, Frank Stemper, Katherine Githers, and Fang Man. Recent CD releases feature works by Alberto Ginastera, Anne Le Baron, Virko Baley, Louis Karchin, Chinary Ung, and Charles Wuorinen. Shelton’s extensive discography includes releases on the Deutsche Grammophon, Koch International, Naxos, Nonesuch, NMC, Bridge, Albany, and Innova labels.
A native of California, Shelton’s primary mentor was Jan De Gaetani. She has taught at the Third Street Settlement School in Manhattan, Eastman School, New England Conservatory, Britten-Pears School and the Cleveland Institute. She joined the resident artist faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center in 1996. In 2007, she was appointed to the Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program faculty.
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