2022 Guest Artists

July 1, 2022

The Calidore String Quartet

The Calidore String Quartet has been praised by the New York Times for its “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct.” The Los Angeles Times described the quartet as “astonishing,” their playing “shockingly deep,” approaching “the kind of sublimity other quartets spend a lifetime searching” and praised its balance of “intellect and expression.” The Washington Post has said that “Four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one.”

Artist Bio

Recipient of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, the Calidore String Quartet first made international headlines as winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize of the 2016 M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition. The quartet was the first North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and is currently in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program.

In summer 2021, the Calidore made debuts at the Sarasota, La Jolla and Saratoga Music Festivals as well as the Schubert Club of St. Paul, MN. Highlights of the 21-22 season include returns to Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. The Calidore will make their debut at the Library of Congress, the 92nd Street Y, Harvard University, Penn State University and internationally in The Hague and Antwerp. They will premiere a new work by composer Huw Watkins commissioned by Wigmore Hall and will collaborate with the Emerson Quartet and pianists Jeffrey Kahane, Henry Kramer and Gabriela Fahnenstiel.

Highlights of recent seasons have included performances in major venues throughout North America, Europe, and Asia including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, Brussels’s BOZAR, Cologne Philharmonie, Seoul’s Kumho Art Hall, and at significant festivals including the BBC Proms, Verbier, Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Music@Menlo, Rheingau, East Neuk, and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The Calidore String Quartet’s second album for Signum Records, entitled BABEL, was released in October 2020 and features works by Schumann, Shostakovich and Caroline Shaw. The Strad selected the album as the “Editor’s Choice” and praised it as “breathtaking…a universally impressive disc”. The quartet’s other recordings include 2018’s Resilience including “lively, intelligent performances of an attractive and thought-provoking program” (Gramophone) of quartets by Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Janácek, and Golijov; quartets by Bartok, Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn recorded at the Music@Menlo festival; their debut album of quartets by Mendelssohn and Haydn, and an album of music commemorating the World War I centennial. The Calidore’s members were Young Artists in Residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today, and their performances have been broadcast on NPR, the BBC, the CBC, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Korean Broadcasting System, Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich), Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg), and were aired on German national television as part of a documentary produced by ARD public broadcasting.

The Calidore has given world premieres of works by Caroline Shaw, Hannah Lash and Mark-Anthony Turnage among others. Its collaborations with esteemed artists and ensembles include Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Marc-André Hamelin, Joshua Bell, David Shifrin, Inon Barnatan, Lawrence Power, Sharon Isbin, David Finckel and Wu Han. The Calidore has collaborated and studied closely with the Emerson Quartet and Quatuor Ébène, and has also studied with Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Günter Pichler, Guillaume Sutre, Paul Coletti, and Ronald Leonard.

As a passionate supporter of music education, the Calidore String Quartet is committed to mentoring and educating young musicians, students, and audiences. In 2021 the Calidore joined the faculty of the University of Delaware School of Music and serve as directors of the newly established Graduate String Quartet Residency. Formerly, they served as artist-in-residence at the University of Toronto, University of Michigan and Stony Brook University.

The Calidore String Quartet was founded at the Colburn School in Los Angeles in 2010. Within two years, the quartet won grand prizes in virtually all the major US chamber music competitions, including the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake, and Yellow Springs competitions, and it captured top prizes at the 2012 ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the International Chamber Music Competition Hamburg. An amalgamation of “California” and “doré” (French for “golden”), the ensemble’s name represents its reverence for the diversity of culture and the strong support it received from its original home: Los Angeles, California, the “golden state.”

July 2, 2022

Stefan Jackie, Violin

Max Bruch: “Scottish Fantasy” in E-flat Major Op.46

Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of “uncommon musical substance” that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.

Artist Bio

Highlights of recent seasons include his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra and Juraj Valcuha, with whom he also re-united for performances in Dallas, Detroit, and Luxembourg; performances of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall with Mikhail Pletnev, as part of a multi-city tour with the Russian National Orchestra; as well as performances with the St. Louis Symphony under Nicholas McGegan, the Minnesota Orchestra under Ilyich Rivas, the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Indianapolis Symphony under Krzysztof Urbanski, and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Valčuha. Other highlights in Europe included his performances with the Netherlands Radio Symphony and Ludovic Morlot at the Concertgebouw. In Asia, Stefan has appeared with the Tokyo Symphony at Suntory Hall under the direction of Krzysztof Urbanski, and the Seoul Philharmonic under Venzago. He has also toured Korea, playing chamber music with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. In Australia, Stefan toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra play-directing Mendelssohn. He also gave the world premiere of American composer David Fulmer’s Violin Concerto No 2 “Jubilant Arcs”, written for him and commissioned by the Heidelberg Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie under Matthias Pintscher. Recital highlights have included his performances of the complete Ives violin Sonatas with Jeremy Denk at Tanglewood and Boston’s Jordan Hall, and performance of the complete Brahms violin sonatas, which he has recorded for Sony. He also recently recorded the Beethoven Triple with Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Alan Gilbert and Academy St. Martin in the Fields.

Jackiw has performed in numerous important festivals and concert series, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Philharmonie de Paris, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Washington Performing Arts Society. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such artists as Jeremy Denk, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham, and forms a trio with Jay Campbell and Conrad Tao.

Born to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Jackiw plays a violin made in 1750 in Milan by G.B. Guadagnini, on generous loan from a private collection. He lives in New York City.

July 13, 2022

Maria Valdes, Soprano

Performs Richard Strauss: Selected Lieder

American soprano Maria Valdes was recently described as a “first-rate singing actress and a perfectly charming Gilda” (New York Times). During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Valdes was slated to return to Houston Grand Opera to sing the role of Amy in the world premiere of The Snowy Day (COVID19 – postponed to 2021-22 season) and to make her Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Euridice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld (COVID19).

Artist Bio

In 2021, Ms. Valdes sang the role of Younger Alyce in Glory Denied at Atlanta Opera, joined NYFOS@ Home for their It’s Summer in South America recital, covered the role of Lucy in The Threepenny Opera for Atlanta Opera and joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for their series of short films called In The Key of Bach. This summer, she reprised the role of Younger Alyce in Berkshire Opera Festival’s production of Glory Denied and will perform as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Summer Singers of Atlanta. During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Valdes will make her Georgia Symphony Orchestra debut as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, returns to The Phoenix Symphony as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, makes her Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Micaëla in Peter Brook’s La tragédie de Carmen, makes her Gulf Coast Symphony debut reprising the role of Gilda in Rigoletto, rejoins Berkshre Opera Festival for a resital, debuts the role of Maria in The Sound of Music with Charlottesville Opera, and returns to the Bellingham Festival of Music to sing a concert of Strauss lieder and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.

Highlights of the 2018-2019 season included a role and company debut with Atlanta Opera as Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and a company debut with Washington Concert Opera for their Opera Outside series. Ms. Valdes also made her company and role debut as Violetta in La traviata at Gulfshore Opera, her Rochester Philharmonic debut reprising the role of Despina in Così fan tutte and her debut with West Edge Opera as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice. During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Valdes returned to Atlanta Opera as Christine Kahlo in Frida and made her Mobile Symphony debut in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem.

In the concert realm, Ms. Valdes recently made a debut with the Virginia Symphony and returned to the Pheonix Symphony as the soprano soloist in Messiah, joined the Brooklyn Art Song Society singing Chants d’Auvergine by Joseph Canteloube, as well as, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra singing Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn Williams and Bach Cantata No. 29, “Wir danken dir, Gott”.

In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Valdes made her debut with New York City Opera, in cooperation with Houston Grand Opera as Diana in the mariachi opera, Cruzar la cara de la luna, and made a role and company debut with Opera San José as Despina in Così fan tutte. In the summer of 2018, Ms. Valdes made her company debuts with the Berkshire Opera Festival as Gilda in Rigoletto and with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. On the concert stage, Ms. Valdes performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the California Symphony, in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Phoenix Symphony and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Bellingham Festival of Music.

During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Valdes returned to San Francisco Opera to cover the role of Gilda and went on in-role during a performance after a colleague fell ill. A distinguished alumna of the SongFest program in Los Angeles, she was heard in a solo recital of Nordic, Spanish and Latin American music. Other season highlights included performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with both the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Chattanooga Symphony, and with Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the West Coast premiere of Scott Ordway’s “Tonight We Tell the Secrets of the World”. Ms. Valdes also joined the Concert Royal at St. Thomas Church in New York City for their Messiah, where The New York Times exclaimed that she performed “beautifully, growing stronger as the evening progressed.”

In the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Valdes joined the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago covering Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Ms. Valdes also completed her time as an Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera. During her time as an Adler, Ms. Valdes performed the roles of Musetta in La bohème, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Covers included Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Magnolia in Showboat and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, which she also performed in 2013 as member of the Merola Opera Program.

Also an accomplished recitalist, Ms. Valdes has appeared in concert with Martin Katz, and made her New York recital debut with NYFOS performing with Steven Blier and Michael Barrett in Compositora, a recital of female Latin American composers. She also attended the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival which included several concert appearances and Ms. Valdes can be heard singing Mendelssohn’s “Hear my prayer” on the album Evening Hymn released by Gothic Records and acclaimed in the American Record Guide. An award-winner in the regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Ms. Valdes is also the winner of the top prize at the Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of a Shoshana Foundation Grant.

July 15-17, 2022

Garrick Ohlsson, Piano

Performs Selected Works by Beethoven

Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature.

Artist Bio

A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. In 2018/19 season he launched an ambitious project spread over multiple seasons exploring the complete solo piano works of Brahms in four programs to be heard in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Los Angeles, London and a number of cities across North America. In concerto repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Brahms and Barber, he returned to the Nashville, Oregon, Dallas Symphonies, Washington Kennedy Center with Melbourne Symphony and internationally with orchestras in Seoul, Helsinki, Zagreb, Tallinn, Manchester and London.

A frequent guest with the orchestras in Australia, Mr. Ohlsson has recently visited Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart as well as the New Zealand Symphony in Wellington and Auckland. In February 2020 he accomplished a seven city recital tour across Australia just prior to the closure of the concert world due to Covid-19. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Tokyo and Takacs string quartets, including most recently Boston Chamber Players on tour in Europe. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. Passionate about singing and singers, Mr. Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podleś.

Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008 the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the Complete Works of Chopin followed in 2010 by all the Brahms piano variations, “Goyescas” by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently on that label are Scriabin’s Complete Poèmes, Smetana Czech Dances, and ètudes by Debussy, Bartok and Prokofiev. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records are the Complete Scriabin Sonatas, “Close Connections,” a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and two CDs of works by Liszt. In recognition of the Chopin bicentenary in 2010, Mr. Ohlsson was featured in a documentary “The Art of Chopin” co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations. Most recently, both Brahms concerti and Tchaikovsky’s second piano concerto were released on live performance recordings with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies on their own recording labels, and Mr. Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak’s piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic’s recordings of the composer’s complete symphonies & concertos, released July of 2014 on the Decca label.

A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the single American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He is the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and in August 2018 the Polish Deputy Culture Minister awarded him with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for cultural merit. He is a Steinway Artist and makes his home in San Francisco.

July 24, 2022

Katie Van Kooten, Soprano

Performs Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

American soprano Katie Van Kooten’s operatic and concert appearances continue to thrill audiences and garner praise for her “powerful, gleaming soprano.” Of her recent role debut as Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, the Houston Chronicle wrote, “Her singing is extraordinary in its radiance, power and sheer expressiveness. Her ‘Letter Scene’ alone, would be reason enough to attend.”

Artist Bio

Highlights of the 2019-2020 season include returns to the Metropolitan Opera as the Marschallin in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, and to Oper Frankfurt to reprise her acclaimed portrayal of Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes conducted by Lawrence Foster. Concert appearances include Verdi’s Requiem with the Phoenix Symphony led by Music Director Tito Muñoz and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Chamber Music of Amarillo.

In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Van Kooten made her house debut with Arizona Opera as the Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Concert appearances included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, as well as Verdi’s Requiem with the Eugene Symphony.

Operatic highlights from recent seasons include Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at Houston Grand Opera, where she has also appeared as Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda opposite Joyce DiDonato, Mimi in La bohème, and Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes in a new production by Neil Armfield. She has performed Donna Elvira with Dallas Opera, Liù in Turandot with Opera New Orleans, Elettra in Idomeneo and Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito at Oper Frankfurt, Mimi and the Countess at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Countess with Atlanta Opera, and Donna Elvira with Opera Grand Rapids. Ms. Van Kooten made her house debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in the acclaimed Nicolas Joël production of La Rondine as Magda and at Houston Grand Opera as Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Magda in La Rondine and return performances there have included Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann opposite Rolando Villazón and led by Antonio Pappano, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Mimi in La bohème, and Marguerite in Faust. She made her Japanese debut as Micaëla in Carmen under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, and her United States debut performing Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust with the Metropolitan Opera on the Great Lawn of Central Park.

Notable appearances on the concert stage include performances with the San Francisco Symphony for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and Handel’s Messiah led by Ragnar Bohlin, as well as a New Year’s Eve program with Dmitry Sitkovetsky. She has performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Baltimore Symphony conducted by Nicholas McGegan, Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Louisville Symphony and Rochester Philaharmonic. She has performed Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski, and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Halle Orchestra led by Edward Gardner. She made her Minnesota Orchestra debut as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier under the direction of Andrew Litton and returned for Strauss’ Four Last Songs and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 under the baton of music director Osmo Vänskä. She has also sung the Marschallin in excerpts from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier alongside Heidi Grant Murphy with the Bellingham Music Festival.

A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Ms. Van Kooten studied voice with Rudolf Piernay. She received her Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Biola University where she studied with Dr. Jeanne Robison and is a graduate and perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute.

July 24, 2022

Ellen Graham, Mezzo Soprano

Performs Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Cincinnati based mezzo-soprano Ellen Graham is a versatile singer who has garnered recognition for performances that are “stirring” and “beautifully sung.” She performs regularly in Cincinnati with organizations like Collegium Cincinnati, convert:nova, and Queen City Opera. She is a member of the Vocal Arts Ensemble and Conspirare, both under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson and is featured as a soloist on their newly released recording of composer Kile Smith’s Canticle.

Artist Bio

Performances in 2019 included the role of Dryad in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos, Music for Three with Cincinnati Soundbox – a program of new music for trio voices and Handel’s Messiah at Duke Chapel.

Ellen has performed and recorded with the Cincinnati Pops under the baton of John Morris Russell and has appeared as a soloist with The May Festival under Robert Porco, as well as many regional orchestras including the Evansville Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Central Ohio Symphony, and the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, Ellen has performed in inaugural productions with Undercroft Opera in Pittsburgh and Vital Opera in NYC.

Equally at home on the musical theater stage, she has performed in regional theaters including Pittsburgh Public Theater and the College Light Opera Company and has portrayed such roles as Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance), Madame Giry (Phantom of the Opera), Sheila (A Chorus Line) and Katisha in The Mikado. She can be heard singing the role of Orlofsky in the 2010 Albany Records recording of Die Fledermaus.

Ellen maintains a private voice studio and teaches Voice at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music in the Jazz and Commercial Music Production programs, as well as Lyric Diction at Northern Kentucky University. She holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Miami University and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky. Her research in voice science and vocal health was published in Medical Problems of Performing Artists in 2016.

July 24, 2022

Clayton Brainerd, Bass

Performs Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

This Portland, Oregon born, award-winning bass-baritone has amassed a wonderful list of accolades and successes in the last decade singing leading roles with the major orchestras and opera companies of the world under the baton of conductors including James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Micheal Tilson Thomas, Charles Dutoit, Robert Shaw, Gerard Schwarz, Jeffery Tate, Jesus Lopez-Cobos and Christophe von Dohnanyi. His imposing stage presence and magnificent voice have electrified audiences in Europe, New Zealand, North and South America, Korea and Japan.

Artist Bio

Highlights of the past few seasons include Mahler 8th Symphony (recording), Missa Solemnis, Mozart requiem, and Beethoven 9th (recording) with the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting, Les Troyens with Boston Symphony and at Tanglewood with James Levine, Oedipus Rex with the Boston Symphony under the direction of von Dohnanyi, Walküre Wotan with Scottish Opera, Walküre Wotan (cover) on the MET tour of Japan, Sachs (cover) in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg at the MET, and the American Premier of the opera Sophie’s Choice by Nicholas Maw at the Washington Opera.

Previous seasons included Elijah, Saul, Mozart Requiem, Mahler 8th Symphony, & Creation with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Messiah and Oedipus Rex with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and a return to New Orleans Opera for performances of Siegfried. For performances of Walküre Wotan with Scottish Opera’s internationally acclaimed Ring Cycle, Mr. Brainerd was awarded the coveted “Herald Angel Award” from the Edinburgh Festival, naming him as one of the most outstanding performers at the festival. He also sang the role of Amonasro in the production of Aida with the Scottish Opera

Mr. Brainerd has also made his debut at the Paris Opera (Bastille) in La Damnation de Faust with Seiji Ozawa on the podium, a debut in Madrid singing the title role in performances of a newly discovered opera Merlin by Isaac Albeniz, Wotan in Die Walküre with the New Orleans Opera and performances of Messiah at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Brainerd replaced James Morris as Wotan in Die Walküre performances at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, performances and recorded The Dream of the Peasant Grishko by Mussorgsky with the New Jersey Symphony under the baton of Zdenek Macal. Mr. Brainerd has sung Kurvenal in a performances and recording of Tristan und Isolde at Carnegie hall with the Opera Orchestra of New York and Scarpia in Tosca with Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, Spain. He also debuted with the New Zealand Symphony as Wotan in five concert performances of Wagner’s Das Rheingold – a role in which he won critical acclaim with the Arizona Opera Ring Cycle. Mr. Brainerd sang Golaud in Pellèas et Mèlisande in Japan with The New Japan Philharmonic under the auspices of Seiji Ozawa. Also with Ozawa, were performances of Madama Butterfly with the Boston Symphony and Damnation of Faust with Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.

Mr. Brainerd’s versatility encompasses not only the Wagnerian repertoire of Wotan and Gunther in The Ring and the title roles in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, but also many roles in the Italian and French operatic repertoire, including Scarpia in Tosca, Falstaff, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Villains in Hoffman, Golaud in Pellèas et Mèlisande and Mephistopheles in The Damnation of Faust. Mr. Brainerd is also in great demand as a concert artist throughout the world singing a vast repertoire from the Baroque to Modern!