Jan DeGaetani

Jan DeGaetaniKnown for her artistic integrity and individuality, Jan DeGaetani (1933-1989) had one of the broadest repertoires of any vocalist, ranging from the Renaissance to Cole Porter. She inspired the creation of vocal works by composers such as George Crumb (who wrote his Ancient Voices of Children for her), Elliott Carter, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, William Schuman, Jacob Druckman, Richard Wernick, and Pierre Boulez. After finishing her studies at Juilliard in 1955, Ms. DeGaetani sang in New York in various contemporary music ensembles, including the award-winning Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ms. DeGaetani’s career was flourishing at an international level, as she sang with leading chamber ensembles and appeared in oratorio parts, operatic roles, and with leading orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the New York Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, and the Scottish National Orchestra. She was a frequent soloist under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Georg Solti, David Zinman, and Pierre Boulez. Her complete discography totals well over 60 recordings. Her lifelong collaboration with pianist Gilbert Kalish was one of the great musical partnerships of our time. In nearly three decades of joint recitals across the United States and abroad, the duo presented a broad range of music for voice and piano, premiering new works and recording a dozen collaborative albums, covering the German, Russian, and American song literatures. In 1972, Ms. DeGaetani and her husband Philip West, oboist and Eastman professor emeritus of chamber music, joined the artist-faculty of the Aspen Music Festival. The couple came to Eastman in 1973. Ms. DeGaetani continued teaching and performing at both Aspen and Eastman until her death. Her final recording, produced by Bridge Records, was made in the Eastman Theatre with the Eastman Chamber Ensemble led by David Effron, and featured arrangements by Philip West.

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