Anna Kaskas Lokot
Anna Kaskas Lokot (1909-1998), professor emerita, received a performer’s degree in voice with honors from the Hartford Conservatory of Music in 1931. Shortly after graduation, she received a two-year grant from the Lithuanian government to study and perform in Rome, Milan, Genoa, and Nice. Almost immediately upon her return to the United States in 1936, she entered the first Metropolitan “Auditions of the Air” and won a contract with the Metropolitan Opera over 700 other aspirants. This began her 14-year career with the Met, in which she established herself as a valued and popular member of the company. During that time, she performed in 52 contralto and mezzo-soprano roles, and appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of the country, including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, and with the orchestras of Kansas City, Denver, and Houston. She also performed at the festivals of Tanglewood and Chautauqua Festivals. Ms. Kaskas Lokot embarked on her teaching career in 1952, when she joined the voice faculty of Indiana University’s School of Music, where she remained for five years. She then accepted a full professorship at the Florida State University School of Music (1957-59). In 1959, Ms. Kaskas Lokot joined the Eastman faculty, and chaired the voice department from 1963 until 1965. Her summer activities included teaching at Brigham Young University (1954) and giving master classes at Temple University’s Ambler Music Festival (1968-1969). She judged various competitions, such as the Ford Foundation Competitions for Professional Artists (1962), the Metropolitan Opera Auditions (1960-1964), and the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition (1964). She retired from the Eastman voice faculty in 1974.