Four-time Grammy Award-winning American tenor and pedagogue Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert and recital stages around the world. The combination of his beautiful and powerful lyric tenor voice, gift of dramatic interpretation and superb musicianship have earned him the highest praise from critics and audiences alike. Equally sought after as a teacher and adjudicator, Griffey is a perennial judge of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and a regular presence at masterclasses and workshops all over the world.
Since 2015 Griffey has served as Professor of Voice at the University of Rochester- Eastman School of Music. Performance highlights of his 2018/19 season include his return to the Metropolitan Opera for the U.S Premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Nashville Symphony, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Indianapolis Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem with the UMS Choral Union, recitals at the University of Notre Dame, Toronto Summer Music Festival and the Morgan Library and Museum for the George London Foundation. Highlights of his 17/18 Season included Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Vancouver Symphony, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor and Horn with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Omaha Symphony Orchestra, a Duo recital with Frederica von Stade and solo recitals with the American String Quartet, Ying Quartet and Warren Jones.
In a career spanning over 25 years, Griffey has performed leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Bastille, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, San Diego Opera, Canadian Opera Company and Opera Australia; as well as made operatic appearances at the Glyndebourne, Bregenz, Glimmerglass, Mostly Mozart, Saito Kinen and Aspen festivals.
With an operatic repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Britten, Griffey is best known for his interpretation of the title role in Peter Grimes, which he has sung all over the world. Of his 2008 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, New York Magazine said: “The tenor Anthony Dean Griffey navigates the straits between utterance and intention with great deftness, making his Peter one of the most textured and subtle characters to dominate the Met’s vast stage in a long time.” The New York Times proclaimed that in his most recent performance of the role at Carnegie Hall with the St. Louis Symphony under David Robertson, Griffey “again proved himself one of the most courageous actors in opera today.” His 2008 performance at the Met was broadcast in HD and has been released on DVD (a recording from his performance at Glyndebourne in 2001 has also been released on CD).
Other notable roles in Griffey’s repertoire are Jimmy in Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera (for which he won two Grammy Awards following the release of the recording in 2009) and the Edinburgh Festival; Mitch in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (which was composed specifically for him) at San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Washington National Opera; Sam Polk in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (at the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opera Philadelphia and Florentine Opera.
A celebrated concert performer, Griffey sings a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to Schoenberg, Janáček, Mahler and Stravinsky. He appears regularly with many distinguished international orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Halle Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland at the Concertgebouw, and the NJK Symphony Orchestra and Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan. He has also appeared in the world’s most prominent festivals including the BBC Proms and the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Aspen Music, Edinburgh, Lanaudière, and Saito Kinen festivals. The list of acclaimed conductors he has worked with includes James Conlon, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Donald Runnicles, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Manfred Honeck, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andre Previn, Yannick Nezet – Seguin, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, Michael Tilson Thomas, Edo de Waart, Mark Wigglesworth, Jaap van Zweden, and David Zinman.
An avid recitalist, Griffey made his Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall recital debut in 2004, where André Previn composed and dedicated a song cycle for him and accompanied him on the piano. Griffey has also been presented with his long-time pianist and collaborator Warren Jones by many prestigious recital series throughout the U.S. including San Francisco Performances, Vocal Arts DC at the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Schubert Club in Saint Paul, North Carolina School of the Arts, Music Academy of the West, the George London Foundation, and at the Cleveland Art Song, Ravinia and Marlboro festivals. In the spring of 2006 he had the distinction of being invited to perform a recital at the Supreme Court of the United States by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A four time Grammy-winning recording artist, Mr. Griffey’s extensive DVD and compact disc recordings include the Metropolitan Opera’s Peter Grimes (EMI Classics) the Los Angeles Opera’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Euroarts), the Metropolitan Opera’s Tristan und Isolde(DG/Universal); the San Francisco Opera’s A Streetcar Named Desire (video on Image Entertainment and audio on DG), Taylor’s Peter Ibbetsonwith the Seattle Symphony (Naxos), Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS Media), Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic (New York Philharmonic), and the Tonhalle Orchestra (RCA); Britten’s War Requiem with Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO); Les Mamelles de Tirésias with Seiji Ozawa (Philips); I Lombardi with James Levine (Decca/London); Amy Beach’s Cabildo (Delos); and Of Mice and Men with the Houston Grand Opera (Albany). He has also been featured as an Artist of the Week on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts. Mr. Griffey’s most recently collaborated with classical guitarist Joseph Pecoraro on a solo Christmas album entitled This Little Light that was released in October 2012 (Cgs Enterprises).
From 2009 to 2012 Griffey served as Professor of The Practice at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and from 2012 to 2014 he held the position of Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at the University of North Carolina – School of the Arts. He has given masterclasses all over the world, including at the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program, Music Academy of the West and the Aspen Festival, where Griffey has also served on the voice faculty.
Griffey is a perennial judge of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has also appeared on the judging panel for the Kneisel competition, Eleanor McCollum competition and the NATS National Students competition.
In addition to his degree from the Eastman School of Music, Griffey holds degrees from Wingate University and the Juilliard School, where he received the Advanced Certificate, and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Program. In 2012, Griffey was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from Wingate University.
Active in many charitable efforts, Griffey serves on the boards of the Open Door Shelter for the homeless and the Mental Health Associates of the Triad in his hometown of High Point, N.C., raising money and giving benefit concerts for those causes. He is also on the advisory board for Glimmerglass Opera.