Soprano Tony Arnold, an internationally acclaimed interpreter of contemporary music, is this year’s Howard Hanson Visiting Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music. She will be in residence until April 2, coaching students, participating in symposiums, and singing with several Eastman ensembles. Her appearances will include performances of works by Eastman faculty and student composers.
In 2001, Arnold became the first vocalist ever to win first prize in the prestigious Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition since the competition was launched in 1963 in the Netherlands. On the heels of that triumph, she took first prize in the Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition in the United States.
Arnold’s work has focused on the most innovative composers of our time, including György Ligeti, Thomas Adés, George Crumb, Bernard Rands, and Elliott Carter. Her wide repertoire includes masterworks of Olivier Messiaen and Arnold Schoenberg. She has appeared with leading new music ensembles across the nation, including eighth blackbird, New York New Music Ensemble, The Furious Band, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Fulcrum Point, Pocket Opera Company, and the Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Players.
“Tony Arnold is one of the most celebrated singers of new music on the scene today,” said Robert Morris, chair of the Composition Department. “The performance of new music has become a defining feature of the composition program at Eastman, and working with an artist of Tony Arnold’s stature is an important part of the training of young composers.”
In addition to working with Eastman student composers and Eastman voice students, Arnold will premiere a work written for her by Eastman Professor David Liptak during a concert with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. She will also perform works by Eastman doctoral students Baljinder Sekhon and Paul Coleman during a concert by Musica Nova, and will participate in the annual Warren and Patricia Benson Forum on Creativity.
Arnold is only the third artist to hold the Hanson professorship, which is funded by Eastman School’s Hanson Institute for American Music. Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Mario Davidovsky and Yehudi Wyner were the Hanson Visiting Professors in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Public performances by Tony Arnold include:
- Wednesday, February 18: Arnold joins Musica Nova, with Brad Lubman, conductor. Arnold will sing works by two Eastman doctoral students: Baljinder Sekhon’s “Post” and Paul Coleman’s “Into Winters’ Grey,” a setting of five cinquains (five-line stanzas) by Rochester poet Adelaide Crapsey, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century. The concert is at 8 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall and is free.
- Monday, March 30: Arnold performs with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, with Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor. She will present the world premiere of “Folgore Songs,” which was written for her by Eastman faculty composer David Liptak. The concert is at 8 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall and is free.
- Monday, April 6: Warren and Patrician Benson Forum on Creativity. Soprano Tony Arnold participates with poet Lia Purpura. The event takes place at 8 p.m. in Ciminelli Lounge in the Eastman Student Living Center, 100 Gibbs St., and is free.
Arnold’s early musical training included piano, woodwind, and composition studies at the Peabody Preparatory Institute and the Maryland Center for the Arts. She received a bachelor’s degree in voice from Oberlin College in 1990 and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University in 1993. She is an assistant professor of music at the University of Buffalo.
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