IN RECITAL WITH PIANIST MARK MARKHAM ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14
Hooray for Love! Features Songs from the Great American Songbook and More
|Grammy-Award winning soprano Jessye Norman returns to Carnegie Hall on Saturday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m. with pianist Mark Markham for a special Valentine’s Day program entitled Hooray for Love! The concert features classics from musical theater and the Great American Songbook including selections by Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, and Duke Ellington, plus songs by Satie, Weill, Poulenc, Bizet, and others. This performance marks Miss Norman’s first solo recital in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage since May 2008.
About the Artists
The Jessye Norman School of the Arts in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia (now in its tenth academic year) serves as a platform and unique study facility for talented middle school students in music performance, writing, drama, dance, and graphic art. The students attend this after-school program tuition-free. A fellowship and master class series in her name established at the University of Michigan School of Music, Drama, and Dance further attest to Miss Norman’s encouragement and support of emerging talent.
Miss Norman is the recipient of many awards and honors. In December 1997, she was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, making history as the youngest recipient in the Honors’s more than twenty-year existence. Her many other prestigious distinctions include honorary doctorates at some forty colleges, universities, and conservatories around the world, the most recent being the Doctor of Music honoris causa from the Manhattan School of Music and Northwestern University in 2011. She has been awarded the Frederick Douglass Medal by the New York Urban League for her continuing exemplary attention to her artistic goals and civic responsibilities and the Handel Medallion—New York City’s highest honor in the performing arts.
In February 2006, Miss Norman became the fourth opera and classical music singer to be presented the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award for Classical Music. In 2007, she was elected as a fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was made a “living landmark” of New York City by the Landmarks Conservancy and was awarded the Nelson A. Rockefeller Award for the Arts by the State University of New York at Purchase College. In February of 2010, Miss Norman was among those presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House.
Miss Norman’s distinguished catalogue of recordings has won numerous awards, including France’s Grand Prix National du Disque for the music of Wagner, Schumann, Mahler, and Schubert; London’s prestigious Gramophone Award for her outstanding interpretation of Strauss’s Four Last Songs; Amsterdam’s Edison Prize; and recording honors in Belgium, Spain, and Germany. Her Grammy Award-winning recordings include Songs of Maurice Ravel and Wagner’s Lohengrin and Die Walküre.
Miss Norman curated and directed Carnegie Hall’s Honor! Festival, a three week-long celebration of the African American contribution to the legacy of Carnegie Hall and to the cultural mosaic of the world, which took place in March of 2009.
In addition to her busy performance schedule, Miss Norman serves on the Board of Directors for The New York Public Library and she is a member of the Board of Governors for the New York Botanical Garden. She is also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Howard University, the Lupus Foundation, and Paine College.
Her memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing, was published in May 2014 by Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt.
Pianist Mark Markham made his debut in 1980 as soloist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and in the same year was invited by the renowned Boris Goldovsky to coach opera at the Oglebay Institute, beginning a multi-faceted career. His teachers in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida, Robert and Trudie Sherwood, were supportive of all his musical endeavors from solo repertoire, vocal accompanying, and chamber music to Broadway and jazz. During the next ten years as a student at the Peabody Conservatory, where he received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in piano performance, this same support for the diversity of his musical gifts came from Ann Schein, a pupil of Mieczysław Munz and Arthur Rubinstein. While under her tutelage he won several competitions including the First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the 1988 Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition in New York City.
Mr. Markam has given solo recitals at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the New York Public Library; the Baltimore Museum of Art; and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In 1987, he was appointed pianist of the Contemporary Music Forum of Washington, DC. During five seasons, he gave numerous premiere performances at the Corcoran Gallery with this ensemble. This work led to other premieres throughout the US by composers Shulamit Ran, Lawrence Smith, and Richard Danielpour. Mr. Markham has also performed with the Brentano, Mozarteum, Glinka, and Castagnieri quartets and the Baltimore Woodwind Quintet, as well as with Edgar Meyer, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, and Ira Coleman. He has toured the US, Europe, and Asia with countertenor Derek Lee Ragin and works frequently with Theodora Hanslowe, Jennifer O’Loughlin, Leah Crocetto, and Marianna Pizzolato.
Since 1995, Mr. Markham has been the recital partner of Jessye Norman, giving nearly 300 performances in over 25 countries, including recitals in Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, La Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece, and at the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize presentation to President Jimmy Carter in Oslo. Recently he has performed with Miss Norman in London, Paris, Lyon, Moscow, Ghent, Zurich, Oman, Beirut, Baden-Baden, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. This season they will present recitals at Carnegie Hall on Valentine’s Day, the new Philharmonie in Paris, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Mr. Markham’s gift for jazz has been recognized in Sacred Ellington, a program created by Miss Norman in which he serves as pianist and musical director and which has toured Europe and the Middle East. His recording with Miss Norman, Roots: My Life, My Song, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
In 1990, Mr. Markham was invited to join the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where he served for ten years as vocal coach and professor of vocal repertoire and accompanying. A former faculty member of Morgan State University, the Britten-Pears School in England, and the Norfolk Chamber Festival of Yale University, he has presented master classes for pianists and singers throughout the US, Europe, and Asia and has been a guest lecturer for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the Johns Hopkins University.
HOORAY FOR LOVE!
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Image at top of release by James Alexander