Fleming Leads Third Year of SongStudio Workshop

Mike Lawson • News • January 18, 2021

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From January 18 to 23, 2021, renowned soprano Renée Fleming will mentor six pairs of aspiring young singers and pianists from around the world in the third year of SongStudio, an innovative program exploring the future of the vocal recital.

The annual intensive workshop—hosted by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute—will bring emerging vocalists and pianists together with leading artists and special guests for a week of instruction via digital platforms this year, in light of precautions for COVID-19.

“The art of the song recital is something I’m passionate about,” said Fleming. “So I’m delighted to work with SongStudio, building on the legacy of the great Marilyn Horne, whose own workshop at Carnegie took place over two decades. In addition to honing skills of language, style, and interpretation, I enjoy encouraging young musicians to explore innovative approaches to this venerable art. That includes developing presentations of their work for digital platforms. We all know that video is a crucial medium in the special circumstances of this year, but it has been an increasingly important tool for artists and it isn’t going away.”

The week will feature special guests, leading singers, and other artists from a variety of disciplines lending their insights and expertise in workshops, master classes, and discussions including pianist Graham Johnson and mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly. Beloved tenor Lawrence Brownlee will lead a discussion with the young artists on social justice and song. Musicologist Susan Youens, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on song and a longtime program annotator for Carnegie Hall, will give a lecture on interpreting Lieder. All participating singers and pianists will receive one-on-one private lessons and coaching throughout the week, learning from teachers, coaches, and collaborative pianists including Thomas Lausmann, Director of Music Administration at the Metropolitan Opera; Javier Arrebola, faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and former Chair of the Collaborative Piano Department at Boston University; and Gerald Martin Moore, Director of Yale Opera at the university’s School of Music. Each vocalist and pianist duo will record virtual performance videos, in collaboration with Emmy Award-winning director Habib Azar, which will be released later this season.

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