Ilana Davidson, soprano
American soprano Ilana Davidson brings a crystalline soprano, assured musicality and interpretive insight to repertoire spanning the 12th to the 21st centuries. Her recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience conducted by Leonard Slatkin won four Grammy Awards including Best Classical Album. She has closely collaborated with composers William Bolcom, John Zorn and Bright Sheng. And conductors Alan Gilbert, Jaap van Zweden, Keith Lockhart, Reinbert de Leeuw, Oliver Knussen, Miguel Harth-Bedoya , Harry Bicket, Carl St. Clair, Michael Riesman, Lothar Zagrosek, Josep Caballé-Domenech, Lawrence Renes and Claus Peter Flor.
Ms. Davidson’s association with the music of Austrian composer Ernst Krenek began with rapturously received performances as the Queen in Das Geheime Königreich at the Krenek Festival in Vienna and Die Nachtigall with the Austrian Chamber Symphony. The former spawned a series of projects dedicated to the composer’s works including a debut solo recording of Krenek’s lieder, a recital tours, as well as performances and a recording of the Krenek opera What Price Confidence in addition to a DVD production of solo vocal works with pianist Mikhail Korzhev in Los Angeles.
Ms. Davidson’s operatic experience includes the world premiere of Libby Larson’s opera Everyman Jack, and an Alice Tully Hall debut as the Wife in Philip Glass/Robert Moran’s The Juniper Tree to rave reviews, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo, Chef der Gepopo in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, and Erste Blumenmädchen in Parsifal, all performed in the Netherlands; Flora in The Turn of the Screw and Amore in L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Florida Grand Opera.
New York’s Carnegie Hall welcomed her for Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony and Mahler’s Second Symphony with Benjamin Zander and the Boston Philharmonic. She made her Avery Fisher Hall debut in Carl Orff’s Trionfo di Afrodite with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra. Carmina Burana with the Houston, Edmonton, Reading, Alabama and Toledo Symphonies; and has appeared at the Monadnock, Bard, Berkshire Choral, Schwetzingen, Innsbruck Early Music Festival an the Staunton Music Festivals. The latter as Galatea in Händel’s Acis and Galatea. Her engagements with Yoav Talmi and the Québec Symphony include Amor in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice and Mahler’s Second Symphony; she also sang the Fauré Requiem with the Charlotte Symphony unde Thierry Fischer; J.S Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium and the solo cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (with which she regularly performs as part of its Cantatas in Context series). Other baroque projects include Bach’s Cantatas BWV 49 and 58 with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society; Cupid in Purcell’s King Arthur in Stuttgart, Amor in Legrenzi’s La Divisione del Mondo conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock in a co-production with the Austrian festivals of Innsbruck and Schwetzingen; Händel’s Messiah with the Pacific, Ann Arbor, Alabama, Nashville Symphonies, and National Philharmonic; the Angel in Schütz’s A Christmas Story at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (broadcast live on NPR); and Haydn’s Creation with Philadelphia’s Voces Novae et Antiqua and Harrisburg Symphony. Her strong affiliation with the music of Mozart has been heard in programs of the composer’s arias with the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam; Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the National Philharmonic; Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with the Vlaamse Opera and Staatsoper Stuttgart; the Requiem with the Schleierbacher Chamber Orchestra and Harrisburg Symphony; and an especially memorable Mass in C Minor at the Berkshire Choral Festival which led to an immediate reinvitation for the composer’s Solemn Vespers of the Confessor and the Paukenmesse of Fanz Joseph Haydn.
Last season inclded her debut with Miguel Harth-Bedoya in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, return engagements with the Callithumpian Consort of Boston, Schoenberg String Quartet No 2 at the Curtis Institute of Music with Ida Kavafian, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s Pluck.Pound.Peel at Alice Tully Hall, Mahler’s Second Symphony with Colorado Springs and Dayton Philharmonic. The 2013 season includes Ein Deutches Requiem with Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony, Mahler’s Second Symphony with Rhode Island Philharmonic and Exsultate Jubilate with Wheeling Symphony, solo recitals and chamber music performances with Electric Earth Concerts, Oliver Knussen’s Hums and Songs of Winnie the Pooh with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble Boston, Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival with Jesse Mills and Rieko Aizawa and at Constable Burton Hall in North Yorkshire, UK.
Other CD releases include John Zorn’s Chimeras (Tzadik), Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley (Capriccio), Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home by Paul Elwood and What Price Confidence by Ernst Krenek (Capriccio).
Ms. Davidson is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and Carnegie Mellon University, she was a vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and a participant in the Aston Magna Early Music Academy, has been certified as a professor of VBT© Vocal Behavior Training. Ms Davidson has studied Yoga since 1995 and is an avid painter. (water color and acrylic)
Ms. Davidson is the co-founder of ClassicalCafé.org concert series, and is a member of both the National Association of Teachers of Singing and NYSTA.