Susanna Phillips, soprano
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Paul Neubauer, viola
“The soprano Susanna Phillips had what could be a breakthrough night at the Met as Fiordiligi… She has the purity and bloom of a Mozart lyric soprano. Yet her voice can lift phrases with penetrating sound and deep richness.” – (Anthony Tommassini, The New York Times)
Susanna Phillips, soprano
Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips, recipient of The Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, continues to establish herself as one of today’s most sought-after singing actors and recitalists. The 2015-16 season will see Phillips return to the Metropolitan Opera for an eighth consecutive season starring as Roselinda in the Jeremy Sams production of Die Fledermaus conducted for the first time by music director James Levine, as well as a return of her acclaimed Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème. Phillips will also return to the stage of Lyric Opera of Chicago as Juliet in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume. A return to Boston Lyric Opera will mark Phillips’ debut in the role of Hanna in a new production of Lehár’s The Merry Widow.
2015-16 orchestra engagements include a return to the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with David Robertson and the Sydney Symphony, and Mahler’s Das klagende Lied with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Phillips will also return to the St Louis Symphony Orchestra for Vivier’s Lonely Child and Mahler Symphony No. 4 with David Robertson, as well as the Oratorio Society of New York for Filas’ Requiem with music director Kent Tritle.
Last season saw Phillips return to the Metropolitan Opera starring as Antonia in Bartlett Sher’s production of Les Contes D’Hoffmann under the baton of James Levine, as well as a reprise of her house debut role of Musetta in La Bohème. Additional engagements included her debut at Oper Frankfurt as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Arminda in Mozart’s La Finta Giradiniera at Santa Fe Opera conducted by Harry Bicket, Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with Paul McCreesh and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon and the title role in Handel’s Agrippina with Boston Baroque under Martin Pearlman.
Phillips’ 2014-15 orchestral engagements were highlighted by a performance of Fauré’s Requiem with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with Jaap van Zweden and a return to the San Francisco Symphony for Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas. Additional performances included Strauss’ Four Last Songs at the opening night gala of the Louisiana Philharmonic’s season and with the Mexico National Symphony Orchestra, an solo concert with Music of the Baroque conducted by Jane Glover, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Oratorio Society of New York, and Mendelssohn’s arrangement of Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.
Highlights of Phillips’ previous seasons include numerous additional Metropolitan Opera appearances as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte in what the New York Times called a “breakthrough night,” Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Julie Taymor’s production of The Magic Flute, Musetta in La Bohème (both in New York and on tour in Japan), and as a featured artist in the Met’s Summer Recital Series in both Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park. She also appeared at Carnegie Hall for a special concert performance as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Reneé Fleming – a role she went on to perform, to rave reviews, at Lyric Opera of Chicago and as Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony. She made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Pamina, and subsequently performed a trio of other Mozart roles with the company as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Countess Almaviva in le Nozze di Figaro, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. As a member of the Ryan Opera Center, Phillps sang the female leads in Roméo et Juliette and Die Fledermaus. Additional roles include Elmira in Reinhard Keiser’s The Fortunes of King Croesus, Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Countess in le Nozze di Figaro, and Donna Anna, as well as appearances with the Dallas Opera, Minnesota Opera, Fort Worth Opera Festival, Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Birmingham.
Highly in demand by the world’s most prestigious orchestras, Phillips has appeared with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Oratorio Society of New York, Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Santa Fe Concert Association.
A passionate chamber music collaborator, Phillips recently teamed with bass baritone Eric Owens for a recital of all Schubert which they have taken on tour in Chicago with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at the Gilmore Festival, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Additional recital engagements included chamber music concerts with Paul Neubauer and Anne Marie McDermott, an appearance at the Parlance Chamber Music Series with Warren Jones, the 2014 Chicago Collaborative Works Festival, the Emerson String Quartet in Thomasville, Georgia with Warren Jones and colleagues from the Metropolitan Opera, and at Twickenham Fest, a chamber music festival she co-founded in her native Huntsville, Alabama. The soprano also made her solo recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall with pianist Myra Huang.
Other recent concert and oratorio engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, the Fauré and Mozart requiems, Carmina Burana, and Handel’s Messiah. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson, Rob Fisher, and the New York Pops. Following her Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut under Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Sun proclaimed: “She’s the real deal.”
In August 2011, Phillips was featured at the opening night of the Mostly Mozart Festival, which aired live on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS. The same year saw the release of Paysages, her first solo album on Bridge Records, which was hailed as “sumptuous and elegantly sung” (San Francisco Chronicle). The following year saw her European debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona.
As resident artist at the 2010 and 2011 Marlboro Music Festivals, she was part of Marilyn Horne Foundation Gala at Carnegie Hall, made her New York solo recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC under the auspices of the Vocal Arts Society.
Phillips had a magnificent 2005, winning four of the world’s leading vocal competitions: Operalia (both First Place and the Audience Prize), the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacAllister Awards, and the George London Foundation Awards Competition. She has also claimed the top honor at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and has won first prizes from the American Opera Society Competition and the Musicians Club of Women in Chicago. Philips has received grants from the Santa Fe Opera and the Sullivan Foundation, and is a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. She holds both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and continues collaboration with her teacher Cynthia Hoffmann.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Huntsville, over 400 people traveled from her hometown to New York City in December 2008 for Phillips’ Metropolitan Opera debut in La Bohème. She continues to be overwhelmed by the support she receives and returns frequently to her native state for recitals and orchestral appearances.
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
“One admired the elegance of Ms. McDermott’s playing: electric in its eagerness but always poised, never out of control..” The New York Times
For over 25 years Anne-Marie McDermott has played concertos, recitals and chamber music in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. In addition to performing, she also serves as Artistic Director of the Bravo! Vail Music and Ocean Reef Music Festivals, as well as Curator for Chamber Music for the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego.
The breadth of Ms. McDermott’s repertoire reaches from Bach, Haydn and Beethoven to Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Scriabin, to works by today’s most influential composers. In the 2015/16 season she will premiere a concerto written by Poul Ruders. Charles Wuorinen’s last solo piano sonata, which she has recorded, was written for her and premiered at New York’s Town Hall. Ms. McDermott has recorded the complete Prokofiev Piano Sonatas, Bach’s English Suites and Partitas (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone Magazine), solo works by Chopin, and Gershwin’s Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra with the Dallas Symphony (also Editor’s Choice, Gramophone Magazine). In 2013, she released a disc of Mozart Concerti with the Calder Quartet (“exceptional on every count.”—Gramophone). Most recently she recorded five Haydn piano sonatas and two Haydn Concertos with the Odense Philharmonic in Denmark including two cadenzas written by Charles Wuorinen.
In summer 2014, Ms. McDermott performed Mozart Concerto, K. 595 with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Donald Runnicles, the Bach D minor concerto with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with the New York City-based Le Train Bleu. In the 14/15 season she looks forward to return engagements with the Vancouver and Dallas Symphonies. In 2012 Ms. McDermott performed Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Bramwell Tovey. She also did a west coast tour with award-winning violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra; the complete Beethoven piano trios with Ida Kavafian and Peter Wiley; and the complete Beethoven cello sonatas with Lynn Harrell. Other recent international highlights include a performance of Schumann’s piano concerto with the Sao Paulo Symphony at the Cartagena Festival and an all-Haydn recital tour of China. Ms. McDermott gave special performances of works by Charles Wuorinen in New York and at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., in celebration of the composer’s seventy-fifth birthday.
Ms. McDermott has performed with many other leading orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony orchestras of San Diego, Dallas, Columbus, Seattle, Houston, Colorado, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atlanta, New Jersey, Austin, Nashville, Chattanooga, North Carolina, Hartford and Baltimore, among others. She is a longtime member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with whom she performs and tours extensively each season. With CMS she has performed the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas and chamber music, as well as a three-concert series of chamber music by Shostakovich. Ms. McDermott enjoys touring as a member of OPUS ONE, a chamber group with Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom and Peter Wiley. Together they have commissioned over 15 new works. She also tours annually violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and performs as part of a trio with sisters, Kerry and Maureen McDermott. She studied at the Manhattan School of Music and was winner of both the Young Concert Artists auditions and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Anne-Marie McDermott lives in New York City with her husband, Michael, and her maltese, Sammy.
Paul Neubauer, viola
Violist Paul Neubauer’s exceptional musicality and effortless playing led the New York Times to call him “a master musician”. This season he will record the Aaron Kernis Viola Concerto with the Royal Northern Sinfonia in the United Kingdom, a work he premiered with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony and Idyllwild Arts Orchestra in 2014. He will also premiere a new work for solo viola by Joan Tower at Alice Tully Hall, the fourth work Ms. Tower has composed for him. This will be part of a program devoted to works showcasing Mr. Neubauer at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A solo album of music recorded at Music@Menlo will also be released this season. Appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki philharmonics; National, St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, and Bournemouth symphonies; and Santa Cecilia, English Chamber, and Beethovenhalle orchestras.
He has premiered viola concertos by Bartók (revised version of Viola Concerto), Friedman, Glière, Jacob, Kernis, Lazarof, Müller-Siemens, Ott, Penderecki, Picker, Suter, and Tower and has been featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning, A Prairie Home Companion, and in Strad, Strings, and People magazines. A two-time Grammy nominee, he has recorded on numerous record labels including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, RCA Red Seal and Sony Classical. Mr. Neubauer performs in a trio with soprano Susanna Phillips and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Mannes College.