Welcome to SongFest
From the Odyssey to the Agnus Dei, Rachmaninov to Radiohead, the electric union between words and the human voice in song has inspired generations of artists and audiences alike. SongFest comprises two of the premier training programs and festivals dedicated to this art at the heart of the human experience. Why choose SongFest? Let us count the "why"'s.
In partnership with the Sorel Organization, SongFest has made a substantial contribution to the art song repertoire through its commissioning program that has produced new works for voice and piano by such distinguished composers as William Bolcom, Tom Cipullo, Anne LeBaron, Gabriela Lena Frank, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, and Shulamit Ran.
SongFest is thrilled to announce that the 2017 Sorel commission has been awarded to art-song champion Juliana Hall. Her work, "WHEN THE SOUTH WIND SINGS" (7 songs for soprano and piano on poems by Carl Sandburg), will be performed at SongFest 2017 by a professional fellow soprano and pianist at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles, date and time TBA. Click here to learn more about Juliana Hall and her work.
By Louis Lebherz
THE FIRST WEEK of the new year brought to Carmel Valley a new program produced through Hidden Valley Music Seminars entitled SongFest Winter Intensive, and subtitled “Vienna in the Valley.” A vision of founder/director Rosemary Ritter, SongFest is a program for serious young singers housed at the glamorous Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles. The road to a successful classical singing career is so much more than a voice and a personality. It requires years of study and refinement in music theory and history, languages, vocal technique, acting skills and more. READ MORE...
Celebrating our 20th anniversary, SongFest releases our first CD, featuring SongFest's unique contribution to American art song with fifteen commissions, world premieres, and featured compositions by the best of contemporary American song composers, all performed by SongFest alumni and special guest Edward Arron, cello.
"During a recent SongFest public master class, the director Peter Sellars was coaching Mishael Eusebio, a poised tenor who told Sellars to call him Mish and brought confident emotion to Aaron Copland’s arrangement of the old American song “The Boatman’s Dance.
Sellars asked that the boatman call be a more droning refrain evoking the placid expanse of the Ohio River, and that Mish “get down” for the song’s high-spirited quickstep chorus. “Do you dance?” Sellars asked. The tenor smiled without otherwise answering.
Repeating the number, Eusebio nonchalantly threw in three or four remarkably polished tap dance steps for the chorus, causing song and singer to come spectacularly to life. Sellars yelled, “Yeeeeesss!” into his mike. Eusebio flashed that same sly smile." Read the full story here:
Congratulations to SongFest 2015 Stern Fellow soprano Marie Marquis who won the Debut Artist Recital Award in Joy of Singing's 2016 competition. SongFest would also like to congratulate finalists and SongFest alumni soprano Danya Katok, tenor Jason Weisinger, and 2016 Professional Fellow tenor Christopher Reames!
Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalog of over 500 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over 15 operas. Grammy award-winning and widely recorded, including over 50 CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.
Toi toi to SongFest alumni Emily D'Angelo (2015 Young Artist) and Theo Hoffman (2013 Stern Fellow) in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals this coming Sunday, March 13th at 3pm at the Metropolitan Opera in New York!
SongFest, in collaboration with Hampsong Foundation, the Colburn School, and LA Opera, presents a special Song of America event in Los Angeles, California featuring song settings of poetry by the great American writers Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes. Join SongFest on June 25th for a morning educator workshop, with activities for K-12 teachers on integrating song into their classrooms, followed by an “Honest American” concert at noon featuring Young Artists from SongFest singing songs with texts by Whitman and Hughes. In the afternoon, internationally-renowned baritone, educator, and Hampsong Foundation founder Thomas Hampson will work with young artists at SongFest in a special Song in Dialogue segment, exploring the power of classic American songs as the gateway to a richer knowledge of the cultures, languages, peoples, and events that have shaped American life.
2010 Stern Fellow and current Lindemann Young Artist at the Metropolitan Opera received a rave review in the New York Times for her performance of Lisa in Bellini's "La Sonnambula." Read it here!
Summer Institute in Los Angeles (June 2 - June 30, 2017)
The Summer Institute is America’s one-stop-shop for art song, comprising five programs tailor-made for art song students at every stage of their development (Studio Artist, Young Artist, Professional Fellows, Recital Fellows, and Pianist Programs), from freshmen in college to professional recitalists. A month-long rigorous art song bootcamp, over 20 internationally distinguished pianists, singers, composers, and lecturers give daily thematic master classes, lectures, and private coachings in their area of expertise: covering the breadth of art song from lieder, to mélodie, to art song, 1800 - modern day. Whatever your interest in song repertoire, work with the experts in the field on bringing your favorite songs to dynamic and informed life, learn to consider songs you thought you knew from a different and enlivening perspective, encounter new exciting repertoire, either forgotten gems or music hot-off-the-press from our resident composers, and build relationships with fellow art song enthusiasts that will last a life-time.
Don't Miss our New CD!
Available on CDbaby, and for streaming on Spotify, iTunes and more! Featuring over 15 alumni performing commissions, world premieres, and songs featured during SongFest's 20 year history, by some of the best of modern day American song composers.
SongFest is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.