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Classical Notes

Thinking of Dawn Upshaw

Posted at 9:20 AM on May 28, 2013 by Emily Reese

It breaks my heart that Dawn Upshaw's six-year artistic partnership with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is drawing to a close this weekend.

Dawn Upshaw is one of my favorite living musicians human beings.

She has an admirable dedication to new classical works, and premiered six new pieces with the SPCO during her tenure there. Ms. Upshaw also happens to have one of the most beautiful soprano voices you'll hear (my personal favorite).

If you're unfamiliar with her voice and work, here are some more wonderful ways to hear her sing:


One of her most famous recordings is of Henryk Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 with David Zinman and the London Sinfonietta. It nearly stops my heart each time I listen.



Anything she recorded by Osvaldo Golijov.


This entire Schubert record with another favorite, Richard Goode.


She sang (in the final movement of) Mahler's 4th Symphony with the Cleveland Orchestra and Christoph von Dohnanyi.


If you prefer something older, check out this, where she sings Purcell and Bach.

One of the most impressive aspects of Dawn Upshaw is her versatility. Schubert, Bach, Mahler, Crumb, Schoenberg, Purcell, Haydn, etc.

And of course, Maria Schneider.

If you want to catch her before she's finished with her SPCO collaboration, you'd better grab tickets to one of the three shows scheduled this weekend in various community venues around the TC.

And, Ms. Upshaw, thank you for being a part of our community. Thank you for singing for us. Thank you for bringing us new music, and thank you in advance for the many times I hope you'll return.