Karol Bennett, soprano

Hailed for her “sumptuous sound, wrenching poignancy, and faultless musicianship” (The New York Times), “resonant focus, glimmering tone and creamy fluidity” (The Los Angeles Times), and “ravishing tone and fire of imagination” (The Boston Globe), soprano Karol Bennett has been heard worldwide in lieder, oratorio, opera, and new music. Her honors include the Pro Musicis International Award, an Artistic Ambassadorship, a fellowship from the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, and a Duo Recitalists Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her recording of music of Earl Kim with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra was supported by a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Released on New World Records, the album was chosen for the “Critics’ Choices: Classical Music, 2001” by the New York Times and praised by Gramophone magazine for its “authoritative performances.”

Ms. Bennett is celebrated for her versatility and interpretive insight in repertoire ranging from Baroque music to numerous contemporary works, many written especially for her. Her oratorio and orchestral appearances include works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Brahms, Fauré, Verdi, Mahler, Barber, Orff and Bernstein. She has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles, including the Boston Cecilia, the Boston Masterworks Chorale, the Boston Musica Viva, Collage, Da Camera of Houston, Emmanuel Music, the Ensemble de las Rosas of Mexico, the Ensemble Luna Nova, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Musiqa, the New York New Music Ensemble, OrchestraX, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Sinfonietta Krakovia, the Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the Borromeo, Cassatt, Chiara, Boston Composers, Enso, Flux and Mendelssohn String Quartets and the Quarteto Latino-Americano. She recently made her Houston Symphony debut under Hans Graf performing Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs. Praised for her “bright, articulate” singing (Opera News), operatic appearances include the title role in the Russian premiere of Debussy’s Pélleas et Melisande, Despina in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Adele in J. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, and Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Her pre-recorded voice is a centerpiece of Tod Machover’s Brain Opera, which was premiered at New York’s Lincoln Center and is now on permanent exhibition in Vienna. She recently performed the world premiere of Anthony Brandt and Will Eno’s chamber opera The Birth of Something, presented by Da Camera of Houston. As a recitalist, she has performed a televised concert from the Opéra Comique in Paris, as well as recitals in France, Rome, Moscow, the Far East, Mexico, and throughout the United States. Ms. Bennett has been a participant at the Round Top International Festival of Music, and has also been a guest at the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Bowdoin International Festival and Artist-in-Residence at the International Festival of Music in Morelia, Mexico.

Ms. Bennett served on the faculty of Boston University until moving to Houston with her husband and children in the fall of 1998. 1n 1990-91, she was Artist-in-Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has also been in residence at Amherst College, the Universities of California in Berkeley and Davis, San Francisco State University, and the University of Oregon. She has taught master classes in Russia, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, and at many universities in the United States. A graduate of the University of Kansas City-Missouri Conservatory of Music and the Yale School of Music, she was honored as the Kansas City Conservatory’s “Alumna of the Year” in 1996.

Ms. Bennett is also dedicated to outreach efforts. As winner of the Pro Musicis Award, she performed at nursing homes, hospitals, day care centers and a woman’s prison. In Houston, she has taught teacher training and student workshops for Young Audiences of Houston. During the past three seasons, she has performed a educational concerts with the contemporary music ensemble Musiqa for nearly eight thousand public elementary school children at Houston’s Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Her recording of Tod Machover’s Flora was selected as the Boston Globe’s “New Music Recording of the Year: 1992.” Of her recording of Tod Machover’s Song of Penance, the Boston Globe wrote “No praise can be too high” and the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote,”So good you’d be tempted to proclaim it one of the new-music discs of the decade.” Her release of Jonathan Harvey’s From Silence was praised by Gramophone as “strikingly agile and secure, powerfully convincing.” Other acclaimed releases include a collection of twentieth century sacred music with the Boston Cecilia on Newport Classics, John Harbison’s Simple Daylight on Archetypes Records, and the Victoria Requiem on the Arsis Label.

Copyright ©2006 David Long