Academic journal article Journal of Singing

California Dreamin': The Songs of Songfest

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

California Dreamin': The Songs of Songfest

Article excerpt

Of the many young artist programs dotting the American musical landscape in the 21st century, the art song training program and festival known as Songfest stands out as a pioneer and model for all such programs. Since it was brought into being in the '90s by California collaborative pianist and coach Rosemary Hyler Ritter, Songfest has grown by leaps and bounds, and from venue to venue in California, going from its first incarnation at UCLA, then to Chapman University, Pepperdine University, and finally to its present home at the state-of-the-art Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles, at that nexus of L.A. cultural life that includes Disney Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home of Los Angeles Opera. Every June, this song festival and training program brings musical luminaries such as singers Frederica von Stade, Lucy Shelton, Jessica Rivera, Sanford Sylvan, Dawn Upshaw, and Suzanne Mentzer, composers John Musto, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, Lori Laitman, and Ben Moore, and pianists Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Alan Louis Smith, and Margo Garrett to L.A. to inspire and educate the young musicians chosen to be participants through national auditions. …

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