Tony Arnold, soprano

John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune writes, “anything sung by soprano Tony Arnold is worth hearing.” Hailed by the New York Times as “a bold and powerful interpreter,” she has gained international acclaim for sparkling and insightful performances of the most daunting contemporary scores. In 2001, Ms. Arnold was thrust into the international spotlight when she became the only vocalist ever to be awarded first prize in the Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition. On the heels of that triumph, she claimed first prize in the 15th Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition. Since that time, Ms. Arnold has established a reputation as a leading specialist in new vocal repertoire, receiving consistent critical accolades for her many recordings, as well as performances with groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble 21, eighth blackbird, Contempo, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Fulcrum Point, and many others.

Ms. Arnold has been a frequent guest at international festivals in the USA, Mexico, Germany, Armenia, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, and Korea. She was a featured artist at the 2008 Darmstadt International Music Festival, the premier contemporary music venue of Europe. She tours regularly as a member of the George Crumb Ensemble. With violin virtuoso Movses Pogossian, she has taken György Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments to more than 30 venues across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. A DVD/CD set of their performance was released in 2009 on Bridge Records, to great critical acclaim.

In addition to Kafka Fragments, Ms. Arnold’s many recordings include a 2006 Grammy Nominated performance of George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children on Bridge Records. Released in 2009 was a DVD of the music of Crumb with the composer. She collaborated with conductor Robert Craft on a CD of vocal works by Anton Webern on the Naxos label. She has also recorded music of Carter, Babbitt, Wolpe and Tania León for Bridge; Berio’s Sequenza III for Naxos; and Kaija Saariaho’s Adjö on New Focus Records.

Ms. Arnold is an active participant in the creation and commissioning of new music. As the 2009 Howard Hanson Distinguished Professor of American Music at the Eastman School, Ms. Arnold shepherded the creation and premiere performances of new vocal music by 15 student composers. Recent premieres have included works by Philippe Manoury, Jason Eckardt, David Liptak, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. During the summers, Ms. Arnold engages composers and singers in music written by the participants of the SoundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy. Since 2003 she has served on the faculty of the University at Buffalo, where she founded the extended vocal techniques ensemble, BABEL.

Ms. Arnold is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University. Among her many mentors, she is greatly indebted to her study with sopranos Carmen Mehta and Carol Webber, and conductors Robert Spano and Victor Yampolsky.

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