WFIU’s featured performer for the month of February is Marietta Simpson, professor of music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
A mezzo-soprano, Simpson has sung with major orchestras throughout the United States, under many of the world’s greatest conductors, including the late Robert Shaw in her Carnegie Hall debut in 1988 as soloist in Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She grew up in Philadelphia and received her masters degree in music from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Simpson sang the role of Maria in Porgy and Bess with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Birmingham and Washington National Opera. She is also known for her performances of new operas including the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’s opera, Love and Other Demons, with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She sang the world premiere The Thread, composed by J. Mark Scearce to text by Toni Morrison, with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra under its music director, Paul Gambil.
Her oratorio and concert performances range widely from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to contemporary works such as Donal McCullough’s Let My People Go, a choral work that integrates African-American spirituals and code songs around a narrative text. She made her New York Philharmonic debut under Kurt Masur in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. This was followed by performances, also under Masur, of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9, and Bach’s St. John Passion.
WFIU will feature music performed by Marietta Simpson throughout the month of February.