Ilana Davidson


Grammy-winning American soprano Ilana Davidson brings a crystalline soprano, assured musicality and interpretive insight to repertoire from the 12th to 21st centuries.  She has worked with the conductors Harry Bicket, Leon Botstein, Thierry Fischer, Claus Peter Flor, Alan Gilbert, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Thomas Hengelbrock, James Judd, Oliver Knussen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Grant Llewellyn, Keith Lockhart, Stuart Malina, Lawrence Renes, Michael Riesman, Carl St. Clair, Leonard Slatkin, Andre-Raphael Smith, Yoav Talmi, Jaap van Zweden, Lothar Zagrosek and Benjamin Zander.  Among the contemporary composers with whom she collaborates are John Zorn and Bright Sheng.

Her association with the music of the composer Ernst Krenek began with the Queen in Das Geheime Königreich at the Krenek Festival in Vienna and Die Nachtigall with the Austrian Chamber Symphony. The former spawned a series of projects dedicated to the composer’s works including solo debut recording of his lieder, a recital tour, and multiple New York City performances and a recording of his opera What Price Confidence.  Ms. Davidson’s other operatic forays include Libby Larson’s Everyman Jack at Sonoma City Opera, Galatea in Händel’s Acis and Galatea at the Staunton Music Festival and Philip Glass/Robert Moran’s The Juniper Tree with the Collegiate Chorale at Alice Tully Hall.  Her roles include Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo, Chef der Gepopo in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, and Erste Blumenmädchen in Parsifal, all performed in the Netherlands; and Flora in The Turn of the Screw and Amore in L’incoronazione di Poppea withe the Florida Grand Opera. 

New York’s Carnegie Hall welcomed her for Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience with the Saint Louis Symphony, and Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Boston Philharmonic.   She made her Avery Fisher Hall debut in Carl Orff’s Trionfo di Afrodite with the American Symphony Orchestra.  In addition she sang Carmina Burana with the Houston, Edmonton, Reading, Alabama and Toledo Symphonies; Amor in Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice and Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Québec Symphony, the Fauré Requiem with the Charlotte Symphony; and J.S. Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium and the solo cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.   Other baroque projects include Bach Cantatas with Boston’s Händel and Haydn Society;  Cupid in Purcell’s King Arthur in Stuttgart, Amor in Legrenzi’s La Divisione del Mondo at the Austrian festivals of Innsbruck and Schwetzingen;  Händel’s Messiah with the Pacific, Ann Arbor, Alabama, Nashville Symphonies, and National Philharmonic; the Angel in Schütz’s A Christmas Story at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (broadcast live on NPR); and Haydn’s Creation with Philadelphia’s Voces Novae et Antiquae. 

Her strong affiliation with the music of Mozart has been heard in programs of the composer’s arias with the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam; Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the National Philharmonic; Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with the Vlaamse Opera and Staatsoper Stuttgart; the Requiem with the Schleierbacher Chamber Orchestra and Harrisburg Symphony; and the Mass in C Minor and at the Berkshire Choral Festival.   More recently, Ms. Davidson sang Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Fort Worth and Detroit Symphonies and at the Brevard Music Center; Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate at Brevard and with the Wheeling Symphony, the Brahms Requiem with the North Carolina Symphony and at the Berkshire Choral Festival, and Mahler #2 with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. 

Her recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience won four Grammy Awards including Best Classical Album.  Other releases include Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley (Capriccio), Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home by Paul Elwood and What Price Confidence by Ernst Krenek (Capriccio).  

Ms. Davidson is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music. She was a vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and a participant in the Aston Magna Early Music Academy. 

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