MARILYN HORNE, Voice Judge
The highly celebrated American mezzo-soprano, Marilyn Horne, has been called the “Star-Spangled Singer” and “the Heifetz of singers.” In 2002, following a career that had seen her dominate her field for more than four decades, Opera News declared, “Marilyn Horne – may be the most influential singer in American history.” Miss Horne has received numerous accolades and honors in the arts as well as academia. President Clinton named her a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1995. In 1992, she received the National Medal of the Arts from President Bush and the Endowment for the Arts. Miss Horne sang at the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton White Houses and at President Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.
Miss Horne’s distinguished career has garnered her numerous honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gramophone magazine. She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1995, received the National Medal of Arts in 1992, and was inducted into the American Classical Music and Hollywood Bowl halls of fame. Among her worldwide prizes are the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from France’s Ministry of Culture, Commendatore al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, Fidelio Gold Medal from the International Association of Opera Directors, and Covent Garden Silver Medal for Outstanding Service. In an unprecedented move, Miss Horne received Italy’s first Rossini Medaglia d’Oro, created especially for her. Her international success in the most difficult of coloratura mezzo- soprano roles led to the revival of many of Rossini’s and Handel’s greatest operas. Miss Horne began her music studies with her father and first sang in public at age 2. She studied voice and song/recital works at the University of Southern California, the latter with longtime Music Academy vocal accompaniment director Gwendolyn Koldofsky (her accompanist thereafter for 10 years). From age 17, she participated in many opera and song repertoire master classes conducted by Lotte Lehmann in Los Angeles and at the Music Academy. With her 60th birthday gala at Carnegie Hall in 1994, Miss Horne launched the Marilyn Horne Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to the art of the vocal recital in the United States.
Miss Horne has performed in more than 1,300 recitals, made well over 100 recordings, and received three Grammy Awards. Her most recent release, Marilyn Horne – Just for the Record: The Golden Voice, is a retrospective of her career and includes classical songs, opera, and American standards. Her autobiography, Marilyn Horne: The Song Continues, written with Jane Scovell, was published in 2004.
Miss Horne has been a visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma for nine years, and holds similar positions at Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the University of Maryland at College Park. She has been a member of the Music Academy of the West faculty since 1995, and in 1997 was appointed Voice Program director.