Emily Sternfeld-Dunn, soprano, is a strong advocate for new music and unconventional performances of art song and opera. Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn regularly gives recitals across the country featuring works of contemporary American composers. She has performed with Hartford Opera Theater, Opera Kansas, Music on Site, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Concert Opera, the Idaho Washington Symphony, and the Palouse Choral Society. In April of 2018 her CD “SHE” will be released on Navona Records. Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with an emphasis in piano performance from California State University, Hayward where she graduated magna cum laude. She also has a Master of Arts degree in music with emphases in piano and vocal performance from Washington State University, Pullman. Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn holds a Graduate Professional Diploma in vocal performance from The Hartt School. She lives in Wichita, KS with her husband and daughters.
SHE features the music of two prominent contemporary American composers, Jake Heggie and Ricky Ian Gordon. Their music is beloved by singers, pianists, and audiences. Undoubtedly it is these composers’ understanding of the piano, its relationship to a singer, and their deep love of literature and poetry that have made them so successful.
In Too Few the Mornings Be, Ricky Ian Gordon has set poems of Emily Dickinson which speak to our inherent thirst for a fulfilled life. His melodic writing for the voice is supported by the piano, which is often used to reinforce the underlying truths of the text. While Dickinson never provides the answer, she encourages us to approach life with an inquisitive and open mind as we experience all its trivial and profound moments.
Eve-Song is only one of four existing song cycles or monodramas which feature biblical Eve. In this particular rendition, poet Philip Littell has created a very human Eve. She is a woman full of questions, opinions, enthusiasm, and kindness, with a quick sense of humor. Throughout the cycle we hear melodies reminiscent of ancient chant, jazz influenced harmonies, and a soundscape created by the piano that allows the transparency of Eve’s complexity to overcome her traditional, misogynistic narrative.
Also featured on this program is a San Francisco premier of Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn’s Nasty Women, a song cycle for piano and chamber group that explores feminist and anti-feminist texts.
Emily will be joined by Stephanie Patterson (bassoon), Meerenai Shim (flute), Jeffrey Sykes (piano), and Lacey Waggener (horn).