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April 3, 2024

Meet the Debuting Soloists in Brahms’s German Requiem

UMS
By UMS

UMS’s 23/24 season comes to a triumphant end on April 21 with a performance of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem). Hill Auditorium will be packed with more than 200 performers on stage, featuring the return of The Philadelphia Orchestra with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the full might of the UMS Choral Union, and two phenomenal singers making their UMS debuts. Meet soprano Ying Fang and baritone Will Liverman:

 

Ying Fang, sopranoYing Fang, soprano

Soprano Ying Fang has been praised as “indispensable at the Met in Mozart” (The New York Times) and for “a voice that can stop time, pure and rich and open and consummately expressive” (Financial Times).

In the 23/24 season, Ms. Fang returns to Opéra National de Paris as Zerlina in Don Giovanni conducted by Antonello Manacorda, Dutch National Opera as Poppea in Agrippina and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Riccardo Minasi, the Metropolitan Opera in her role debut as Euridice in Orfeo ed Eudidice, and Santa Fe Opera in her role debut as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. On the concert stage, she reunites with conductor Raphaël Pichon in the Mozart Requiem on tour with Ensemble Pygmalion (a project which also features a recording by the Harmonia Mundi label), and joins Maestro Pichon for Mozart’s C Minor Mass in her debut with the Munich Philharmonic. She joins Noord Nederlands Orkest (and the Philadelphia Orchestra at UMS) in Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s 4th symphony with Susanna Mälkki, and sings Carmina Burana with the St. Louis Symphony under the baton of Stéphane Denève with the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Carnegie Hall.

A native of Ningbo, China, Ms. Fang is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award, the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Award, the Rose Bampton Award of The Sullivan Foundation, The Opera Index Award, and First Prize of the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. In 2009, she became one of the youngest singers to win one of China’s most prestigious awards — the China Golden Bell Award for Music. She has been hailed as “the most gifted Chinese soprano of her generation” by Ningbo Daily.

Ms. Fang holds a Master’s degree and an Artist Diploma in Opera Study from The Juilliard School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She is a former member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

Watch her breathtaking performance of “Aria Deh vieni, non tardar” from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, with the Dutch National Opera:


 

Will Liverman, baritoneWill Liverman, baritone

Called “a voice for this historic moment” (Washington Post), GRAMMY Award-winning baritone Will Liverman is the recipient of the 2022 Beverly Sills Artist Award by The Metropolitan Opera and the co-creator of The Factotum — called “mic-drop fabulous good” (Opera News) — which premiered at the Lyric Opera Chicago in 2023. Described as “nothing short of extraordinary” (Opera News) with a “beaming, high baritone that easily asserts” (LA Times), Liverman has been hailed by critics for his versatility in dramatic and comedic roles, as well as on concert stages in North America and internationally, and his dedication and vision as a composer, artist, and advisor helping to evolve and push the performing arts industry forward.

This season sees Liverman’s return to the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Anthony Davis’ groundbreaking and influential work, and the third opera by a Black composer in the company’s history, to be conducted by Kazem Abdullah in its newly revised score. Liverman was previously seen on the Met stage opening its 2021-22 season in a widely celebrated, “breakout performance” (New York Times) as Charles in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones, which won the 2023 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording. He later reprised the role at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a “rich leading performance” (Chicago Tribune) described as a “beautifully vocalized […] gripping portrayal” (Opera News).

Liverman just released a new album, Show Me the Way, with pianist Jonathan King in March 2024 on International Women’s Day. The album celebrates women’s contributions to music, and includes works by composers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Jasmine Barnes, and Florence Beatrice Price. It also features five world-premiere recordings by living composers such as Jasmine Barnes and Libby Larsen, with appearances by renowned singers J’Nai Bridges and Renée Fleming.

Preview the album below and learn more in this NPR feature.

Will Liverman will also be on the University of Michigan campus in early April for a residency with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, culminating with a free recital on Sunday, April 7.


Hear Ying Fang and Will Liverman perform Brahms’s German Requiem with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union, Sunday, April 21 in Hill Auditorium.

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