J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
2022–2023 Cliburn Concerts
Date: February 9, 2023 7:30 pm CST
Venue: Kimbell Art Museum
“Her instrument and talent were striking…. her low notes were great, elemental things, seeming to roll through the auditorium, her high range all sharply milled gunmetal.” – Washington Post
A flashy Cliburn Concerts debut, without a doubt: J’Nai Bridges comes to Fort Worth fresh off a 2022 Grammy win for her recording of Philip Glass’ Akhnaten with the Metropolitan Opera. She’s known for her “plush-voiced mezzo-soprano” (The New York Times) and has been heralded as “a rising star” (Los Angeles Times); she’s graced the world’s top stages in repertoire ranging from traditional favorites to world premieres to spirituals and standards. The American mezzo-soprano sold out her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut. She’s performed at the BBC Proms, Elbphilharmonie, and Tanglewood Festival; with the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dutch National Operas; and with the National, BBC, New York Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the last with Yo-Yo Ma. And now a handful of lucky Fort Worth patrons will get to hear her excellence in two intimate concerts, one at the Kimbell, one at The Post.
Dein blaues Auge, op. 59, no. 8
Die Mainacht, op. 43, no. 2
Von ewiger Liebe, op. 43, no. 1
La flûte enchantée
Seven Popular Spanish Songs
El paño moruno
Rondo: Peter go ring dem bells
Recitative: Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Air: Let us break bread together
Toccata: Ride on King Jesus
ABOUT J’NAI BRIDGES, MEZZO-SOPRANO
2022 GRAMMY® AWARD WINNER
Two time Grammy® Award-winning American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, known for her “plush-voiced mezzo-soprano” (The New York Times), and “calmly commanding stage presence” (The New Yorker) has been heralded as “a rising star” (Los Angeles Times), gracing the world’s top opera and concert stages.
The 2022-23 season will spotlight Ms. Bridges in one of her signature roles as Carmen with debut engagements at the Arena di Verona, Canadian Opera Company, and a return to Dutch National Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a native of Tacoma, WA, Bridges eagerly anticipates her Seattle Opera debut in a concert performance of Samson et Delilah as Delilah in January 2023. Additional concert engagements include Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the Detroit Symphony in November, and a world premiere by Carlos Simon in April 2023 with the National Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Bridges’ recital engagements for the season begin with the performance of a world premiere by Jimmy Lopez at 92NY in December, and continue throughout 2023 at Washington University, Thomasville Center for the Arts, The Cliburn, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, San Francisco Performances, and the Mondavi Center in Davis, California.
In the midst of the worldwide pandemic, she emerged as a leading figure in classical music’s shift toward conversations of inclusion and racial justice in the performing arts. In 2022 she was announced as one of the Kennedy Center’s NEXT50 cultural leaders. Bridges led a highly successful panel on race and inequality in opera with the Los Angeles Opera that drew international acclaim for being a “conversation of striking scope and candor” (The New York Times). In early 2021, Ms. Bridges was featured in the Converse shoe brand’s All Stars Campaign for its Breaking Down Barriers collection. Bridges also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel for two episodes of the digital SOUND/STAGE series, and as part of the Global Citizen movement’s Global Goal campaign, a program which also included Coldplay, Shakira, Usher and more. The pandemic also forced the cancellation of Ms. Bridges’ numerous debuts during the 2020-21 season including the title role of Carmen at The Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Bridges 2019-20 season included her highly acclaimed debut at The Metropolitan Opera as Nefertiti in a sold-out run of Philip Glass’ opera Akhnaten, as well as a house and role debut with Washington National Opera as Dalila in Samson et Dalila.
Other recent highlights include the 2022 Grammy® Award-winning Metropolitan Opera production of Akhnaten and 2021 Grammy® Award-winning recording of Richard Danielpour’s oratorio The Passion of Yeshua with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the National Library of Congress to honor legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg as she received the 2022 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award, her sold-out Carnegie Hall Recital debut, her role debut of Kasturbai in Satyagraha at LA Opera, and her debuts at Dutch National Opera and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Ms. Bridges also created the role of Josefa Segovia in the world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West at San Francisco Opera, and performed in the world premiere of Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, an opera by Jimmy Lopez based on the novel by Ann Patchett.
Bridges is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Sphinx Medal of Excellence Award, a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant, first prize winner at the 2016 Francisco Viñas International Competition, first prize winner at the 2015 Gerda Lissner Competition, a recipient of the 2013 Sullivan Foundation Award, a 2012 Marian Anderson award winner, the recipient of the 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant, the recipient of the 2009 Richard F. Gold Grant from The Shoshana Foundation, and the winner of the 2008 Leontyne Price Foundation Competition. J’Nai completed a three-year residency with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, represented the United States at the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
A native of Tacoma, Washington, she earned her Master of Music degree from Curtis Institute of Music, and her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Manhattan School of Music.
ABOUT Mark Markham, piano
Pianist Mark Markham is equally at home as a soloist, a collaborator with great singers, a chamber musician, a jazz pianist, or a vocal coach, and his interpretations have been praised by the public and press alike. His international career encompasses performances in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, while the artistry of his playing has been described as “brilliant”, “exquisitely detailed” and “in full service to the music”.
This season Mr Markham gives solo concerts in Lincoln NE and in Honolulu for the Alliance Française. He will also give performances with tenor Limmie Pulliam in Lincoln, Harrisburg PA, and Jonesboro AK, as well a recital at the 92nd Street Y in New York City with mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges.
Starting in 1995 for twenty seasons, Mr. Markham was the recital partner of Jessye Norman, giving nearly 300 performances in thirty countries, including recitals in Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Berlin, La Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece, the Baalbek Festival at the Temple of Bacchus in Lebanon, and at the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize presentation to President Jimmy Carter in Oslo.
Mr Markham is a former faculty member of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, the Norfolk Festival of Yale University and the Britten-Pears School of the Aldeburgh Festival in England. He has given master classes throughout the US, Europe and Asia and has been a guest lecturer for The Johns Hopkins University and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
GENERAL CONCERT INFORMATION
Patrons must be 8 years of age or older to attend Cliburn Concerts.
For questions about ticketing please contact the Bass Hall Box Office at 817.212.4280.
The on-site will call and box office will open in the Renzo Piano Pavilion lobby one hour prior to concert time.
For information on parking, please visit kimbellart.org
Photography and recording are strictly prohibited.
The Cliburn cannot prevent you from becoming exposed to, contracting, or spreading COVID-19 at its events.
By attending any event, you accept the risk of being exposed to, contracting, and/or spreading COVID-19.
By attending any event, you agree to notify the Cliburn if you become aware of actual or potential exposure of COVID-19 to other attendees, and the Cliburn may notify attendees of such exposure.