Recital to honor Bradford's native daughter Horne

Soprano Julie Davies and bass DeAndre Simmons, accompanied by pianist Martin Katz, will give a special recital in honor of world-famous mezzosoprano Marilyn Horne on Saturday evening.

 

            The recital will follow and is being held in conjunction with the dedication and opening of the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center in downtown Bradford by the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

 

            The recital will take place at 5 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall on the campus. A reception will follow. The concert and reception are both free and open to the public.

 

            Prior to the recital, the museum dedication and opening will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at Veterans Square and Marilyn Horne Hall on the west end of Main Street in Bradford.

 

            The world-famous mezzo-soprano bequeathed her archives and memorabilia to the university in her hometown of Bradford, where she was born in 1934 and lived until she was 11.

 

            Simmons, who studied with Horne at the Music Academy of the West, last performed at Blaisdell Hall in 2015. Known for his velvety voice and captivating stage presence, he has performed with such great opera houses and orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic.

 

            Highlights of his career include singing Mozart's Requiem in the presence of St. John Paul II, pope, and was one of only 10 performers asked to participate in a special concert for Nelson Mandela. He has performed for former presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Regan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

 

            Julie Davies, praised for her “colorfully focused and powerful sound” and facility of “glimmering coloratura,” enjoys an active stage career, performing with international orchestras and opera companies.

 

            Additionally, she is a frequent concert singer, and her credits include Verdi's Requiem, Poulenc's Gloria and Stravinsky's Pulcinella.

 

            She will tour Germany and Austria in recital this summer in promotion of her premiere song album, which will be released in June.

 

            Accompanying both singers on piano will be Katz. The Washington Post said that Katz “consistently creates the gold standard of accompanying.”

 

            A longtime accompanist for Horne for four decades, he has also appeared and recorded with Frederica von Stade, David Daniels, Jose Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Kathleen Battle.

 

            A native of Los Angeles, he began studying piano at age 5 and attended the University of Southern California, where he studied the specialized field of accompanying with its pioneer teacher, Gwendolyn Koldofsky.

 

            He is the chair of the University of Michigan's School of Music's program in collaborative piano. His comprehensive guide for accompanists, “The Complete Collaborator,” published by Oxford Press, is widely seen as the seminal work on the subject.

 

            For disability needs related to the recital, contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.