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Shenson Recital Series: James Westman, baritone, and John Churchwell, piano
James Westman served as Baritone in Residence with the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship program until March 2000. His performances at the San Francisco Opera include Guglielmo (Cosi Fan Tutte), Marcello (La Boheme), Sylvio (Paggliaci), Germont (La Traviata), Renato (Ballo in Maschera), Sid (Albert Herring), and the First Philosopher (Louise). He has performed the leading roles of Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Donizetti, Janacek, Bizet, Britten, and Mozart in North America and Europe.
Westman has performed recitals for the Marilyn Horne Foundation, the George London Foundation, the Aldeburgh Connection, the Canadian Arts and Letters Club, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Schawbacher Debut Recital Series, the Michigan Chamber Music Society, the Lanaudière Festival, the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyrique, the Wexford Festival in Ireland, and the Symposiast's of Toronto Society. He has sung Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Arts Orchestra, Ottawa, Vancouver Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra. He performed Carmina Burana with the Cleveland Orchestra, Berlioz’ seldom performed Romeo and Juliette with the Edmonton Symphony and the Toronto Symphony, and Mendlessohn’s Elijah and Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Vancouver Symphony and has performed solo concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Thirteen Strings, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
One of the leading collaborative pianists of his generation, John Churchwell enjoys a career on the concert stage and in leading opera houses. In August 2011, Mr. Churchwell was named the new Head of Music for San Francisco Opera. For the past 14 years, Mr. Churchwell has been an assistant conductor for both the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera. In that time, he has assisted on more than 85 productions and has collaborated with conductors including James Levine, Nello Santi, Nicola Luisotti, James Conlon, Donald Runnicles, Sir Charles Mackerras, Marco Armilliato, and Fabio Luisi. A champion of American music, John has participated in the world premieres of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. In the past three seasons, Mr. Churchwell has led musical preparation for the world premieres of Philip Glass's opera Appomattox, as well as the Stewart Wallace / Amy Tan collaboration The Bonesetter’s Daughter, both for San Francisco Opera. On the recital stage, Mr. Churchwell has partnered with vocalists including Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau, Dawn Upshaw, Carol Vaness, David Pittsinger, Patricia Schuman, Jill Grove, Karen Slack, and Anthony Dean Griffey.
A native of Knoxville, TN, Mr. Churchwell studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Bachelor of Arts in French. Mr. Churchwell continued his studies at the University of Minnesota, earning a Master of Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Accompanying. Mr. Churchwell studied song literature at the Banff Centre for the Arts and remains the only pianist to be invited three times as a Tanglewood Fellow.
Program TBA. | The Shenson Recital Series is generously funded by the Ben and A. Jess Shenson Funds at Stanford University.