LIEDER ALIVE! was founded in 2007, and inaugurated its programming the following year with the presentation of renowned baritone Thomas Hampson in our Vocal Master Workshop series, which brings outstanding master artists together with highly accomplished emerging and established professional singers for intensive training and performance; after the great success of Mr. Hampson’s master class (“…beyond all expectations.” Janos Gerberen, SF Classical Voice), the series continued with workshops by mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, soprano June Anderson, and, this past fall, the great Swedish baritone Håkan Hagegård. LIEDER ALIVE! partnered with a variety of vocal and choral groups to offer more than 100 free tickets to singers from throughout our community to Mr. Hagegård’s public master class at the SF Conservatory of Music, and we were very gratified by the enthusiastic response.
LIEDER ALIVE! has in the past six years expanded its programming for singers beyond the public and private master classes offered by these Master Artists to include year-round performance coaching and consulting for singers by our director, Maxine Bernstein; the Summer Lieder Institute, which this year provided coaching sessions for accomplished young professionals with pianist John Parr (former head of music staff at the San Francisco Opera), Alison Pybus (vice president, IMG Artists), and Ms. Bernstein; and “Bringing Lieder to Life!,” a collaboration with soprano Heidi Moss, presented through the San Francisco Conservatory Extension Program.
As our training programs have grown, so has LIEDER ALIVE!’s public programming. In 2012, we launched our annual Liederabend Series – literally, “Evenings of Song” – at the Salle Music Salon. In just three seasons, this key program has grown from three concerts to five, and in 2013/14 will include a recital by the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. This past season, we also inaugurated our Neue Lieder Commissioning Program with the World Premiere of two songs by Bay Area composer Kurt Erickson; it is for this project that we are seeking the Fleishhacker Foundation’s support. Beginning this season, Erickson will serve as LIEDER ALIVE!’s Composer-in-Residence. Additionally, in Fall 2013, LIEDER ALIVE! will begin co-presentation of a new series titled “Hausmusik” with pianist Peter Grunberg and his organization, Song Stage.