- Featured: Donnie Ray Albert
- Release Date: 10/28/2003
As a pre-eminent singer and artist of his generation, dramatic baritone Donnie Ray Albert has sung major roles with the opera companies of Cincinnati, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Austin, Minnesota, Utah, New Orleans, Baltimore, Columbus, Omaha, Calgary, Edmonton, Canadian, Montreal, Manitoba, Vancouver, Berlin, Giessen, Bordeaux, Köln, Bregenz, Milan, Mannheim and Hamburg. As a concert artist, Mr. Albert has sung with the orchestras of Washington DC (National), Köln, Southwest Florida, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Jerusalem, Seattle, Minnesota, St. Paul, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Greensboro, Grant Park Music Festival, and Madison, Vienna and Linz, Austria. He has served as a resident artist with the Center for Black Music Research at Chicago's Columbia College. Born in Louisiana, Mr. Albert earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana State University and a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX; he has served as a resident artist with the Center for Black Music Research at Chicago's Columbia College. Mr. Albert's discography includes RCA's Grammy Award and Grand Prix du Disque winning recording of Porgy and Bess and Zemlinsky's Fruehlingsbegraebnis and Eine Florentinische Tragoedie. In recital and on recording, Mr. Albert continues to champion the music of American composers. Composer Robert Owens is an artist of diverse gifts and accomplishments. Born in 1925, in Denison, Texas, he grew up in Berkeley, California. Emulating his mother, Alpharetta Helm-Owens, a brilliant pianist, he began playing at the age of four, composing at eight, and performing publicly at ten. When Mr. Owens was just fifteen, he wrote and performed his first Piano Concerto with Berkeley's Young Peoples' Symphony, under Jessica Marcelli. After serving in the military, Mr. Owens continued his musical studies in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique under Jules Gentil and the renowned pianist Alfred Cortot, from 1946 -1950. In 1952, Mr. Owens formal debut as a concert pianist in Copenhagen was met with rave reviews. While continuing to concretize and compose, he took Master Classes in Vienna under Professor Grete Hinterhofer from 1953-57. After teaching in the United States for two years, Mr. Owens returned to Europe in 1959, to live and work in Germany, combining his work as a composer, pianist, and stage actor. In 1970, his first opera, Kultur! Kultur! Was performed in German, in the opera house of Ulm, to great critical acclaim. As an actor, Mr. Owens is much in demand for roles in Shakespeare's Othello, the Professor in lonescu's The Lesson and other major roles in Gardner's I'm Not Rappaport, Athol Fugard's Master Harold & the Boys, and Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy. Mr. Owens has acted on all the important stages in Germany. As a pianist, he continues to concretize and to collaborate with many fine singers. Mr. Owens has taught at Albany College in Albany, Georgia, Ann Arbor University in Michigan, the University of Wisconsin in River Falls, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Mr. Owens' works are frequently broadcasted on Bavarian Radio and many have been recorded on the labels of Naxos, Cinnabar, and Albany.
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