Thursday, January 9, 2014

Meet the Judges: Thomas Bagwell

Called by Marilyn Horne, "A pioneer for his age," Thomas Bagwell is well known as a pianist in song recital and chamber music.  His appearances as a collaborative pianist have taken him to such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, the  Musikverein, the Concertgebouw, and numerous halls across the United  States , Canada, Puerto Rico, and Japan. 

Thomas Bagwell's activities as a coach and teacher have led to invitations to give masterclasses for colleges and apprentice programs in opera companies. He is an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and the Washington  National Opera, the Santa Fe Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.     

Thomas Bagwell has partnered in recital such singers as Marilyn Horne, Renee Fleming Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Frederica Von Stade, Andrea Rost, Kristine Jepson, James Morris, Roberta Peters and Lucine Amara. His recital partnerships with the rising generation of singers include Elaine Alvarez, Eric Cutler,Gregory Turay, Rinat Shaham, Thomas Meglioranza and Jesse Blumberg. 

In the field of chamber music, Mr. Bagwell has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and has performed recitals with violinists Midori, Miranda Cuckson and Scott St. John, with whom he made a critically acclaimed CD, now available on itunes, of works by Antonin Dvorak on the Marquis Classics label. Miranda Cuckson and Mr. Bagwell performed the ten Beethoven Sonatas for  violin and piano in a three part series at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in the spring of 2009.   

Thomas Bagwell has received degrees from the Mannes College of  Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and has studied with Warren Jones, Graham Johnson, and Edna Golandsky. After his formal studies, Mr. Bagwell pursued additional training with Elly Ameling and Rudolf Jansen at the Academie Villecroze. Mr. Bagwell organized and performed several concert series' in New York at the Austrian Cultural Forum including the complete songs of Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler, surveys of Schubert, Schoenberg and Zemlinsky, in additions to many other concerts.  He was co-artistic director for an Austrian Lieder festival in Washington D.C. at the Austrian Embassy, where he has performed many times.         

His recent performances have included recitals sponsored by the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, of which he is an advisory board member, featuring young singers hand picked by the Foundation for their abilities as recitalists, and a series of performances and recording of a new collection of American art song called "Five Borough Songbook" with such composers as Tom Cipullo, Chris Berg, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jorge Martin and many others. Other recent performances include a concert at the Kennedy Center with soprano Elaine Alvarez, sponsored by the Vocal Arts Society, a recital of songs and piano pieces by Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Hensel in New York (including two world premieres),and a recital with internationally known soprano Renee Fleming at the State Department in Washington, D.C. for Hillary Clinton. Other collaborations with Renee Fleming have included preparing her for performance of Messiaen's nine part song cycle, "Poemes pour Mi," with the New York Philharmonic, Andrew Previn's "Streetcar Named Desire" and the recent world premiere of Anders Hillborg's "The Strand Settings."  

Mr. Bagwell  spearheaded the 20th anniversary performance of the AIDS Quilt Songbook on December 1, World AIDS Day, 2012 and his since repeated the cycle in Philadelphia. As a teacher of opera and art song, Thomas Bagwell has been on the faculty of Yale University , and currently teaches at the Mannes College of Music where he teaches collaborative piano as well as classes for singers in operatic repertoire and German Lieder. He has taught masterclasses at the Santa  Fe Opera, New Jersey Opera, Simpson College , Portland State University and was the keynote teacher at the Oregon chapter of NATS at the Lewis and Clark College in January 2008. He is a regular faculty member of the CoOPERAtive summer opera program in Princeton, New Jersey.  

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