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Stanford Olsen (Tenor)

Born: USA

The American tenor, Stanford Olsen, received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Utah and the Artists Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, who named him Alumnus of the Year in 1992. In addition to the Naumburg award, Stanford Olsen was the winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1986, and has received awards from the Richard Tucker Foundation and the Eleanor Steber Foundation.

Since his debut in 1986 opposite Joan Sutherland, Stanford Olsen has performed over 150 times with New York's Metropolitan Opera, and has been heard in such major venues as La Scala, Australian Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, and most other significant opera companies in the USA and Europe.

One of this generation's most versatile concert performers, Stanford Olsen regularly performs with the world's top orchestras and conductors in repertory from Bach to Béla Bartók. A frequent collaborator with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, he has performed with such notables as Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra, James Levine and the Berlin Philharmonic, John Elliot Gardner and the English Baroque Soloists, and Helmuth Rilling and the International BachAkademie. He has performed at the festivals of Ravinia, Tanglewood, Salzburg, and the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival (2007), and is a regular guest with the orchestras of Philadelphia, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Montreal, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Winner of the 1989 Walter W. Naumburg Award for recitalists, he debuted in Alice Tully Hall in 1989 singing Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin, a piece he repeated in 1997 in the 92nd St. Y's final "Schubertiade" recitals, stepping in for an ailing Hermann Prey with James Levine accompanying. He continues to be a sought after recitalist in the USA and Europe, and one of the world's leading light lyric tenors.

Stanford Olsen is now Professor of Voice and Shelfer Eminent Scholar at Florida State University. A long-time coach for members of the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artist Development Program, he has taught young singers in masterclasses at Santa Fe Opera, St. Louis Opera Theatre, The Eastman School, Tanglewood, New England Conservatory, and The Manhattan School of Music.

Stanford Olsen's recordings of Bach, Mozart and Rossini have received critical praise, including a 1995 nomination for a Grammy Award for Rossini's Tancredi with Alberto Zedda on the Naxos label. His 1999 Telarc recording of Dvorak's Stabat Mater, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Shaw, also received a Grammy nomination.

Source: Florida State University Website (2000); New York Philharmonic Website (2000-2001)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Jogn Nelson


BWV 244 [1st, Evangelist]

Dwight Oltman


BWV 154, BWV 232 [9th]

Seiji Ozawa


BWV 244

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 206, BWV 207a

Links to other Sites

Stanford Olsen - soloist (Cincinnati May Festival)
Stanford Olsen (Florida State University)

Stanford Olsen - tenor (NYPO)
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