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Juliana Hall

View Music by Juliana Hall


New Releases: July 2017  |  Spring 2018  |  January 2018

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“There is a beautiful alchemy that occurs when composer Juliana Hall meets a poem. Revealing each morsel of poetry through her brilliant tonal, textural, and rhythmic language, her work is immediately recognizable and wonderfully familiar. Singers and audiences alike take delight in her songs. Over the years, many of my young colleagues have brought her work for me to coach in my own song program, Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, but equally, I have heard her songs in virtually every university in which I have taught master classes over the last decade. Ms. Hall’s songs have a very important endorsement - singers want to sing them. Indeed, they love to sing them, and it is readily understood why. Her choice of text is varied, impressive and speaks to a wide cultural audience. The topics are relevant to today’s artists, and therefore, extraordinarily desirable. It is also incredibly evident that she understands the singing voice and the great art of collaboration with the pianist - there is a level of musical discourse here that demands expertise, and rewards the work with a generous and complete technical, interpretive and emotional experience. It is positively magical.” – Stephanie Blythe, Mezzo Soprano


American art song composer Juliana Hall (b. 1958) is a prolific and highly-regarded composer of vocal music, whose songs have been described as "brilliant" (Washington Post), "beguiling" (Times of London), and "the most genuinely moving music of the afternoon" (Boston Globe). The NATS Journal of Singing wrote that "Hall's text setting is spot on and exquisite", and Voix des Arts noted that Hall "perpetuates the American Art Song tradition of Beach, Barber, and Bolcom with music of ingenuity and integrity."

Upcoming projects include a collaboration with opera star Stephanie Blythe on a new contralto song cycle, "Of That So Sweet Imprisonment" (7 songs on poems by James Joyce). Blythe has also invited Hall to the 2018 Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar as Guest Composer.

Hall received the 2017 Sorel Commission from SongFest - America's premier month-long art song training program - for her song cycle "When the South Wind Sings" (7 songs on poems by Carl Sandburg), and is presently collaborating with Grammy-winning soprano Molly Fillmore on a new song cycle, "Cameos" (6 songs on poems by Fillmore about "unknown" women artists).

Hall's other recent collaboration, with opera star Brian Asawa, resulted in "O Mistress Mine" (12 songs for countertenor and piano on texts from plays by William Shakespeare). Following Asawa's untimely death just months before its first scheduled performance, "O Mistress Mine" was premiered in 2016 by countertenor Darryl Taylor, with Hall at the piano.

Taylor and Hall also recorded "O Mistress Mine" for her 2017 CD release "Love's Signature" on the MSR Classics label, a disc that has received wide critical acclaim; Gramophone Magazine wrote that "[Hall's] sensitivity to words is on impressive display on ‘Love's Signature'...these songs show Hall to be a composer who savours lyrical lines and harmonies peppered with gentle spices." The CD also includes two soprano song cycles – "Propriety" and "Syllables of Velvet, Sentences of Plush" – recorded by Grammy-winning singer Susan Narucki with pianist Donald Berman.

Juliana Hall earned a Master's degree in Music Composition from the Yale School of Music, where her teachers included Martin Bresnick, Leon Kirchner, and Frederic Rzewski. Her formal study concluded in Minneapolis, with composer Dominick Argento. While in Minnesota, Hall received her first commission - from the Schubert Club of Saint Paul - for "Night Dances", a song cycle for soprano Dawn Upshaw; a second Schubert Club commission came a few years later for "Winter Windows", a song cycle for baritone David Malis.

In 1989 Hall received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and since that time her songs have been performed in 29 countries on six continents, and in more than 30 states across America. In addition to performances at prestigious concert venues including the 92nd Street Y, the Library of Congress, the Théâtre du Châtelet, and Wigmore Hall, Hall's songs have been presented at numerous festivals, including the London Festival of American Music, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Ojai Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center.

Special recital appearances include songs from Hall's soprano song cycle "Night Dances" on Dawn Uphaw's "First Songs" series at the Morgan Library and Museum and a performance of her mezzo soprano song cycle "Letters from Edna" on the 2016 Joy in Singing/Edward T. Cone Composers Concert at Lincoln Center, both in New York City, as well as a performance of her tenor song cycle "The Holy Sonnets of John Donne" in a Holy Week meditation service at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Hall's compositions are published by E. C. Schirmer, Boosey & Hawkes, and Juliana Hall Music (ASCAP).

Read more about Juliana Hall on these websites:
Guggenheim Foundation
New Music USA Online Library
Song of America


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