Music Director and Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum has been the conductor of the Verdi Chorus since its beginning in 1983. Well recognized as a singer, conductor, stage director and educator, she taught on the voice faculty of Pasadena City College for 34 years until her recent retirement. In 1996 she began an opera program at the college, which at the time was one of only two opera programs in community colleges in Southern California. Since then several other programs have been established in two-year schools using the Pasadena program as a model. During her tenure at Pasadena she directed a full opera each spring to critical acclaim.
As a singer, she has appeared internationally
and is well known for her performances of contemporary art music, vocal
chamber music, solo recitals and opera. She has made several recordings
of contemporary music (RCM, Orion, North/South Consonance, RYCY, and Raptoria
Caam labels) in addition to a CD of vocal chamber music, a collaborative
project that she launched with the Los Angeles based Viklarbo Chamber
Ensemble. Her recordings of Morten Lauridsen’s
Cuatro Canciones and of Aurelio De La Vega’s
Recordatio were both honored with Grammy nominations. She has
premiered numerous works by such composers as Ernst Krenek, Aurelio
De La Vega, Shulamit
Ran, and Hans Werner
A well-known interpreter of contemporary art music as well as twentieth century Latin American art music, Ms. Ketchum has appeared at the Tenth International Forum of New Music in Mexico City, the Santa Fe chamber music series, the Southwest Chamber Ensemble, the Monday Evening Concerts series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella New Music series, and Los Angeles County’s Sundays Live series. Her various performances with Long Beach Opera include the U.S. premiere of John Cage’s Europera 4, which was subsequently released on CD. Also, for five years Ms. Ketchum was the Stage Director for the Metropolitan Opera National Council – Western Region Showcase Concerts in Palm Springs.
Among Ms. Ketchum’s creative activities is This and My Heart: A Portrait of Emily Dickinson in Text and Song – a concert/theater piece which she co-wrote and performs with actress Linda Kelsey and pianist Victoria Kirsch. This was first presented as part of Grand Performances in Los Angeles and made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cultural Affairs Department of Los Angeles.
Ms. Ketchum and the Chorus have received
commendations on several occasions from the county of Los Angeles and
from the city of Santa Monica.
== Biography from the Verdi Chorus website
== Names which are links on this webpage refer to my interviews elsewhere on my website. BD
© 1998 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in Chicago on January 17, 1998. Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following year. This transcription was made in 2020, and posted on this website at that time. My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.