Lucy Shelton is an American soprano best known for her performance of contemporary music. She graduated from The Putney School in 1961 and Pomona College in 1965.
The only artist to receive the International Walter W. Naumberg Award twice (as a soloist and as a chamber musician), Shelton has performed repertoire from Bach to Boulez in major recital, chamber and orchestral venues throughout the world. A native Californian, Shelton's musical training began early with the study of both piano and flute. After graduating from Pomona College, she pursued singing at the New England Conservatory, and at the Aspen Music School, where she studied with Jan de Gaetani.
Shelton has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music. She is currently on the faculties of the Contemporary Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, Tanglewood Music Center, and coaches privately at her studio in New York City. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, KOCH International, Bridge Records, Unicorn-Kanchana and Virgin Classics.
Shelton has appeared with major orchestras worldwide including Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Cologne, Denver, Edinburgh, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Minnesota, Munich, New York, Paris, St. Louis, Stockholm, Sydney and Tokyo under leading conductors such as Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Reinbert De Leeuw, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Oliver Knussen, Kent Nagano, Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Mstislav Rostropovich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin and Robert Spano.
Notable among her numerous world premieres are Elliott Carter’s Tempo
e Tempi and Of Challenge and Of Love, Oliver Knussen’s
Whitman Settings, Joseph Schwantner’s
Magabunda, Poul Ruders’ The Bells,
Flower of the Mountain, and Robert Zuidam’s opera Rage
d’Amours. She has premiered Gerard Grisey’s L’Icone Paradoxiale
with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; sung Pierre Boulez’s Le Visage
Nuptial under the composer’s direction in Los Angeles, Chicago, London
and Paris; appeared in Vienna and Berlin with György Kurtag’s The
Sayings of Peter Bornemisza with pianist Sir Andras Schiff; and made
her Aldeburgh Festival debut in the premiere of Alexander Goehr’s Sing,
Ms. Shelton has exhibited special skill in dramatic works, including
Passaggio with the Ensemble InterContemporain, Sir Michael
Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage (for Thames Television), Luigi
Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero (her BBC Proms debut), Bernard Rands’ Canti
Lunatici, and recurring staged productions of Arnold Schoenberg’s
Pierrot Lunaire (with eighth blackbird and Da Camera of
Houston). Highlights of recent seasons include her 2010 Grammy Nomination
(with the Enso Quartet) for the Naxos release of Ginastera’s string quartets,
her Zankel Hall debut with the Met Chamber Orchestra and Maestro James Levine in Carter’s
A Mirror On Which To Dwell, multiple performances of a
staged Pierrot Lunaire in collaboration with eighth blackbird
and, in celebration of the work’s centenary, concert versions with 10
different ensembles worldwide. Shelton also coordinated two intense
8-day residencies at the University of Oregon (Eugene) and Southern
Illinois University (Carbondale), where she coached composers and singers
in “The Art of Unaccompanied Song”.
== Names which are links in this box and below,
refer to my interviews elsewhere on my website. BD
© 1991 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in Chicago on May 6, 1991. Portions were broadcast on WNIB in 1994, 1998, and 1999; on WNUR in 2010, 2011, and 2019; and on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio in 2010, and 2013. This transcription was made in 2020, and posted on this website at that time.
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.