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Born in 1934
Inducted in 1999
For 45 years Marilyn Horne has held center stage in the vocal world. Born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, she remembers singing at the age of four. At the University of Southern California she studied voice with William Vennard, song and recital repertoire with Gwendolyn Koldofsky, attended Lotte Lehmann’s master classes and sang with the Roger Wagner Chorale. In 1957 she made her professional operatic debut at the Gelsenkirchen Opera. During and after that period she sang often with Paul Hindemith, Dimitri Mitropoulos, and Igor Stravinsky. She sang her United States debut as Marie in Wozzeck at the San Francisco Opera in October, 1960. Subsequently she appeared at all the major opera houses in the world, making her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1970 as Adalgisa. In opera Horne became best known as an interpreter of the music of Rossini, Handel, and Meyerbeer. Her singing career has received extensive documentation in the form of sound recordings, both live and studio. Horne’s discography comprises dozens of recordings of the collaborations with Sutherland and Bonynge, and these recordings later won her Grammys and other awards. She has received many prestigious honors in this country and abroad. The International Association of Opera Directors awarded her their Fidelio Gold Medal for her substantial contribution to opera houses throughout the world, the first American artist to be so honored. In 1995 she was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in a ceremony televised nationally; she was chosen Musician of the Year by Musical America and the Metropolitan Opera honored her for her 25 years of outstanding performances on its stage. Then the U. S. Representative of the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, presented the singer with a proclamation from the United Nations honoring her great achievements in the classical music world.