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Norman, Jessye

Norman, Jessye

Born in 1945


Inducted in 2002

Jessye Norman played piano and sang by age six, and her musical family knew instantly that she was destined for a big career. She took formal training at Howard University;, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Michigan. After a brilliant Deutsche Oper Berlin debut, at age 24, she was in immediate demand at all the great theaters of the world – Lincoln Center, Covent Garden, Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, and others. Her repertory includes all styles and periods of music in several different languages and she is noted for dramatic clarity, precision, and passion in all roles. Her magnificent voice was once described as a grand mansion of sound. Jessye Norman maintains a busy schedule of recitals, premiers, (Judith Weirs’s, commissioned by Carnegie Hall), guest appearances at colleges, public events, and ceremonies like the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. She has collaborated at times with Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Michel Legrand. Her curiosity about the music of all cultures is well known. The city fathers of Augusta, Georgia, her home town, dedicated an amphitheater named in her honor – a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most brilliant vocalists.

Audio Tour

Courtesy of WGUC 90.9 FM