Select Page
headshots of Lawrence Brownlee and Kevin Miller

LAWRENCE BROWNLEE, tenor
KEVIN J. MILLER, piano

SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 2023

2:00 PM at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

One of the most beloved and respected artists of his generation, tenor Lawrence Brownlee is far more than “one of the most in-demand singers today” (NPR), capable of singing seemingly anything from the traditional canon to works composed specifically for him (Tyshawn Sorey’s song cycle Cycles of My Being and Daniel Schnyder’s opera Charlie Parker’s YardBird). He has also become an activist voice for equality in the field of classical music through his weekly
online Facebook program “The Sitdown with LB,” and continues to speak on behalf of diversification. A particular favorite of Washington audiences, he has conceived the idea for this recital of a program comprised entirely of new works commissioned from living African-American composers set to poetry of the Harlem Renaissance.

Program to include selections by Valerie Capers, Jasmine Barnes, Carlos Simon, David Ragland, Shawn Ohkpeblo, Brittney Boykin, Brandon Spencer, Jessie Montgomery, Damien Sneed, and Adolphus Hailstork.

Artist Bios

LAWRENCE BROWNLEE is a leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world’s top stages, and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry. Captivating audiences and critics around the globe, he has been hailed as “an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory” (The New York Times), “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars” (The Guardian), and “one of the most in-demand opera singers in the world today” (NPR).

Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, Brownlee has emerged as a pivotal voice in classical music’s shift toward digital programming and the resurgence of conversations around racial justice. In May 2020, he launched “The Sitdown with LB,” a weekly Facebook Live series which explores the experience of being an African-American opera singer. The ongoing series has featured Brownlee in conversation with renowned artists like George Shirley, Denyce Graves, Martina Arroyo, J’Nai Bridges, Angel Blue, and others. Since April 2020 he has also hosted the video series “Coffee and a Song,” in which he invites artist friends to perform interpretations of art-songs from the intimacy of their own homes, and in August he gave a Masterclass conversation-performance as part of National Sawdust’s Digital Discovery Festival. Brownlee also performed at the Metropolitan Opera’s At-Home Gala in April 2020.

Other highlights of Brownlee’s 20-21 season include a virtual concert with the Tallahassee Symphony, a broadcast of Lawrence Brownlee and Friends with Opera Philadelphia, a virtual recital with pianist Myra Huang for the Schubert Club International Artist Series, broadcasts and eventual live performances of his acclaimed solo recital program Cycles of My Being, a duo recital with Michael Spyres, and appearances with the Lincoln Center Song Series, Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Opernhaus Zurich, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, New National Theatre Tokyo, and San Francisco Opera. His album Amici e Rivali with Michael Spyres and Maestro Corrado Rovaris, releasing November 13 on Warner Classics & Erato, will be the first ever to exclusively feature Rossini’s tenor duets. lawrencebrownlee.com


American pianist and collaborator KEVIN J. MILLER is acclaimed for his dynamically artful performances. Recent collaborations include recitals with international tenor Lawrence Brownlee at Carnegie Hall and Houston Grand Opera, countertenor John Holiday at the Kennedy Center and The Barbican in London, Joseph Calleja and Nadine Sierra at the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as an appearance with Mr. Calleja on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.  Mr. Miller prepared soprano Jessye Norman for performances of Laura Karpman’s production of Ask Your Mama, which was performed at Carnegie Hall.  He also collaborated with the acclaimed countertenor, David Daniels, in a recital at the Glimmerglass Festival.  He can be heard on piano on the recording Been in da Storm So Long, which features baritone Kenneth Overton.

This New York native has been on the fast track to success since his days as a student at the Boys Choir of Harlem.  Beginning his musical studies at the age of 8, Mr. Miller was a featured soprano soloist – most notably in Vivaldi’s Gloria and Lake George Opera Association’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  While a student at the Boys Choir of Harlem, he studied piano with the late conductor and pianist Warren Wilson. It was also during these years that Mr. Miller began his work as an accompanist, having accompanied the choir on its tours of Europe, Israel, Austria, and Japan.

Mr. Miller studied at the Mannes College of Music, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano.  He continued his studies at the University of Michigan School of Music where he received both a Master of Music degree and the Artist Diploma in Collaborative Piano under the tutelage of Martin Katz.

In addition to his formal studies, Mr Miller has been a participant in some of the country’s most prestigious festivals and young artist apprenticeships that include The Tanglewood Institute of Music, Aspen Summer Music Festival, The Cleveland Art Song Festival, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and the Glimmerglass Festival.  Upon completion of his apprenticeship at the Glimmerglass Festival, he was invited to serve as a vocal coach at the Glimmerglass Festival. kevinmillerpiano.com

“With his sweet tone, fastidious pitch and poetic phrasing, Brownlee made familiar fare sound intriguingly fresh, banishing for a moment the ghosts of Caruso and Pavarotti.”

Alex Ross, The New Yorker

Contact Us

202-669-1463
info@vocalartsdc.org

P.O. Box 42423
Washington, DC 20015

Connect