ALH Artist Insights
We asked our 2017/2018 artists their thoughts on the Artful Women season, and they shared! If you haven't already, like us on Facebook and follow our #ArftulWomenWednesday campaign for more interesting spotlights on women, and their impact on the Houston arts community and beyond!
Name an ‘artful woman’ that has had the most influence on you?
"My younger sister Danielle. She is also a professional singer and performer. We sang together for many years professionally until I went off to France for my musical studies. We would sing together in church services, recitals, and concerts and in full- scale operetta/opera productions. She is a constant inspiration for me. To watch her perform is mind blowing. And even though she is my younger sister, I must say that most of my true artistic moments have been accessed through our collaborative work or through my observation or study of her as an artist." - Dominique McCormick, soprano featured in Artful Women concert Long Live the Queen
"I would have to credit, thinking in my fifty-year career long pursuit of unusual music instrument studies, as the most artful woman that I encountered, the one who affected most all of my career activities, would have to be Clara Rockmore (the famed theremin virtuosa). She had a career as the finest thereminist ever beginning in the mid-1920s and she became the most active performing artist at the instrument in its entire history. The Theremin was a pioneering electric instrument invented in 1919 by a Soviet physicist named Leon Termin. I, fortunately, had the opportunity in the early 1990's to study it with her as one of her final students learning her personally developed aerial fingering technique." - Dennis James, glass harmonica featured in Artful Women season concert, Sweet Philomela
"My wonderful teacher, Dr. Barbara Clark, has completely transformed how I think about preparing and singing a piece. Every marking, every possible nuance is explored in both a technical and emotional way. She is an incredible mentor and artist." - Alexandra Smither, soprano featured in Italian Sirens Artful Women season concert.
"Oh goodness...there are so many...My vocal coach and dear friend, Dr. Ana Maria Otamendi has been a constant source of inspiration since I met her three years ago. She is an incredible pianist, collaborator, teacher, linguist, empathetic guru...the list could go on. To say that she has influenced my musical life is an extreme understatement. I must also say that my aunt, Becky Burns, has had a huge influence on me as an artist. She has had an extraordinarily diverse career, climbing the ranks in multiple different fields, and yet has never stopped seeking new learning experiences. In fact, before I was even involved in opera or classical music, she randomly decided she wanted to learn about opera. She bought books, attended live broadcasts, subscribed to magazines, etc., to become what I like to call an amateur expert on the field! This is how she approaches everything that interests her–sewing, beading, gardening, traveling...she has always been a huge inspiration to me when it comes to being a life-long learner." - Sydney Anderson, soprano featured in Italian Sirens Artful Women concert
"Maria Callas. Her incredible palette of vocal expression from the sweetest pianissimo to the most painful and raw sounds remains unparalleled. How relentlessly she put both herself and her voice in the service of the composer, the music, and art!" - Mario Aschauer, fortepiano featured in New Year's in Berlin Artful Women concert
"My first voice teacher, Schuman Yang, escaped China during the cultural revolution. I learned from her the true meaning of discipline and dedication to the art of singing. She passed away a few years ago, but I hope that her good work lives on in me." - Tony Boutté, tenor featured in Artful Women season concert, Long Live the Queen
"The artful woman who has most influenced me is probably the great mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, my favorite singer of all time." - Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor featured in Artful Women season concerts, Esther & Jonah and Long Live the Queen
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