Health & Safety Information  — Updated January 25, 2023

Sunday, January 14, 2024 | 5:30 PM

Julia Bullock, soprano (Baltimore Recital Debut)
Bretton Brown, piano

The Mity Clarke Gann Memorial Concert

Location: Shriver Hall

"A musician who delights in making her own rules" (The New Yorker), soprano Julia Bullock presents a brilliantly wide-ranging program.  She brings an arresting, often transformative emotional depth to songs both familiar and obscure with a voice that "rises with strength and focus like a cloud condensing into a thunderbolt, [breathing] both humanity and epic grace into the music" (New York Times).

"One of today's smartest, most arresting vocalists in any genre…."  –NPR

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Julia Bullock

Honored as a 2021 Artist of the Year and “agent of change” by Musical America, Julia Bullock is an American classical singer who “communicates intense, authentic feeling, as if she were singing right from her soul” (Opera News). Combining versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, she has headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world. An innovative curator in high demand from a diverse group of arts presenters, museums and schools, she has held positions including collaborative partner of Esa-Pekka Salonen and 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence at the San Francisco Symphony, 2020–22 Artist-in-Residence of London’s Guildhall School, and 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vanity Fair notes she is “young, highly successful, [and] politically engaged,” with the “ability to inject each note she sings with a sense of grace and urgency, lending her performances the feel of being both of the moment and incredibly timeless.”

Bullock has held several important positions as a curator, including opera-programming host of the broadcast channel All Arts, and founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC). As Artist-in-Residence of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she curated five thought-provoking programs in some of the museum’s most iconic spaces. She took part in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and reprised Dame Shirley, the leading role she created in Adams’s Girls of the Golden West, for the opera’s European premiere at Dutch National Opera. She also gave the Boston premiere of Perle Noire at Harvard’s OBERON, made her Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra debut in Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and gave a North American recital tour with frequent piano partner John Arida.

In November 2022, she made her solo album debut on the Nonesuch label with Walking in the Dark. Combining Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with an aria from El Niño and songs by Oscar Brown Jr., Connie Converse, Sandy Denny and Billy Taylor, the record was featured in The New York Times’ “Best Classical Music Tracks of 2022” and named one of the “Ten Best Classical Albums of 2022” by NPR. Selected as one of The New York Times’ “25 Best Musical Tracks of 2018,” her starring role in Adams’ Doctor Atomic, recorded with the composer conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, was a nominee for the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. This marked Bullock’s second appearance on a Grammy-nominated recording, following her live account of West Side Story with Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, Grammy nominated for Best Musical Theater Album in 2014.

Julia Bullock was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where she joined the artist-in-training program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis while in high school. She went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music, Master’s degree in Bard College’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School. Her website is

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Bretton Brown

Japanese American pianist Bretton Brown enjoys a diverse career as song accompanist, chamber musician, and coach. Now based in London, he made his UK debut in 2016, playing for Renée Fleming at Wigmore Hall. He has also performed with Julia Bullock, Mark Padmore, and many rising young artists throughout Europe and the U.S. As a guest member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, he played at the BBC Proms, Berliner Philharmonie, and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, and he has accompanied Ms. Bullock in recitals at Wigmore Hall and the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. In 2023, he performs alongside Ms. Bullock at the Concertgebouw and returns to the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence as répétiteur/coach for the world premiere of Sir George Benjamin and Martin Crimp's latest opera, Picture a day like this.

He has been répétiteur/coach for world premieres at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Lessons in Love and Violence), the Dutch National Opera (Caruso a Cuba), and le Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris (Zauberland). He also assisted Ms. Fleming in the preparation of André Previn's final work, Penelope, written for her and first performed at the Tanglewood Music Festival. At Tanglewood in 2013, where he received the Henri Kohn Memorial Award, Brown worked with George Benjamin for the first time, preparing the American premiere of Written on Skin. He later served as répétiteur for the Canadian premiere of that work at the composer's request. His close collaboration with Benjamin now also comprises Dream of the Song with the Philharmonia Orchestra, productions of Lessons in Love and Violence with Dutch National Opera and Opéra national de Lyon, and future performances of Written on Skin and Picture a day like this.

He has prepared singers for principal roles at the Royal Opera House, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, the Glyndebourne Festival, and San Francisco Opera, and for concert performances at the Venice Biennale and the Proms. Committed to the development of younger artists, he has held multiple residencies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, was visiting professor of collaborative piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the United States, and is on the faculty of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he works with both singers and pianists.

Raised in Kentucky, he was educated at Yale, the New England Conservatory, and The Juilliard School. He won prizes for poetry and music at Yale and received Juilliard's Richard F. French Doctoral Prize for his dissertation on the life and music of Gustav Holst. His website is

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

"Suleika I," D. 720

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

"Rastlose Liebe," D. 138

Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)

"Im dem Schatten meiner Locken" from Spanisches Liederbuch

Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)

"Bedeckt mich mit Blumen" from Spanisches Liederbuch

Connie Converse (1924-1974)

"There is a Vine"

Connie Converse (1924-1974)

"One by One"

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)

"Lost in the Stars" from Lost in the Stars

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)

"Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man" from Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)

"Wie lange noch?"

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)

"The Princess of Pure Delight" from Lady in the Dark

Luciano Berio (1925-2003)

Selections from Quattro canzoni popolari

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

"Mi lagnerò tacendo, 'Stabat Mater'"

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

"Mi lagnerò tacendo, 'Sorzico'"

John Cage (1912-1992)

"She is Asleep" for Voice and Prepared Piano

Spencer Williams (1880/89-1965) / Pat Castleton (? - 1993)

"Driftin' Tide"

Cora "Lovie" Austin (1887-1972) / Alberta Hunter (1895-1984)

"Downhearted Blues"

Cora "Lovie" Austin (1887-1972) / Alberta Hunter (1895-1984)

"Lovie Austin Tribute"

Billie Holiday (1915-1959) / Sonny White (1917-1971)

"Our Love Is Different"

Nina Simone (1933-2003) / Weldon Jonathan Irvine, Jr. (1943-2002)


Nina Simone (1933-2003)

"Four Women"

Billy Taylor (1921-2010)

"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free"

Program Subject to Change Without Notice