Judith Lynn Stillman to Join Met Opera Baritone Will Liverman in Rhode Island Debut

The concert will take place on Sunday, June 4 at 3pm.

By: May. 14, 2023
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Judith Lynn Stillman to Join Met Opera Baritone Will Liverman in Rhode Island Debut

Rhode Island College's Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts will present ART SONG TO ARIA featuring RIC's Artist-in-Residence Judith Lynn Stillman, pianist, with GRAMMY Award-winning, Metropolitan Opera superstar baritone Will Liverman in his first appearance in Rhode Island, on Sunday, June 4th at 3pm. ART SONG TO ARIA showcases Liverman and Stillman in "a cultural kaleidoscope of selections including trailblazers Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, two of the most prominent Black women composers of the twentieth century," said Stillman, "as well as German, Italian and French repertoire." The program also features works composed by each performing artist, including Liverman's Morning and the world premiere of Where There's A Will... by Stillman, a work commissioned by Liverman.

RI Congressman David Cicilline commends, "Judith Lynn Stillman has been an inspiring cultural ambassador for our state," and she has continuously fortified the arts scene by collaborating with luminary artists locally, nationally, and internationally. She is the recent Winner of the Industry Service Leaders Award from PBN's Business Women 2023 Awards. Rhode Island College President Jack Warner says of Stillman, "Our Artist in Residence and Music Professor, Judith Lynn Stillman, is a world class musician who has always brought accolades and distinction to RIC."

"Velvet-voiced" (NPR) Will Liverman, "a voice for this historic moment" (The Washington Post), will be starring as Malcolm X in the Met Opera's premiere of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X in Fall 2023, which will be the second opera by a Black composer in the company's history. Liverman won a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for the Metropolitan Opera's production of Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up In My Bones.

Judith Lynn Stillman and Will Liverman won First Prize in the OperaVision International Competition for Stillman's groundbreaking quarantine opera, Essential Business. The artists are both graduates of The Juilliard School, Stillman receiving her Doctoral degree there, and Liverman his Master's degree. The duo joined forces during the pandemic, when creatives from across the world were selected by Opera Harmony to rethink opera throughout quarantine. OperaVision, the prestigious organization that presented the prize, is the online platform for Opera Europa, representing over 200 opera companies worldwide, including La Scala, Glyndebourne, English National Opera, Opéra National de Paris, etc.

Two notable leaders will give opening remarks at ART SONG TO ARIA: Bishop Jeffery Williams, Chief Empowerment Officer/Sr. Pastor, The King's Cathedral and Joe Wilson, Jr., Director of the Office of Art, Culture and Tourism for the City of Providence. The concert will be held in Sapinsley Hall at the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at Rhode Island College. Pre-Registration is required. Admission is free. There is a suggested donation of $10 per person at the door. There will be a Meet-the-Artists post-concert reception with light refreshments.

Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 3pm

Sapinsley Hall, Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, Rhode Island College

600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908


Will Liverman, Baritone, The Metropolitan Opera, GRAMMY Award-Winner

Judith Lynn Stillman, Piano, Artist-in-Residence at Rhode Island College, Honored Artist,
The American Prize

Program Highlights

'Largo al factotum' from The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) - Gioachino Rossini

Edward - Carl Loewe

Erlkönig - Carl Loewe

Don Quichotte à Dulcinée - Maurice Ravel

Selections from Songs of Travel - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Three Dream Portraits - Margaret Bonds / Langston Hughes

1. Minstrel Man

2. Dream Variations

3. I, Too

Morning - Will Liverman

Night - Florence Price

Moses - Ken Medema

Where There's A Will... - Judith Lynn Stillman WORLD PREMIERE

Judith Lynn Stillman, Pianist/Composer/Artistic Director/


Judith Lynn Stillman enjoys a distinguished international career as a pianist, composer, music director, filmmaker, and artistic visionary. Hailed by Wynton Marsalis as "a consummate artist," she holds Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School, where she won the Juilliard Concerto Competition and, upon graduation, was awarded the prize for Outstanding Pianist.

Stillman was named Honored Artist of The American Prize as both composer and pianist. Winner of a first Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Bannister Award for Civil Service in the Arts, and 18 piano competitions, Stillman's career highlights include music festivals such as Marlboro, Tanglewood, Grand Teton Music Festival, Voice of Music Festival (Israel); the Grammy's celebration for Rostropovich, Dynamic Duo partner with Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater, special guest with The Beach Boys, guest artist with the Borromeo, Muir, Cassatt, Shanghai and Lydian String Quartets; visiting guest artist at Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music, Prague Conservatory of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; premieres at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, NPR's Performance Today; CBS-Boston, The Public's Radio, RI PBS-TV; recordings and concerts with principal members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic; BOSE commercial with Herbie Hancock.

Stillman's duo album with Wynton Marsalis on Sony was on the Billboard Top Ten: "Marsalis and Stillman make an impeccable team. The playing consistently dazzles."

Stillman's films and movie scores have garnered film festival recognition worldwide, including showings in 48 countries, over ½ million views, Grand Prize, Audience Prize, Gold Medal, Best Music Video, Best Film Score, Best Multimedia Film, and Official Selection in Los Angeles, San Francisco, NYC, Cannes, and in the U.K.

The premiere of Stillman's When the Music Stopped, in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, featured soprano Aline Kutan of the Montreal Opera. The work was described by The Armenian Weekly as "a breathtaking masterpiece, conceived of and brilliantly executed by pianist, composer, and artistic visionary Judith Lynn Stillman. Stillman's innovative opus celebrates Armenian culture, acknowledges the horrors of genocide, and ultimately demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit. With a startlingly beautiful musical score, Stillman leads the audience on a journey through pain and loss, toward healing, solidarity, and growth." Stillman's Phoenix from the Ashes, with The Metropolitan Opera's Lori Phillips, was the centerpiece of the Czech Embassy's Holocaust Commemoration. Stillman has received commissions from the Cactus Pear, Lancaster and Sandpoint Music Festivals, and for Interfaith Annual Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration programs.

Stillman is the Artist-in-Residence and a Professor of Music at Rhode Island College, where she received the Maixner Award for Outstanding Teaching, the Faculty Award presented by Alumni and College Relations, and the Thorp Award for Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Activity. She serves as the Artistic Director for Judith Lynn Stillman & Friends from the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, and as the Artistic Director for Masterworks Concerts at the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts.

Judith Lynn Stillman has garnered international recognition for her multimedia projects that focus on human rights, women's rights, climate change and BIPOC artists, including works in remembrance of the centennial of the Armenian genocide, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, and her unique "plays within-a-concert." Photo: Joshi Radin


Will Liverman, Baritone

Called "a voice for this historic moment" (Washington Post), GRAMMY Award winning baritone Will Liverman is the recipient of the 2022 Beverly Sills Artist Award by The Metropolitan Opera. He opened the Met's 2021-22 season in a celebrated "breakout performance" (The New York Times) as Charles in Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which won the 2023 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording. Following Fire's success, the Met announced that Liverman will star in Anthony Davis' X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which will be the second opera by a Black composer in the company's history, premiering in the fall of 2023.

Following performances at Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festival, Liverman's 2022-23 season opens at the Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration, where he plays the Celebrant in Bernstein's Mass. Next, the European premiere of Jeanine Tesori's Blue takes Liverman to Dutch National Opera, where he makes his house debut as the Reverend in the Music Critics Association's 2020 pick for "Best New Opera."

Liverman's new opera, The Factotum, which he stars in and composed with DJ/recording artist K. Rico, premieres at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in February 2023. Previously workshopped at the Ryan Opera Center in winter 2020, The Factotum blends classical singing with diverse musical styles, moving from hip-hop, R&B, funk, and gospel to traditional barbershop quartet to create a soul opera. Inspired by Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the piece takes place in a present-day Black barbershop on Chicago's South Side and celebrates the strength of community and power of the human spirit.

Other 22-23 season engagements include performances of the title role in Pelléas et Mélisande at LA Opera and Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Austin Opera; appearances with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Portland Opera, Art Bath, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Sparks & Wiry Cries, and Brooklyn Art Song Society; and solo recital performances at London's Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Virginia Opera, Chamber Music Northwest, and Friends of Chamber Music.

In addition to opening the Met's 21-22 season with Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Liverman revisited the role of Charles at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a "rich leading performance" (Chicago Tribune) described as a "beautifully vocalized ... gripping portrayal" (Opera News). Further highlights from last season include reprisals of his roles in Akhnaten (Horemhab) and The Magic Flute (Papageno) at the Met Opera; Steward (Jonathan Dove's Flight) at Dallas Opera; and performances with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Aspen Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, and Chicago Sinfonietta.

In February 2021, Cedille Records released Liverman's Dreams of a New Day: Songs by Black Composers with pianist Paul Sanchez - a collection of works by Damien Sneed, Henry Burleigh, H. Leslie Adams, Robert Owens, Margaret Bonds, and Thomas Kerr, plus a world premiere recording by Shawn E. Okpebholo and Liverman's arrangement of Richard Fariña's Birmingham Sunday. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart, and The New Yorker praised its "clarity, sensitivity, and barely contained heartbreak," while NPR declared "velvet-voiced baritone Will Liverman is out to make the classical music canon more inclusive." Dreams of a New Day was nominated for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards. His 2020 album, Whither Must I Wander, with pianist Jonathan King, released on Odradek Records, was named one of the Chicago Tribune's "best classical recordings of 2020" and BBC Music Magazine praised Liverman's "firm, oaky baritone with a sharp interpretive attitude... admirable poise and clarity of intention."

In 2019, Liverman made history as the first-ever Black Papageno in The Metropolitan Opera's production of The Magic Flute. Other notable past performances include Malcolm Fleet in Nico Muhly's Marnie at the Met Opera; Pantalone in The Love of Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia; Silvio in Pagliacci at Opera Colorado; Schaunard in La bohème with the Santa Fe and Dallas Operas, and Opera Philadelphia; and The Pilot in The Little Prince with Tulsa Opera. Additionally, Liverman has performed the leading role of Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Seattle, Virginia, Kentucky, Madison, and Utah Operas. He originated the role of Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker's Yardbird with Opera Philadelphia, in addition to performing the role with English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Madison Opera, and the Apollo Theater. Other highlights include the role of Tommy McIntyre in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Fellow Travelers for its Lyric Unlimited initiative; Papageno in The Magic Flute with the Florentine and Central City Operas; his role debut as Marcello in La bohème with Portland Opera; his debut with Seattle Opera as Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory; Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia and Beaumarchais in The Ghosts of Versailles with Wolf Trap Opera; Andrew Hanley in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera; Sam in The Pirates of Penzance with Atlanta Opera; the Foreman at the Mill in Jenůfa; and the Protestant Minister in Menotti's The Last Savage with Santa Fe Opera.

Expanding into the concert repertoire, Liverman performed the title role in a concert version of the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and was a featured soloist in Brahms' Requiem with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Handel's Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, Carmina Burana with Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart's Mass in C Minor with Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He was also featured in concert at Carnegie Hall, in addition to appearing in Schubert's Die Winterreise at The Barns at Wolf Trap Opera.

Awards and achievements include receiving a 2022 Sphinx MPower Artist Grant, the 2020 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, a 2019 Richard Tucker Career Grant, and a 2019 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. In 2017 he received a 3Arts Award, a George London Award, and was recognized as a classical division Luminarts Fellow by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. In 2015, he won the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition, the Gerda Lissner Charitable Fund Award, and a top prize from Opera Index.

Liverman concluded his tenure at the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015 and was previously a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois. Photo: Jaclyn Simpson



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