Leontyne Price - Soprano
“To sing is the most human of the art form delivery, more than, perhaps, an instrument which has to be tuned mechanically. You are the tuner; you are the vessel. "
Leontyne Price is a renowned American soprano who was one of the leading opera singers of the 20th century. She was born on February 10, 1927 in Laurel, Mississippi, and began her musical studies at the age of six. Received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from a college in Ohio. She was encouraged to pursue performance after graduation and went on to study at the Julliard School of Music in New York City.
It was in one of her student productions that she captured the attention of composer Virgil Thompson. He later cast her in Fours Saints in Three Acts, which marked her Broadway debut in 1952. She was later cast in the revival production of Porgy and Bess.
Price made her operatic debut in 1957 with San Fransico Opera." She went on to perform at many of the world's leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Paris Opera, among others. She was known for her powerful voice and dramatic stage presence, and was especially noted for her interpretations of works by Verdi, Puccini, and Mozart.
Throughout her career, Price received numerous awards and honors, including multiple Grammy Awards for her recordings. She was also the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She retired from opera singing in 1985, but continued to perform in concerts and recitals until her retirement from the stage in 1997.
Leontyne Price remains one of the most acclaimed opera singers of all time and her contributions to the world of classical music continue to be celebrated.