Jessye Norman to Receive Lifetime Achievement Grammy

Classic Arts News   Jessye Norman to Receive Lifetime Achievement Grammy
 
Soprano Jessye Norman will receive a lifetime achievement award at the 2006 Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy announced.

The academy will also give its lifetime achievement award to rocker David Bowie, the band Cream, country singer Merle Haggard, blues singer Robert Johnson, the late comedian Richard Pryor, and the folk group the Weavers.

The awards will be presented at a special ceremony on February 7 and acknowledged during the Grammy Awards ceremony on February 8.

The academy also announced that Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records; Owen Bradley, a country music producer and record executive; and Al Schmitt, a recording engineer, will receive its Trustees Award for non-performers. Engineer Tom Dowd and Bell Labs and Western Electric, two innovative audio companies now merged in Lucent Technologies, will receive Technical Grammy Awards.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1945, Norman studied at Howard University, the University of Michigan, and Peabody Conservatory. She debuted at Deutsche Opera in Berlin in 1969 as Elisabeth in Tannh‹user; three years later, she made her American debut at the Hollywood Bowl. Recitals at Lincoln Center and across the United States followed.

Norman launched her American operatic career in 1982, singing Jocasta in Oedipus Rex and as Dido in Dido and Aeneas at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. In 1983, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Cassandra in Berlioz's Les Troyens in a production that opened the company's 100th-anniversary season. Her other signature roles include Aida and Emile Marty in Janac_k's The Makropoulos Case.

In recent years, Norman has made opera appearances only rarely, but remains one of the biggest stars of the concert stage. Her many bestselling recordings include lieder, opera, and jazz.


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