Steven Blier

Steven Blier is the Artistic Director of The New York Festival of Song, which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival’s inception he has programmed, performed, translated and annotated over one hundred vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the entire range of American song, art song from Schubert to Szymanowski, and popular song from early vaudeville to Lennon-McCartney. NYFOS has also made in-depth explorations of music from Spain, Latin America, Scandinavia and Russia.

Mr. Blier also enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. In concert with Renée Fleming, he has performed throughout North America and Europe, including recitals at Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Milan, and a Live From Lincoln Center telecast. His collaboration with Cecilia Bartoli began in 1994, and has included an appearance at Carnegie Hall where Mr. Blier played both piano and harpsichord. Among the many other artists he has partnered are Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Jessye Norman, Wolfgang Holzmair, Susanne Mentzer, Sylvia McNair, José van Dam, and Arlene Augér. In keeping the traditions of American music alive, Mr. Blier has brought back to the stage many of the rarely heard songs of Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill and Cole Porter. He has also played ragtime, blues, and stride piano evenings with John Musto. A champion of American music, he has premiered works of John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, John Musto, Richard Danielpour, Tobias Picker, Robert Beaser, Lowell Liebermann, and Lee Hoiby, many of which were commissioned by NYFOS.

His discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; the NYFOS discs of Blitzstein, Gershwin, and German Lieder (Unquiet Peace); Gershwin’s Lady Be Good! (Nonesuch Records); The Land Where the Good Songs Go with Sylvia McNair and Hal Cazalet, celebrating P.G. Wodehouse’s collaborations with Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Ivor Novello; four albums of songs by Charles Ives in partnership with baritone William Sharp (Albany Records); and first recordings of music by Busoni and Borodin with cellist Dorothy Lawson (Koch International). In October 1999, New World Records issued the Grammy-nominated premiere recording of Ned Rorem’s full-length song cycle Evidence of Things Not Seen, commissioned by NYFOS and the Library of Congress. His latest release is Spanish Love Songs (Bridge Records), recorded live at the Caramoor International Music Festival with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, and Michael Barrett. Later this year, Bridge Records will release the world premiere recording of Bastianello (John Musto) and Lucrezia (William Bolcom), a double bill of one-act comedies set to librettos by Mark Campbell.

Mr. Blier is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs, including the Wolf Trap Opera Company and the San Francisco Opera Center. As a broadcaster and writer, he has appeared both as an essayist and quizmaster on the Metropolitan Opera broadcast intermissions. His writings on opera have been featured in recent issues of Opera News Magazine and the Yale Review. He has recently joined the artistic team at New York City Opera, where he is a consultant on casting. A native New Yorker, he received an Honors Degree in English Literature at Yale University, where he studied piano under Alexander Farkas. He completed his musical studies in New York with Martin Isepp and Paul Jacobs.

Steven Blier appears in the following:

Paul Appleby & Steven Blier

Monday, April 05, 2010

Paul Appleby, tenor, studies at the Met Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and The Juilliard School’s Artist Diploma in Opera Studies Program.

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