Soprano Jennifer Zetlan Performs the World Premiere of Nico Muhly's "Far Away Songs" and Other Songs on Her Alice Tully Hall Recital Debut on Thursday, November 29 at 8 PM


Ms. Zetlan is Joined by Pianist David Shimoni and the Attacca Quartet on the Recital

Start Date

Friday, November 2, 2012

Press Release Images

Soprano Jennifer Zetlan (Photo by J & J Photography)
Soprano Jennifer Zetlan (Photo by J & J Photography)
Nico Muhly
Nico Muhly


Juilliard presents soprano Jennifer Zetlan, an alumna of the School’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, in her Alice Tully Hall recital debut on Thursday, November 29 at 8 PM as the recipient of the 16th annual Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital Award. Ms. Zetlan is joined by her husband, pianist David Shimoni, an alumnus of Juilliard, and the Attacca Quartet, Juilliard’s current graduate resident quartet. The program features a world premiere by Juilliard alumnus, composer Nico Muhly, commissioned by Juilliard.  Muhly’s Far Away Songs anchors an ambitious vocal arts recital of additional songs by Barber, Brahms, Debussy, Granados, Grieg, Handel, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, R. Strauss, and Wolf. (A complete program listing follows at the end of this press release.) The Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital Award has been endowed by the Alice Tully Foundation since 1997 and provides an important public debut for a young singer on the threshold of a professional career.

Tickets at $30 and $15 are available at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office, by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or online at www.lincolncenter.org. Half-price student and senior citizen tickets are available with a valid ID at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. TDF vouchers are accepted. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.

Jennifer Zetlan received her Artist Diploma from Juilliard in 2009 and has already has made debuts on the stages of the Metropolitan, New York City, Seattle, Santa Fe, and Florida Grand operas. In concert, she has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, and has been heard at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York, Musica Sacra, and the New York Youth Symphony. Ms. Zetlan made her first solo appearance with the New York Philharmonic in June in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Upcoming appearances in the 2012-13 season include the American Composers Orchestra in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Musetta in La bohème with the Seattle Opera, Pamina in The Magic Flute with the Nashville Opera, and a concert with the Omaha Symphony. In the summer of 2013, Ms. Zetlan sings the roles of Woglinde and the Forrest Bird in The Ring at the Seattle Opera.

While at Juilliard, Ms. Zetlan had a number of outstanding performances. She sang the role of Emily Webb in the NYC premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town in April 2008; and she performed the role of the Boxer’s Wife in  Ernst Krenek’s Schwergewicht, oder die Ehre der Nation (Heavyweight, or Pride of the Nation) with Juilliard Opera led by conductor (and Juilliard alumnus) James Conlon; and she made her Avery Fisher Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra in Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony, conducted by Alan Gilbert, also a Juilliard alumnus and now director of conducting and orchestral studies at Juilliard.

Ms. Zetlan chose Nico Muhly to compose Juilliard’s commission. She and Mr. Muhly have worked together before, most recently last season in the world premiere of his Dark Sisters with Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia, and during workshops of Two Boys with the Metropolitan Opera. Far Away Songs, for voice and piano quintet, features pianist David Shimoni, and the Attacca Quartet. The work is set to haunting poems by Constantine Cavafy that deal with night, melancholy, and death.

Ms. Zetlan says, “The idea for the whole program was born of my having spent many nights in late pregnancy and early motherhood awake at odd hours. Of course, poets have been writing about what happens under the cover of night forever. There’s a treasure trove of songs about mischievous fairies and nocturnal creatures, lovers’ trysts, what ‘night’ symbolizes…So I told Nico about this idea, and he was very interested in finding a text that might fit. We explored lots of different ideas and in the end, he found these fantastic Cavafy poems that deal with night, melancholy, and death. They are haunting poems, and I knew they’d be greatly complemented by Nico’s setting.”

“What I like about Cavafy’s poems,” writes Mr. Muhly, “is the sense of enormous distance between objects. I feel like the lines work well right next to each other as well as with enormous space between them.” He continues: “I wanted to take advantage of what I like to call Jennifer Zetlan’s athletic expressive power: she works well with quick text as well as slow, which is a special gift! I’ve worked with JZ on two operas, and I feel like I know her voice very well.”

The recital program is divided into thematic sections, such as “Encounters,” “Melancholy,” “The Fantastic,” “Nightingale,” and “Dreams and Flights” and features songs by Barber, Brahms, Debussy, Granados, Grieg, Handel, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, R. Strauss, and Wolf.

Past recipients of the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital Award have included soprano Susanna Phillips, who returns to the Met Opera for her fifth consecutive season and makes her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut this season; Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier, who enjoys a career in Europe; tenor Paul Appleby and soprano Katherine Whyte, both of whom have appeared in the Met Opera’s well-received production of Enchanted Island; Chinese bass-baritone Shenyang, who has sung at the Met Opera and will be singing this season with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony - in addition to appearances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing; and baritone Randall Scarlata, who is singing in the AIDS Quilt Songbook @20 on December 1, 2012 at The Great Hall at Cooper Union. 

About David Shimoni


Pianist David Shimoni, a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has performed extensively throughout the United States. He has appeared in recital in Zankel and Weill halls at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and at MoMA. He has also performed at the Barns at Wolf Trap, the Chicago Cultural Center, Caramoor, Dallas Museum of Art, and at Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, and Stanford universities. He received his master’s degrees in both solo and collaborative performance from Juilliard, where he was the holder of the Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and received his bachelor of arts from Swarthmore College. Sought after for his skills as a collaborator, Mr. Shimoni has worked with the Jupiter String Quartet, New York Festival of Song, Southeastern Festival of Song, and Toronto Dance Theatre. He frequently accompanies singers under such auspices as the Marilyn Horne Foundation, Juilliard’s Alice Tully Hall Vocal Debut Recital, Concert Artists Guild, Rockefeller University’s Tri-Institutional Recital Series, and Artist Series of Sarasota. He has been a guest artist at the Chautauqua, Brevard, Moab, Foothills, and Rockport music festivals.

About the Attacca Quartet

First prize winner at the 2011 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, top prizewinner and Listeners’ Choice Award recipient at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2011, and winner of the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 60th annual Coleman Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in 2006, the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet has become one of America’s premiere young ensembles. They made their professional debut in 2007 as part of the Artists International Winners Series in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and have since appeared there numerous times. They formed the quartet in 2003, while first-year undergraduate students and completed their studies in Juilliard’s bachelor and master of music degree programs. In 2010, they embarked on a new project, “The 68,” in which the Quartet performed all sixty-eight Haydn String Quartets on a special series they created in New York.

About the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard

One of America’s most prestigious programs for educating singers, The Juilliard School’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts offers young artists programs tailored to their talents and needs. From bachelor and master of music degrees to advanced artist diploma programs in voice and opera studies, Juilliard provides frequent performance opportunities, featuring singers in its own recital halls, on Lincoln Center’s stages, and around New York City.

Juilliard Opera has presented numerous premieres of new operas as well as works from the standard repertoire. Juilliard graduates may be heard on recordings and in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world; diverse alumni artists include well-known performers such as Simon Estes, Renée Fleming, Anthony Dean Griffey, Leontyne Price, Risë Stevens, Tatiana Troyanos, and Shirley Verrett, as well as more recent alumni including Paul Appleby, Julie Boulianne, Sasha Cooke, Isabel Leonard, Erin Morley, Simon O’Neill, Susanna Phillips, Emalie Savoy, and Jennifer Zetlan.

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Thursday, November 29, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

Jennifer Zetlan, soprano

David Shimoni, piano

Attacca Quartet


George Frideric Handel                       O Sleep, why dost thou leave me?



Edvard Grieg                                        Lauf der Welt

(1843-1907)                                         Verschwiegene Nachtigall

                                                                Ein Traum

Johannes Brahms                               Von ewiger Liebe


Richard Strauss                                   Die Nacht


Claude Debussy                                   Apparition



Nico Muhly                                          Far Away Songs

(b. 1981)                                                Sweet Voices

                                                                Hours of Melancholy


The Fantastic

Hugo Wolf                                            Nixe Binsefuß
(1860-1903)                                         Elfenlied

                                                                Die Geister am Mummelsee

Samuel Barber                                     A Green Lowland of Pianos



Enrique Granados                              La maja y el ruiseñor


Dreams and Flight

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov                K Moje Pesne


Dmitri Shostakovich                         Son (Barcarola) from Spanish Songs


Rimsky-Korsakov                              Po debu polunochi

                                                              Son v'letnuyu noch'           
Sergei Rachmaninoff                        Son


Tickets at $30 and $15 are available at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office, by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or online at www.lincolncenter.org. Half-price student and senior citizen tickets are available with a valid ID at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. TDF vouchers are accepted. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.