NAN HUGHES & JACK OLSZEWSKI (mezzo-soprano & piano)
Songs of Spring: Join mezzo-soprano Nan Hughes, known for her tremendous versatility as an artist, in collaboration with pianist Jack Olszewski. Featuring selections ranging from French chanson to German lieder, to Cabaret and Broadway.
Nan Hughes (mezzo-soprano)
Jack Olszewski (piano)
Drinks (Happy Hour):
Nan Hughes is a lyric mezzo-soprano whose varied musical interests have taken her around the globe. Solo orchestral appearances include the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, in Vienna and Eisenstadt (Mozart), the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Orchestra in Hamburg (a live broadcast of Pendereçki’s music, conducted by the composer), the Dnipropetrovsk Symphony Orchestra in Kiev, the Calgary, Edmonton, London and Vancouver symphonies in Canada, and the Charlotte Symphony in North Carolina (Beethoven). She has toured throughout Europe, the United States, Ukraine and Brazil as soloist with New York’s Continuum, a contemporary chamber music ensemble. A member of the vocal trio, Times Three, she appears, in Andrews sisters’ style, with pops symphonies in the USA and in Canada. In Macedonia, she filmed Dimitrije Buzarovski’s Songs of Peace and War for Macedonian television. That cycle was written specifically for her.
Winner of the Artists International competition, she gave her New York debut recital at Carnegie Recital Hall. The New York Times praised her “appealingly light, flexible timbre,” her “sensitivity to the text” and her “graceful and thoughtfully shaped” phrases, calling her an “able interpreter of the classic song literature.”
Career highlights range from a televised performance at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico to a contemporary recital at New York’s Museum of Modern Art sculpture garden, performances at the Warsaw Autumn festival, the role of Rosina in The Barber of Seville at the Aspen Festival and singing Mozart and cabaret with the Boston Pops.
A significant portion of Ms. Hughes’ career has been devoted to contemporary music. She created the role of Katherine Anne Porter in Anton Coppola’s political opera, Sacco and Vanzetti. In Sebastian Hutching’s riveting one-act opera, The Agony of Mrs. Stone, the role of Mrs. Stone was written for her. She had the pleasure of working with composers John Cage, Earl Kim, Giya Kancheli, Leon Kirchner, and Roberto Sierra, among others, and has recorded works of Ruth Crawford Seeger (Naxos), Valentin Bibik (Troppenote), Leonid Hrabovsky (Troppenote) and Lawrence Moss (Capstone). Her most recent recording with Gruppo Montebello conducted by Henk Guittart, featuring works of Berg and Zemlinsky, was released (Oct. 2017) on the Etcetera label. From the review in the Dutch musical journal, regarding her recording of Berg’s Altenberg lieder, Opus Klassiek writes: “Last but not least, is Nan Hughes's magnificent voice that gives these songs an optimum expressive vocal form.”
Ms. Hughes attended the Juilliard Opera Center, studying with Beverley Johnson. She holds a MM (in vocal performance) from Boston University (where she was a Dean’s scholar and a student of famed soprano Phyllis Curtin), and a BA (cum laude in English and American Literature) from Harvard. She resides in Banff, Canada and was on the faculty of the Banff Centre’s Music & Sound program for several years. She has performed at Music by the Sea on Vancouver Island (http://musicbythesea.ca/) for many seasons, singing classical chamber music, Broadway selections and jazz.
Jack Olszewski is a pianist who has performed throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music from McGill University where he studied with Marina Mdivani, and graduated in 2017 with an Artist Diploma in Collaborative Piano under Michael McMahon. Mr. Olszewski is an alumnus of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Franz-Schubert-Institut, the Orford Music Academy, Opera NUOVA, Toronto Summer Music, and the St. Andrews Opera Workshop. He has been the recipient of funding from Edmonton Community Foundation, the Anne Burrows Music Foundation, the Williamson Foundation for Music, and the Art Song Foundation of Canada. Mr. Olszewski has worked as a coach and pianist at Calgary Opera, Dalhousie University, McGill University, Opera on the Avalon, and the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute.