“If the angels in heaven really sing, please let them do it like Nassief. Her voice combines the best of two worlds: It has bel canto size, warmth and height, and yet is svelte, with a youthful sparkle.” So wrote the Leipziger Volkszeitung when Kelley Nassief sang Elijahwith the Gewandhausorchester and Kurt Masur on the occasion of the sesquicentennial of Mendelssohn's death. Her critically acclaimed and exquisite performances on symphonic stages across the globe have established her as one of the world’s leading concert artists. Kelley Nassief’s 2014-15 season engagements currently include soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Grand Rapids Symphony and in Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony in her Dallas Symphony Orchestra debut.
Her 2013-14 engagements included singing as soprano soloist in Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony at Konzerthaus Berlin; with Richmond Symphony in Verdi’s Requiem, also with Portland Symphonic Choir; with Rochester Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; and with Nashville Symphony in Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. In season 2012-13 she reprised Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony in her debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Recent season highlights include singing as featured soloist in Brahms’ Requiem with the New Bedford Symphony; in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) with Fundaçao Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Saõ Paulo (Brazil) under Marin Alsop; in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in a return to the Pacific Symphony, also in her debut with Fort Worth Symphony; Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 with both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw, through the Fundacja Shalom of Poland; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica; Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra; and Ravel’s Shéhérazade, plus selected opera arias, with the Richmond Symphony. Other highlights include singing as soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Louisville, Grand Rapids and Modesto symphony orchestras; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder” with Da Camera of Houston; and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.
Her extensive concert appearances have included appearing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony; the Florida West Coast Symphony in Mahler's Symphony No. 4; the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Elijah; the Eugene Symphony in Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder; with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Bernstein's Symphony No. 3 ("Kaddish") at London's Barbican Centre, a work which she also performed with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and L'Orchestre de Paris; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra; Mozart's Requiem with both the Jacksonville and Nashville symphony orchestras; Brahms' Requiem with the Long Island Philharmonic; and with Choral Arts Society of Washington DC in a Christmas concert.
Other highlights include her debut with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and her returns to the Philadelphia Orchestra in Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, to the Grand Rapids Symphony to sing Brahms' Requiem, and to the Choral Arts Society in Dvorák's Stabat Mater. She also sang Mendelssohn's Elijah with Washington's Cathedral Choral Society; Verdi's Requiem with Winston-Salem and Pasadena symphonies; returned to the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mozart's Mass in C Minor; performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center and Mexico's Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria; and appeared with Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 2.
Ms. Nassief's prolific career as a gifted concert artist has seen her appear with the world's leading conductors and symphonies. She has performed Beethoven's Ah, perfido! with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, Peer Gynt with Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Seiji Ozawa at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Brahms' Requiem with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra under Neemi Järvi, and several appearances with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic to sing Peer Gynt, Elijah, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.
Other concert hall successes include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Verdi's Requiem with Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, Baltimore Choral Arts, and Spokane Symphony Orchestra; Bernstein's Symphony No. 3 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; Philip Glass's Symphony No. 5 with the Ruhr Triennale Festival; Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten with the Orchestre Poitou Charentes; Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the East Texas Symphony; Fauré's Requiem with the Pacific Symphony; Britten's War Requiem with the Sioux City Symphony; Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2 with the Jacksonville Symphony; and Mozart's Requiem with both the Saint Louis and Richmond symphony orchestras. She has performed Strauss's Vier letzte Lieder with the Mexico City Philharmonic and Naples Philharmonic, Chausson's Poème de l'amour et de la mer with the Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, and Einhorn's Voices of Light at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony. She also performs recitals regularly in North America and Europe, and has appeared in recital on Japanese television.
Kelley Nassief is a 2001 winner of the Sullivan Foundation Grant, a 1996 Laureate of the Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem International Oratorio and Song Competition, a 1997 winner of a Richard Tucker Career Grant, and a winner of the 1995 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
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