Thomas Young, Tenor
Grammy and Cleo-award winning lyric tenor Thomas Young has appeared as a principal soloist in the major concert halls and opera houses of some 30 countries, and under the baton of, among others, Zubin Mehta, Roger Norrington, Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In addition to his distinguished performance career, Mr. Young serves as a tenured Professor of Music at Sarah Lawrence College and is in demand as a conductor, clinician and master class specialist.
Known for his unique dramatic and musical intelligence, as well as beauty of tone and exceptional technique, Mr. Young is recognized as today's foremost interpreter of tenor roles in contemporary opera. Mr. Young made his Chicago Lyric Opera debut in the world premiere of Anthony Davis' Amistad as the Trickster God, a role written for him by Mr. Davis. Mr. Young made his New York City Opera debut singing the dual roles of Street and Elijah Muhammad in his first collaboration with Davis for the world premiere of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. After this "brilliantly chameleonic performance" (Donal Henahan - The New York Times), New York City Opera invited him back to sing Aron in Schoenberg's Moses und Aron and then Desportes in Zimmermann's Die Soldaten. Anthony Davis went on to compose another role for Mr. Young in the science-fiction opera Under the Double Moon, which premiered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Marking his San Francisco Opera debut in John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer, Mr. Young created the role of Molqi and the role of Jonathan Rumor for the world premiere at the Opera de la Monnale in Brussels. Under the direction of Peter Sellars and baton of Kent Nagano, performances followed at the Opera de Lyon, Vienna Festival, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Called on 48 hours notice, Mr. Young made his Covent Garden debut as the rebel Schwalb in Hindemith's Mathis der Mahler, again under the direction of Peter Sellars with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting.
Mr. Young sang Polo in Tan Dun's Marco Polo at the Hong Kong Festival, a role which he created for the Biennale Festival in Munich. Performances followed in Glasgow, London, Amsterdam, Torino and Tokyo. Mr. Young's work at the Netherlands Opera includes Stravinsky's Biblical Pieces under the direction of Peter Sellars with Reinbert de Leeuw conducting, Birtwistle's Punch and Judy, Schoenberg's Von Heute auf Morgan directed by Pierre Audi and conducted by Oliver Knussen, and Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtensk directed by David Poutney. Other roles include Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex in the title role, Gounod's Faust in the title role, the U.S. premiere of Rossini's Armida in the role of Rinaldo at Tulsa Opera, Handel's Imeneo at New York City's Town Hall and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in the role of Sportin' Life at Houston Grand Opera.
Mr. Young was called on 48 hours notice to sing Aron in Schoenberg's Moses und Aron at the Maggio Musicale Florentino Festival in Florence. Under the baton of Zubin Mehta, Mr. Young's singing was "... just short of miraculous" (Corriere della Sera).
Mr. Young's North American concert appearances include performances in Blitzstein's Airborne Symphony and Schmidt's The Book of Seven Seals with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall; Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Brooklyn Philharmonic conducted by Dennis Russell Davies at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Avery Fisher Hall; Mozart's Great Mass in C conducted by Lukas Foss at Brooklyn Academy of Music; Too Hot to Handel, written for Mr. Young, and Duke Ellington's Sacred Songs with Concordia Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop at Alice Tully Hall; J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Long Island Philharmonic conducted by Christopher Keene; Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra, Philippe Herreweghe conducting; Mozart's Messiah with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Andrew Parrott; Elliot Carter's In Sleep In Thunder with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oliver Knussen conducting. His collaboration with Julius Hemphill and the World Saxophone Quartet resulted in the world premiere of Saxophone Opera "Long Tongues" at The Apollo in New York City.
Mr. Young's national tours include Jesus Christ Superstar in the role of Judas and The Wiz as The Wiz. Regional musical theatre appearances include Pippin as the Leading Player, Evita as Che, and Sweet Charity as Daddy Brubeck. He has also received critical and public acclaim in "Stand Up Shakespeare" directed by Oscar and Tony award-winning Mike Nichols, in New York City.
He has performed jazz concerts with Tito Puente, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Nancy Wilson, J.D.Perren, James Carter, Julius Hemphill, Mike Renze, Jay Leonhart, Michael Wolff, Grady Tate and Doc Cheatham. Mr. Young has been a featured performer with Ann-Margaret at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Television appearances include featured performer on "Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" with Blair Brown, "Aida's Brothers and Sisters" on PBS and "The Mitch Miller Show" on CBS.
Recent engagements include touring, recording and performing as part of the well known ensemble Three Mo' Tenors and now as Cook Dixon & Young; Michael Tipett's A Child of our Time under the direction of Sir Roger Norrington and Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias in concert version conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, both with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Kurt Weill's Street Scene in the role of Sam Kaplan with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Lawrence Foster conducting; Stravinsky's The Flood at Carnegie Hall with the London Sinfonietta under the direction of Oliver Knussen; Bernstein's Mass as the Celebrant with the Cincinnati Orchestra, James Conlon conducting; Verdi's Requiem with the Colorado Symphony, Marin Alsop conducting; and a staged production of Tan Dun's Marco Polo in the role of Polo at the Zagreb Bennale in Croatia. Mr. Young was also a guest performer at the Willa Awards, Shakespeare Theatre, Washington DC to honor Dame Judith Dench.
Mr. Young's recordings include the Grammy-nominated X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, on Gramavison; John Adams' Grammy-nominated The Death of Klinghoffer on Elektra/Nonesuch; Tan Dun's Marco Polo on SONY, named Opera of the Year by Opera Magazine; and George Gershwin's Blue Monday on Telarc. Mr. Young can be heard as a featured soloisst on Nancy Wilson's album "Life, Love, and Harmony". Most recently, he can be heard on the multi-Grammy award winning recording of William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience, Leonard Slatkin conducting, and Too Hot to Handel, Marin Alsop conducting, both on Naxos.
Mr. Young's own recordings include High Standards and Claire de Lune, Sister Moon on ESSAY Records; and A Star in the East, A Spiritual Christmas on Ocean Records. Mr. Young is the singing voice of Mighty Mouse on Ralph Bakshi's animated series.
Mr. Young's website is www.thomasyoungtenor.com