Renowned Opera Singer Simon Estes Joins Boston University School of Music Faculty

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases
September 8th, 2004

Contact: Amy Corcoran, 617/353-7293 | amycorco@bu.edu

(Boston) —Boston University College of Fine Arts announced the appointment of internationally distinguished bass-baritone Simon Estes as a faculty member beginning in the fall semester of 2004. Estes will have a studio at the School of Music and work with voice students as well as teach master classes in the areas of operatic training, performance, and management.

Estes is celebrated throughout the world for his opera, concert, and recital performances, as well as his recording credits. He has performed with major international opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Paris Opera, and has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, among others. In the 2002/2003 season, Estes played the role of King Philip in “Don Carlos” at the Lithuanian National Theatre in Vilnius, and the role of Padre Guardino in a concert version of “La forza del destino” at Carnegie Hall in New York. In November, Estes will participate in a concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, and will be presented with the Puccini Foundation’s Baccarat Award in recognition of his achievements in the arts.

“Simon Estes’ long and distinguished career will be of immense benefit to the School of Music. He is not only a remarkable musician and teacher but a great humanitarian who cannot fail to inspire the students in the School to great heights of artistry and achievement,” said André de Quadros, Director of the School of Music at Boston University.

Estes has almost one hundred roles in his repertoire, including King Philip in “Don Carlos,” Wotan in Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, and Amfortas in “Parsifal.” Estes has performed for President George H. W. Bush, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Pope John Paul II in the Vatican. He also appeared at the inaugural concert at the Kennedy Center as a soloist, and sang at both the 25th anniversary of the United Nations and the opening of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Estes has appeared on Avidis, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Deutsche Schallplatten, EMI, Philips Classics and Sony Classical labels, recording works such as Bayreuth Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman” and Bizet’s “Carmen.”

Estes attended the University of Iowa and The Juilliard School in New York City, where he has been a professor since 1985. He also teaches at Iowa State University in Ames, at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and in master classes across the country.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Estes has also worked extensively on philanthropic endeavors. He created four scholarship organizations: The Simon Estes Educational Foundation in Tulsa, The Simon Estes Scholarship Fund at the University of Iowa, The Simon and Westella H. Estes Scholarship Fund at Centerville Community College, and The Simon Estes Iowa Arts Scholarship Fund. In 1993, he established The Simon Estes International Foundation for Children with the purpose of financially assisting underprivileged and needy children for educational and health needs. In Cape Town, he initiated The Simon Estes Music High School for underprivileged children.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts is a conservatory-style school within a major research university, offering a liberal arts curriculum along with professional training in Music, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts to 1000 graduate and undergraduate students. Education at the College of Fine Arts begins at Boston University and extends into the city of Boston, a center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

The School of Music, founded in 1873, combines the intimacy and intensity of conservatory training with a broadly based, traditional liberal arts education. While the emphasis is strongly on music, the School enriches its programs with a range of electives, made available through the other Schools and Colleges within Boston University. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Performance, Theory and Composition, Musicology, Music Education, Collaborative Piano (graduate only), Conducting (graduate only), Historical Performance, as well as a certificate program with the Boston University Opera Institute and an Artist Diploma in Performance.

Alumni and faculty are found in universities, schools, major symphony orchestras, opera companies, prestigious ensembles, and teaching positions throughout the world. Distinguished faculty members include opera singer Phyllis Curtin, composer Lukas Foss and violinist Roman Totenberg. Notable alumni include H. C. Robbins Landon, noted Haydn scholar; Fred Bronstein, president of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Dominique LaBelle, soprano; and Ikuko Mizuno-Spire, violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

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