Guest Artist Bio
Baritone Sanford Sylvan makes his Oregon Symphony debut at these concerts after performing previously with leading orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus and others.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned Steven Stucky’s American Muse for him. Also with the L.A. Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, he sang Haydn’s Creation toopen the first subscription week of concerts in the new Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2004. Highlights of recent seasons include Arnold Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron with the Boston Symphony under James Levine, the world premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at Disney and John Adams’ The Wound-Dresser with the Baltimore Symphony, conducted by the composer.
In opera, Sylvan is an acclaimed Mozartean. His portrayals of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte have been seen internationally, including on PBS’ Great Performances. He has been acclaimed for the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni, which he sang for his Glyndebourne Festival debut and with New York City Opera, where he has since become a regular performer in such operas as The Magic Flute, Ariodante, The Rape of Lucretia and Handel’s Semele.
He has developed close relationships with major composers who have written for him, particularly John Adams (Chou En-Lai in Nixon in China, the title role in The Death of Klinghoffer and The Wound-Dresser). He portrayed Klinghoffer in the film of The Death of Klinghoffer; earning wide recognition including a Grammy nomination. At his 2008 debut with the Chicago Opera Theater, he sang the role of the Storyteller in Adams’ The Flowering Tree, conducted by the composer, a role he repeated in Australia and again at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival in 2009.
A Grammy and Emmy Award winner for Nixon in China, he has received five additional Grammy nominations including one for The Wound-Dresser. Sylvan is currently on the vocal faculty of McGill University in Montreal.