Biography

Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Grammy Award winning soprano Susan Narucki has earned international acclaim as a singer of luminous tone, superb musicianship and distinctive artistry. She has presented over one hundred world premieres in opera, concert and recording, enjoying close collaborations with many of the world's leading composers. She is one of the leading interpreters of contemporary music of her generation.

Ms. Narucki has appeared as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, MET Chamber Ensemble, The Philharmonia, on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, and at Carnegie Hall and with conductors such as James Levine, Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oliver Knussen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Herbert Blomstedt, and Kent Nagano. She has appeared at major European festivals in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Warsaw, Torino, London, Vienna, Lisbon, Munich and Amsterdam, at the Aspen and Ojai Festivals and at the Cabrillo Festival of New American Music with conductor Marin Alsop.

The soprano has been a featured soloist with contemporary music ensembles across the globe, including Asko/Schoenberg, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Modern, Nieuw Ensemble, ELISION, SMCQ, Remix, ICE, Alarm Will Sound, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Speculum Musicae, NYNME, Network for New Music and Collage. She was a frequent guest on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella Series and the Making Music Series at Carnegie Hall, on which she presented Kurtág's monumental cycle, Kafka Fragments with violinist Daniel Phillips, on a concert honoring the composer.

Ms. Narucki made her Netherlands Opera debut creating the role of Catherina Bolnes in Louis Andriessen's Writing to Vermeer, and traveled with the production to the Adelaide and Lincoln Center Festivals. She was also featured in the world premiere of Claude Vivier's Rèves d'un Marco Polo, directed by Pierre Audi. Of her performance, Vrij Nederland wrote "...one name we will never forget: Susan Narucki, the American soprano, who gave us all goosebumps and moved us to tears." The Netherlands Opera production was filmed for European broadcast and Opus Arte DVD. Her portrayal of "Mama" in Elliott Carter's What Next?, directed by Christopher Alden was praised by the New York Times as "compelling and luminous". Ms. Narucki reprised the role at the Opera de Montpellierin a double bill that included the world premiere of Mathis Nitschke's Jetzt.  In addition, she created the role of Nora Lear in American composer Anthony Davis' critically acclaimed opera Lear on the Second FloorIn past seasons, Ms. Narucki appeared with the Los Angleles Philharmonic in Louis Andreissen's De Materie (Hadewijch)  a role she has recorded for Nonesuch Records.  The soprano joined longtime collaborator Reinbert De Leeuw for a rare performance of the opera.

A distinguished chamber musician, she has appeared at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Santa Fe, Norfolk, Da Camera, Bridgehampton, Moab and Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festivals. Ms. Narucki has been a guest of the Brentano, Orion and Schoenberg String Quartets; her numerous recital appearances include Kleine Zaal in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y, Liszt Academy in Budapest, Princeton University, American Academy in Rome, and on the Horowitz Recital series at Yale University with pianist Boris Berman.

Susan Narucki earned a 2000 Grammy award for George Crumb's Star-Child, and a Grammy nomination (Best Classical Vocal Performance) for Elliott Carter's Tempo e Tempi, both on Bridge Records. The soprano's extensive discography ranges from operas of Andriessen (Nonesuch) works of Schoenberg and Zemlinsky (Chandos), Tavener's Song of The Angel (Angel/EMI), song cycles of Mario Davidovsky (Bridge) and a solo disc of music of Aaron Jay Kernis (Koch). She was featured on the world premiere recording of James Dillon's Philomela, winner of the 2009 l'Orphée d'Or for best recording of a 21st century opera. Ms. Narucki's disc of songs of Charles Ives (The Light that Is Felt: Songs of Charles Ives) with pianist Donald Berman (New World), received international acclaim and was selected as Editor's Choice of BBC Music Magazine.  Most recently, her recording of the critically acclaimed chamber opera, Cuatro Corridos ,earned a 2017 Latin Grammy Nomination.

For almost a decade, Ms. Narucki has had a growing interest in projects that re-imagine relationships between contemporary music and society.  In 2007, Ms. Narucki and Rome Prize winning composer Lisa Bielawa co-conceived Chance Encounter, a project that brought modern music to public spaces.  Ms. Narucki and The Knights presented the world premiere in Seward Park, New York City in 2007.   The work, which earned grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, has since been performed at Yale University, at the Whitney Museum of Art, Music on Main in Vancouver, at the grand opening of the MAXXI Museum and as "Chance Encounter on the Tiber",  both in Rome, Italy.

Ms. Narucki serves as Artistic Director of Cuatro Corridos (2013)  a chamber opera with libretto by internationally renowned Mexican novelist Jorge Volpi that addresses the subject of trafficking of women across the U.S.-Mexican border. Cuatro Corridos earned major grants from the MAP Fund for the Performing Arts, UC MEXUS, Yellow Barn, the University of California and the National Endowment for the Arts. Cuatro Corridos had its premiere at UC San Diego in May 2013; the critically acclaimed opera has since traveled to Tijuana, B.C. (Casa de la Cultura) and Dallas (Nasher Sculpture Center), University of New Mexico, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the ENT Center at UCCS, Los Angeles' Zipper Hall, and at the national performing arts venue of Mexico, CENART. Cuatro Corridos was a special presentation at FIL, the Guadalajara International Book Fair on November 30, 2015 and has been broadcast nationally on Mexico's cultural channel (Canal 22). 

Ms. Narucki's most recent production is Inheritance, a chamber opera that addresses gun violence in America.  With music by Lei Liang and libretto by Matt Donovan, the world premiere performances of the opera took place at UC San Diego on October 24-27, 2018.  The opera was co-presented by ArtPower and the Department of Music at UC San Diego; it received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, NewMusicUSA, the Banff Center for the Performing Arts, and the Division of the Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.

In 2008, Susan Narucki joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego as Professor of Music. She was recently appointed Director of Art and Community Engagement, a program housed within the Institute of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.
www.susannarucki.net

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