Featured Guest Artists

Nathan Gunn

Nathan Gunn has made a reputation as one of the most exciting and in-demand baritones of the day. He has appeared in internationally renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real in Madrid, Bilboa, and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. His many roles include the title roles in Billy Budd, Eugene Onegin, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Hamlet, Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucetia, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, and Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea.

A noted supporter of new works, Mr. Gunn most recently created the role of Paul in the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s Amelia at the Seattle Opera. He also created the roles of Alec Harvey in André Previn’s Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera, Father Delura in Peter Eötvös’ Love and Other Demons at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera. In the summer of 2015, he will return to the Santa Fe Opera for the premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain.

Also a distinguished concert performer, Mr. Gunn has appeared the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Rundfunkorchster, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The many conductors with whom he has worked with include, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Mark Wigglesworth.

This season, Mr. Gunn returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Billy Budd, the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Showboat, the Houston Grand Opera for Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and the San Francisco Opera for Die Zauberflöte. He also appears at the Krannert Center twice: in a recital with his wife, Julie Gunn, and in a concert with Mandy Patinkin.

Mr. Gunn was the recipient of the first annual Beverly Sills Artist Award, and was awarded the Pittsburgh Opera Renaissance Award. He is an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program and was the winner of the 1994 Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. Mr. Gunn is also an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he is currently a professor of voice. Mr. Gunn appears by arrangement with: Opus 3 Artists, New York, NY 10016, David V. Foster President & CEO/www.nathangunn.com

Julie Jordan Gunn

Julie Jordan Gunn, pianist, music director, vocal coach, and song arranger, is passionate about songs and singers. She loves to design and perform song recitals, and has appeared on many prestigious series over the last several years, including Carnegie Hall Pure Voice Series, Lincoln Center Great Performers, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Brussels Theatre de la Monnaie, the 92nd Street Y, University of Chicago Presents, San Francisco Performances, the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Oberlin College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and the Krannert Center. Scheduled for the upcoming year are recitals at Dominican University, Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, and cabaret performances in Orange County, Sun Valley, and the Allerton Barn Festival. In 2008 she had the privilege of playing privately for the United States Supreme Court.

Dr. Gunn also enjoys teaching and training the younger generation. She is on the faculty of the University of Illinois, where she works with singers and pianists. She has served on the music staff at the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program, Wolf Trap Opera, Saint Louis Opera Theatre, Southern Methodist University, Opera North, Theaterworks, Chicago Opera Theater and Illinois Opera Theater, and given master classes at universities and young artists’ programs all over the United States, including the Ryan Young Artists’ Program, the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Dr. Gunn is a leader in the promotion of American arts, and works hard as an advocate for local arts organizations at home in the development of projects ranging from constructing arts buildings to establishing patron groups. On a national level, she solicits and programs the work of emerging and established American songwriters on recitals, and is proud to have been the music director of her husband Nathan Gunn’s solo disc, Just before Sunrise, recently released by Sony/BMG records, which included arrangements of songs by Gene Scheer, Ben Moore, Joe Thalken, Billy Joel, Sting, and Charles Ives. Her arrangements of traditional American songs have been programmed by orchestras throughout the country. She seeks to encourage young composers by strengthening their relationships with singers and pianists, and by providing them with more established composers as mentors. She received her doctorate under the distinguished accompanist and teacher John Wustman, and is an alumna of Dartmouth College. She lives in Champaign, Illinois, with her husband and five children.