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WHO IS … Barbara Hendricks ?

Born in the USA, and now a Swedish citizen, Barbara Hendricks has been living in Europe since 1977. She studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel after completing a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Chemistry at the age of 20. She made her debuts on opera stages in 1974 at the San Francisco Opera and at the Glyndebourne Festival. She went on to appear in all major opera houses throughout the world and played more than 20 roles. She played Mimi in La Bohème, directed by Luigi Comencini, and Anne Truelove in 1994 in an international prize-winning film production of The Rake's Progress conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.  Recital and symphonic concerts are important in her repertoire. In addition to her repertoire of German Lieder she is also known as a leading interpreter and staunch promoter of French, American and Scandinavian music. Barbara Hendrix has also performed various global creations of composers like Gilbert Amy, David Del Tredici, Tobias Picker, Bruno Mantovani, Arvo Pärt and more recently she sang the part of The Angel in the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’s opera at the Châtelet Theatre, Paris. She made her jazz debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1994 and has since then performed regularly in jazz festivals throughout the world. She is one of today's best-selling recording artists. She has made nearly 80 recordings and, between 1983 and 2004, she recorded over 50 records exclusively for EMI Classics with over 11 million of sales. In 2006, she launched her own label, Arte Verum, for which she now records exclusively. In October 2011 she released her 10th CD, Voyage d’hiver de Schubert. After nearly 20 years of service to the cause of refugees and her untiring support for the UNHCR she has been named Honorary Ambassador for Life. In 1991 and 1993, she gave two solidarity concerts in war-ridden former Yugoslavia (Dubrovnik and Sarajevo). In 1998 she founded the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation to fight for the prevention of conflicts in the world and to facilitate reconciliation and enduring peace where conflicts have already occurred. Since 1990, she has been a Member of the Swedish Academy of Music. In 1986, the French government made Barbara Hendricks a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1992, she was awarded the rank of Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by President François Mitterrand. In 2000 she received the price The Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts for her advocacy for human rights and for the contribution of her artistic work to mankind's cultural heritage.


To know more about Barbara Hendricks, discover the videos of the previous editions of the Forum.