Barbara Hendricks

Swedish Naturalised American Lyrical Singer (Stephens, Arkansas, 1948 -)

Barbara Hendricks is one of the most famous opera singers of her generation. On stage and in recital, she excelled in all repertoires and put her rarely equalled notoriety to the service of humanitarian causes.

After a degree in mathematics and chemistry, Barbara Hendricks studied music at the Juilliard School of Music in New York in the same class as Jeannie Tourel. Winner of numerous competitions in the United States, Switzerland and France, she made her debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1974 and gave her first recital in New York. Her rise was tremendous. She sang in all the greatest opera houses: Paris, New York, London and Milan under the direction of the greatest conductors of her time: Herbert von Karajan, Karl Bohm, Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta. She was invited to festivals in Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence and gave many recitals with pianists such as Radu Lupu, Maria Joao Pires, Michel Beroff and Michel Dalberto. Her repertoire, which has no boundaries, includes contemporary creations by Krzysztof Penderecki, Bruno Mantovani or even Arvo Pärt, and jazz programs.
After recording with major labels, she founded, in 2006, her own record company, Arte Verum.

Her humanitarian commitment is uncompromising, particularly in 1991 and 1993, when she gave two charity concerts in the former Yugoslavia which was at war. This event earned her the title of Honorary Life Ambassador to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She now has been living in Europe since 1977 and is a Swedish citizen.

6 Key dates for Barbara Hendricks:

1972: Received the Mozart award at the Paris International Competition.
1978: The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, directed by Neville Marriner.
1982: Verdi's Falstaff in Covent Garden, directed by Carlo Maria Giulini.
1984: A German Requiem by Brahms at the Salzburg Festival, directed by Herbert von Karajan.
1987: La Bohème by Puccini, film directed by Luigi Comencini
1993: Knight of the Legion of Honor

Official site

Biography by Radio France Documentation