Dawn Upshaw (b. 1960 in Nashville, Tennessee) is an American soprano. After receiving her bachelor's degree in 1982, she went to New York, where she studied voice with Ellen Faull at the Manhattan School of Music. She also was a student of Jan DeGaetani. In 1984 she earned her master's degree, won the Young Concert Artists auditions and in the following year, the Walter M. Naumburg Competition. Furthermore, she was a participant in the Young Artists Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera and is at home in both opera and the song and has a broad repertoire – from baroque to contemporary music.
International fame came her way in 1993 with a recording of Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 with David Zinman, which sold millions of copies. A number of composers have created pieces especially for her, among them John Adams, John Harbison, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho and Osvaldo Golijov. Over the years she has won four Grammy Awards – the latest in 2006 for the recording of the chamber opera Ainadamar by Golijov – and various honorary doctorates have been conferred upon her. In 2007 she was granted a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
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