JULIANA HALL | AMERICAN ART SONG COMPOSER

WELCOME

American art song composer Juliana Hall specializes in creating vocal works: “glistening, poignant music” (Gramophone), “complex in conception and construction” (Planet Hugill, London) with “graceful, nuanced vocal lines” (Opera News).

Hall’s more than 60 song cycles, monodramas, and vocal chamber works have been described as “brilliant” (Washington Post), “beguiling” (The Times, London), and “the most genuinely moving music of the afternoon” (Boston Globe)“masterful writing in every respect” (NATS Journal of Singing).

Hall attended the Yale School of Music as a graduate student, studying composition with Frederic Rzewski, Leon Kirchner, and Martin Bresnick, receiving her masters degree in 1987. Following Yale she moved to Minneapolis to study with renowned vocal composer Dominick Argento.

strikingly imaginative … gracious to sing and hear, interesting piano accompaniments, always worthy texts

— Dominick Argento


Shortly after arriving in Minnesota later in 1987, she wrote a song cycle as a first commission for soprano Dawn Upshaw. The piece received both popular and critical acclaim, with performances across America and around the world. In 1989, Hall was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, as well as her second commission for a song cycle for Metropolitan Opera baritone David Malis.

Since completing her studies, Hall has composed works for dozens of singers, including vocal luminaries Brian Asawa, Stephanie Blythe, Molly Fillmore, Anthony Dean Griffey, Zachary James, Randall Scarlata, and Kitty Whately.

revealing each morsel of poetry through her brilliant tonal, textural, and rhythmic language, her work is immediately recognizable and wonderfully familiar … singers and audiences alike take delight in her songs

— Stephanie Blythe

In discussing her long-time career interest in writing vocal music, Hall shares that, “I have rarely gone a day without some sort of text in my mind, primarily poems, but also diaries, fables, letters, play texts, and sacred writings. Great writers illuminate beauty, truth, and magic present in even the smallest of things in our world, and since song is all about text, it is those writers’ insights I wish to share in my songs.”

. . . read more about Juliana Hall

one of the finest text setters writing English song anywhere … leading with her distinctive and feminine voice combined with a big pianist’s brilliance and her uncanny way of writing music that gives singers the ability to be better than their best

— Margo Garrett

By the time [Dawn Upshaw] sang her encore Saturday at the Library of Congress … she had given a breathtaking display of virtuosity in ‘Night Dances,’ a brilliant cycle of songs … whose composer, 30-year-old Juliana Hall, used every trick in the book—melodic and half-spoken, tonal and nontonal … to deepen the impact of the texts dealing with night and sleep, to explore the implicit emotions in sounds that ranged from a whisper to a scream, with the piano supplying illustrations and comment and engaging in vivid dialogue

— Washington Post

Some Things Are Dark
Dawn Upshaw soprano : Margo Garrett piano

At That Hour When All Things Have Repose
Stephanie Blythe mezzo-soprano : Alan Louis Smith piano

The Mystic Trumpeter
Anthony Dean Griffey tenor : Warren Jones piano

Dream
Susan Narucki soprano : Donald Berman piano

Ahab
Zachary James bass-baritone : Charity Wicks piano

Lawn As White As Driven Snow
Darryl Taylor countertenor : Juliana Hall piano

Death’s Echo
Richard Lalli baritone : Juliana Hall piano

Godiva
Kitty Whately mezzo-soprano : Joseph Middleton piano

Grateful for the many wonderful performers who bring my music to the world through so many recent and future performances.

December 3, 2023  —  CANCELED  —  Rochester, New York
Tenor Anthony Dean Griffey & pianist Warren Jones will perform “The Mystic Trumpeter”

December 7, 2023  :  Antwerp, Belgium
Soprano Françoise Vanhecke will perform selections from “In Spring” – songs for unaccompanied Soprano at the Wouter De Bruycker Fine Arts & Gallery

December 8, 2023  :  London, England
English horn player Nicola Hands and pianist Lana Bode of London’s Tailleferre Ensemble will perform “Rilke Song” at St. John’s Church at Lansdowne Crescent, London

December 16, 2023  :  Madison, Wisconsin
Mezzo-soprano Madison Barrett & pianist Thomas Kasdorf will perform the premiere of a new mezzo version of the song cycle “Winter Windows” (originally for baritone)

Date tba  :  University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
Baritone Christopher Rodriguez & pianist Stephen Dubberly will perform the premiere of a new baritone version of a James Joyce song, “At That Hour When All Things Have Repose” (originally for contralto)

January 25, 2024  :  Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
Soprano Carol Dusdieker & pianist Jeff Manchur will perform “Cameos”

March 7-9, 2024  :  Music by Women Festival, Columbus, Mississippi
Soprano Susan Boddie & oboist Will Wise will perform “Bells and Grass”

I have an amazing publisher, the E. C. Schirmer Music Company. “Buffalo Dusk” (song on Carl Sandburg), “The Mystic Trumpeter” (setting based on Walt Whitman), and “Peace on Earth” (song on William Carlos Williams) were recently published, bringing the list of my published works to 55.

To obtain any of my vocal compositions, check out E. C. Schirmer.