Tucson Baroque Music Festival

Tucson Baroque Music Festival

Avi Stein, artistic director
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

January 10–12, 2025

Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | 2331 E. Adams St, Tucson, AZ   Google Map

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The Tucson Baroque Music Festival is back! 3x GRAMMY-award winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton and internationally renowned early music soprano Amanda Forsythe join festival director Avi Stein and the period-instrument virtuosi of the TBMF Chamber Players for three exhilarating days of Baroque masterworks.

Amanda Forsythe, soprano

American soprano Amanda Forsythe, warmly praised for her performances on both sides of the Atlantic, is a regular soloist with the highly acclaimed baroque ensembles Les Talens Lyriques, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, Opera Prima, Pacific Musicworks, Early Music Vancouver, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. 

During the 2023-2024 season, Amanda makes several significant orchestra debuts and returns. The season began with Ms. Forsythe joining both Apollo’s Fire and the New York Philharmonic in Handel’s Israel in Egypt under the baton of Jeannette Sorrell. The holiday season brought performances of Handel’s Messiah, first in her return to Boston Baroque followed by her orchestral debut with the Houston Symphony. Other season highlights include returning to the New York Philharmonic in the spring for performances of Mozart’s Requiem led by music director Jaap van Zweden; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Handel’s Deborah with NDR Radiophilharmonie; Handel’s Silete Venti with Boston Baroque; Pergolesi’s La serva padrona with Pacific Musicworks; and further concerts with the Italian ensemble Opera Prima and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. 

Equally at home on the concert platform and on the opera stage, in recent seasons Amanda Forsythe’s major concert engagements have included performances with the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Orchestra Sinfonica Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, The Academy of Ancient Music, The St. Louis Symphony, Music of the Baroque, and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.

“Forsythe’s voice is marvelous – clear, florid, and warm at the same time – but the context highlighted her fundamentally superb rhythm.”— The Boston Globe

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Hailed as an artist “alight with the spirit of the music” (Boston Globe), three-time GRAMMY winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton has established a vibrant career appearing regularly throughout the US and Europe. Highlights of his 2023/24 season include multiple appearances with Michael Tilson Thomas, including a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the San Francisco Symphony and Copland’s Old American Songs with the New World Symphony. Burton also performs Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Washington Bach Consort, sings Handel’s Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and performs the title role in Sweeney Todd at Vanderbilt University. With the Cleveland Orchestra, Burton participates in a semi-staged version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and he joins the Milwaukee Symphony and Ken-David Masur for three subscription weeks as their Artist-in-Residence.

Last season, Burton returned to the Cleveland Orchestra for Schubert’s Mass No. 6 with Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall; to the Houston Symphony for Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Juraj Valčuha; and to the New York Philharmonic for Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke, led by the composer. Debut appearances included Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Milwaukee Symphony led by Ken-David Masur, the world premiere of Chris Cerrone’s The Year of Silence with the Louisville Orchestra led by Teddy Abrams, and Dvořák’s Requiem with the Richmond Symphony. In summer 2023, Burton appeared at Tanglewood and Caramoor in critically acclaimed performances of Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Philharmonia Baroque. He continues his relationship with San Francisco Performances as an Artist-in-Residence with appearances at venues and educational institutions throughout the Bay Area.

A multiple award-winning singer, Dashon Burton won his second GRAMMY Award in March 2021 for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album with his performance featured in Dame Ethyl Smyth’s masterwork The Prison with The Experiential Orchestra (Chandos). As an original member of the groundbreaking vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, he won his first GRAMMY Award in 2013 for their inaugural recording of all new commissions, and his third GRAMMY Award in 2024 for their most recent recording, Rough Magic, featuring more new commissions from Caroline Shaw, William Brittelle, Peter Shin, and Eve Beglarian.

His other recordings include Songs of Struggle & Redemption: We Shall Overcome (Acis), the GRAMMY-nominated recording of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road (Naxos); Holocaust, 1944 by Lori Laitman (Acis); and Caroline Shaw’s The Listeners with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. His album of spirituals garnered high praise and was singled out by the New York Times as “profoundly moving…a beautiful and lovable disc.”

Burton received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and a Master of Music degree from Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music. He is an assistant professor of voice at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.

“… watching him sing feels like looking directly at the sun — he is alight with the spirit of the music.”— The Boston Globe

Friday, January 10 at 7:00 p.m.

All Roads Lead To… | Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Vocal and Instrumental Works by Handel, featuring soprano Amanda Forsythe

Saturday, January 11 at 3:00 p.m.

Bach’s Circle | Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
Music of Bach and His Contemporaries, featuring bass-baritone Dashon Burton and Telemann’s Flute and Recorder Concerto

Sunday, January 12 at 3:00 p.m. 

Divine Love | Amanda Forsythe, soprano and Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
An exploration of Bach in the Church and Garden, featuring Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32, with soprano Amanda Forsythe and bass-baritone Dashon Burton

Presented with the generous support of the Tucson Desert Song Festival.