PIVOT: Vox Populi
Sunday, January 27, 2019 | 5pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
Songs of Struggle and Redemption
PIVOT is supported by The Wallace Foundation
About This Performance
The adventurous San Francisco Performances’ PIVOT series has programmed an intensive four-day festival presenting artists and works with political observations and meanings. The festival’s fourth and final day presents bass baritone Dashon Burton who steps out of his acclaimed role as a classically trained concert and choral artist and member of Roomful of Teeth, with a program of Civil War and Civil Rights anthems of protest, called Songs of Struggle and Redemption.
Praised for his “nobility and rich tone,” (The New York Times) and his enormous, thrilling voice seemingly capable…[of] raising the dead;” (Wall Street Journal), bass-baritone Dashon Burton has appeared in the Brahms Requiem and Beethoven 9 with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra in the last two seasons; also the Mozart Requiem in the summer season at Severance Hall. He joins forces with Cleveland and Welser-Möst again in 2017–18 for reprise performances of their groundbreaking production of Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen and for performances of Beethoven 9 in their Prometheus Project, at home and abroad in Vienna and Japan.
This season, Burton also sings Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston, in Sweden with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and with the Orlando Philharmonic. He appears twice at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of NY for Handel’s Messiah and in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road, and performs in David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dashon revisits the role of Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte on tour with Opera de Dijon in Limoges and Caen and sings recitals with Lindsay Garritson, and with Craig Hella Johnson for Conspirare in Austin. Throughout the season he continues to tour with the Grammy-winning contemporary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, and ends the season at Grant Park Music Festival singing Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast.
In key elements of his repertoire—Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions and the B minor Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven 9, the Brahms Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem—Dashon is a frequent guest with ensembles such as Philharmonia Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Baroque; the Carmel and Bethlehem Bach Choir Festivals, and the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New Jersey, Oregon, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Forays into more varied repertoire in the last seasons have included his performances of Michael Tippet’s A Child of Our Time at Harvard, Barber’s Dover Beach and Hans Eisler’s Ernste Gesaenge with A Far Cry chamber orchestra in Boston, Copland’s Old American Songs with the Kansas City Symphony, Schubert’s Die Winterreise with string quartet, and performances and the recording of Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard with the vocal group Conspirare.
Burton’s opera engagements include singing Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Dijon and Paris, and the role of Jupiter in Rameau’s Castor and Pollux with Christoph Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques. He has toured Europe in the St. John Passion with Christoph Prégardien’s Le Concert Lorraine, and in Italy with Maaski Suzuki and the Yale Schola Cantorum in the St. Matthew Passion, a work he also sang on tour in the Netherlands with the NNSO.
Dashon Burton’s Ravinia recital, based on his recent recording, Songs of Struggle and Redemption: We Shall Overcome, led off his 2016–17 season, followed by his performance of works by Aperghis and Stockhausen—as well as his own composition, Light Year—in the 2016 Resonant Bodies Festival at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. With Ensemble ACJW, he appeared in Arvo Pärt’s Passion in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
In 2012 Burton brought home prizes from the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the 49th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. These awards followed his First Place wins in both the 2012 Oratorio Society of New York’s Competition and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Competition for Young American Singers.
He began his professional studies at Case Western Reserve University and graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Upon graduation, he was invited to join Cantus, a professional men’s classical vocal ensemble based in Minneapolis, and toured with them for five years. In 2009, Burton entered Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied vocal literature including Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah under tenor James Taylor. He received his Master of Music degree in 2011.