Jessye Norman in Memoriam

I was deeply affected to learn on Monday, September 30, that the incomparable Jessye Norman, had died in New York. I got to know her during the time I was the Assistant Manager of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, in upstate New York (1975-78).

A highlight for me was when I interviewed her live at the local classical radio station WXXI prior to her appearance with the RPO at a sold-out concert held in the Eastman Theater.

Before we got on the air, we shared our respective fond memories of living and staying in the British capital. And I still remember the full-bodied way she said during our warm-up chitchat that “I simply  l-o-v-e London!”

Also, I happened to have gained my Licentiate Performer as a concert pianist at the Royal Academy of Music early on in my profession (1951), while she became a member of that venerable institution later on in her stellar singing career.

Two years ago, I wrote in my blog entitled Jessye Norman – Opera Singer and Recitalist , Extraordinaire, “Norman no longer performs ensemble opera, concentrating instead on recitals and concerts. It is worth listening to her unparalleled rich soprano voice in this inspiring rendition on YouTube with organ accompaniment of The Holy City, Jerusalem.”

Dear Readers,
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Copyright © 2019 Azim Lewis Mayadas