'93 mezzo soprano's passion for music takes her to Germany
and across the United States
By Michelle Warmuth, Editorial Assistant
"I don't remember a time when music wasn't part of my daily life or remember a time when I couldn't read music - it is just simply a part of me," says mezzo-soprano Hilary Burtt '93. It is this passion for music that has taken her to Dresden, Germany, to study language at the renowned Goethe Institut on a six-month Ambassadorial Scholarship from the International Rotary Foundation.
At the ripe old age of 5½, Burtt began playing the cello. In fact, it was a cello scholarship that brought her to PLU. However, at age 19 she thought she had taken the cello as far as it could go and began studying voice intensively with Mira Frohnmayer, professor of music and head of the voice department.
Having performed throughout the United States, Burtt has an extensive repertoire, including many works from contemporary American composers. "I am extremely interested in the state of contemporary music today," wrote Burtt via email from Germany. "I believe there are enough artists performing the works of Brahms, Schubert and Rossini, but not enough performing the works of our contemporaries," Burtt says.
Active in educating young people about the arts, Burtt has visited a variety of schools to talk about classical music. She also is involved with several outreach programs for children.
"I am especially interested in opening minds and doors to classical voice and opera in my community that may not have been open before," she added.
After earning her bachelor's degree in musical arts, Burtt went on to earn a master's degree in music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where she performed with several music companies. Earlier this year, Burtt was a member of the Joseph and Loretta Law Artist Center at Opera Colorado in Denver. In February, she won the Colorado/Wyoming District Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Since 1995 she also has performed in Chautauqua, N.Y.; Seattle; Aspen, Colo.; and Alberta, Canada.
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