An internationally acclaimed vocalist is coming to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to give a public performance, conduct a masterclass and visit multiple classrooms.
Jeremy Huw Williams, a Welsh baritone opera singer who also is known for his work in contemporary classical music, will perform at the Cadek Recital Hall on the UTC campus on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The free concert, open to the public, will take place at 7:30 p.m.—and seating is limited. Free parking is available in the adjacent Lupton Hall parking garage; both the parking garage and Cadek Hall are handicap accessible.
Pianist Alan Nichols, a UTC alumnus (master’s degree in music in 1991), principal keyboardist for the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra since 2003 and professor of music at Chattanooga State Community College, will accompany Williams.
Williams’ career accolades include receiving the Medal of the Order of the British Empire and winning the John Edwards Memorial Award—the most prestigious non-competitive award in Wales for services to that nation’s music. His visit to UTC is presented by the Holmberg and Connor Professorships.
“To bring someone of Jeremy’s international stature to Chattanooga is significant,” said Dr. Jonathan McNair, the Ruth S. Holmberg Professor of American Music. “Jeremy has sung across the world and cares deeply about the music—and significantly promotes the music of his homeland.
“He sings a wide array of music and is committed to performing music by living composers.”
Among the works Williams will perform at Cadek Hall are a pair of McNair compositions, “Nocturnal Songs,” which is based on the poetry of Walt Whitman, and “A Divine Image,” based on poetry from William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience” collection.
“I was really excited when he wrote to ask if I had some songs for baritone like, ‘How did I get so lucky?’” McNair said. “I’m delighted that he wanted to perform some of my music. The rest of the program will feature U.K. composers, which I’m very happy about because of his many contributions to Welsh and other U.K. music.”
Williams’ time at UTC will also include conducting a masterclass for voice students, visiting music composition classes and performing for Dr. Aaron Shaheen’s Modern American Literature course.
“The very fact that he’s interested in poetry and putting poetry to song gives him nice crossover appeal on a college campus,” said Shaheen, the George C. Connor Professor of American Literature.
“Jeremy has an album dedicated to World War I poetry that was set to music, and a lot of the American literature of the early half of the 20th century comes from transatlantic crossover—people who were born in Britain but then came to live in the United States, or vice versa. This connects directly to some of the content of my class.”
Williams has appeared in more than 60 opera roles worldwide and has several commercially released recordings in his discography. This summer, his schedule has included performances in the United Kingdom, Norway, Italy and Greece. He also was in the U.S. earlier this year for a benefit performance at the University of Arizona.
Location: Cadek Hall is located at 725 Oak St., adjacent to the UTC Fine Arts Center. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the Lupton Hall parking garage (700 Vine St).