Susan Narucki
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

With luminous tone and distinctive artistry, American soprano Susan Narucki has earned international acclaim for almost three decades. Over the years Ms. Narucki’s creative projects, which introduce new music to audiences outside traditional concert hall settings and illuminate broader issues in society, have become recognized and increasingly valued by both the artistic and philanthropic communities. In recent years, in cooperation with a community of generous funders, she has commissioned two chamber operas. The most recent of these is Inheritance, a work by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Lei Liang and Rome Prize-winning librettist Matt Donovan examining America's gun culture. It was premiered in 2018 and is available on Albany Records (TROY 1819). Cuatro Corridos (music: Hebert Vásquez, Arlene Sierra, Lei Liang, Hilda Paredes; libretto: Jorge Volpi), which deals with sex slavery and human trafficking across the Mexico/California border, has been performed multiple times in both the U.S. and Mexico, and was recorded by Bridge Records (9473). The recording was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. Her newest recording, This Island (AVIE AV 2592), is a collection of 21 songs, mostly by women, composed in the early part of the 20th century. Many of these songs receive their world premiere recording on This Island, which will be released in February 2023.


At the University of California at San Diego, where she has been on the music faculty since 2008, Ms. Narucki was named inaugural Director of Arts and Community Engagement, a new initiative from the Division of Arts and Humanities. Its goal is to connect students, faculty, alumni, staff and the greater community in a variety of performance, program and academic activities that highlight art as a means of fostering broader cultural dialogue and civic engagement. She is also the founder and director of kallisti, a performance ensemble which brings together students from UCSD’s graduate program in Contemporary Music Performance with distinguished guest artists and composers.


A dedicated advocate of the music of our time, Ms. Narucki has given over one hundred world premieres and has enjoyed close collaborations with such prominent composers as Louis Andriessen, György Kurtág, Elliott Carter, Pascal Dusapin and George Crumb. Ms. Narucki has made over fifty recordings of music of the 20th and 21st centuries in a wide array of styles, earning broad critical acclaim. Her recording of vocal works by Mr. Kurtág, The Edge of Silence (AVIE Records AV2408) was nominated for a Grammy Award as Best Classical Solo Vocal Album, and was chosen one of "The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2019" by the New York Times.  In addition to The Edge of Silence and Cuatro Corridos, her extensive discography includes two more CDs recognized by The Recording Academy: Ms. Narucki's performance of Elliott Carter’s Tempo e Tempi was nominated for a Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Performance, and George Crumb's Star-Child, a piece for soprano, choirs, bell ringers and orchestra, won the Grammy for Best Classical Composition in 2001. Her recording The Light that Is Felt: Songs of Charles Ives with pianist Donald Berman, was selected as Editor's Choice of BBC Music Magazine. In addition to the Grammy Award, Ms. Narucki’s recordings have won the Cannes Award (Best Recording of Works of a Living Composer), L'Académie du Disque Lyrique's award for Best Recording of 21st Century Opera (for James Dillon's Philomela), and others. 


Susan Narucki made her professional debut at the 1986 Ojai Festival in the West Coast premiere of Kurtág's Messages of the Late R.V. Troussova, with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by conductor Kent Nagano. Since that time, she has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Netherlands Opera, San Francisco Symphony, MET Chamber Ensemble, on Great Performers at Lincoln Center and at Carnegie Hall with conductors such as Boulez, Levine, Salonen, Tilson Thomas, de Leeuw and Knussen. Other noteworthy engagements include the West Coast premiere of Andriessen's Die Materie with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Reinbert de Leeuw, Carter's What Next? and Mathis Nitschke's Jetzt with Opéra national de Montpellier, and the International Festival Cervantino.


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