Great Artists Series presents Susan Graham March 25

‘American’s favorite mezzo’ performs Schumann’s “Frauenliebe und-leben” and variations

Susan Graham. (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega. Commission by Matthew Cosgrove @ Onyx.)

Since I saw him,
I think I am blind;
Every place I look,
I see him alone;

As in a waking dream

So begins “Frauenliebe und-leben (A Woman’s Love and Life),” Robert Schumann’s beloved eight-song cycle to the poem of the same name by Adelbert von Chamisso. Written in 1840 — the same year Schumann wed piano prodigy Clara Wieck — the cycle charts the course of a romantic relationship, from first glimpse and courtship, through marriage and children, to the inevitable ending of one partner’s life.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, March 25, internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, accompanied by pianist Malcolm Martineau, will perform “Frauenliebe und-leben: Variations,” a recital pairing Schumann’s compositions with related works by Edvard Grieg, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and others.

Presented as part of the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences’ Great Artists Series, the performance will take place in Washington University’s E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-40, or $32-$37 for seniors and Washington University faculty and staff, and $15 for students and children.

Tickets are available through the Edison Theater Box Office, 314-935-6543, or at

Susan Graham. (Photo: Dario Acosta)

Susan Graham

Dubbed “America’s favorite mezzo” by Gramophone Magazine, Graham has won international acclaim for lead roles spanning the 17th century to the present. She has appeared as: Monteverdi’s “Poppea”;  Sesto in Mozart’s “La clemenza di Tito”; and Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” — a role written especially for her.

Graham has been featured on many of the world’s great stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera and Opéra National de Paris. Other major roles include: the title parts in Handel’s “Ariodante” and “Xerxes”; Octavian in Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier”; and leads in the world premieres of John Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby” and Tobias Picker’s “An American Tragedy.”

Graham’s extensive discography includes the solo albums “Un frisson français,” a program of French song recorded with Martineau, and “Virgins, Vixens & Viragos,” which features composers ranging from Purcell to Sondheim.

Her many honors include a Grammy Award, for her collection of Ives songs, and the French government’s prestigious “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur,” for her commitment to French music.

About  the series

Now in its second season, the Great Artists Series presents intimate recitals with some of the brightest stars in contemporary classical music. Following Graham’s performance, the series will continue April 22 with the acclaimed Calidore String Quartet.

The E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall is located in the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave., at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. For more information, call 314-935-5566 or email

Susan Graham. (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega. Commission by Matthew Cosgrove @ Onyx.)
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