Colburn School Los Angeles to Honor Soprano Danielle de Niese with Richard D. Colburn Award at Gala Concert, at Disney Concert Hall on April 24, 2016, 7 pm.

At its annual gala concert and dinner on April 24, 2016, the Colburn School will honor lyric soprano and Colburn School alumna Danielle de Niese and its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Carol Colburn Grigor, with the Richard D. Colburn award. De Niese’s success on the world stage as “opera’s coolest soprano” (New York Times Magazine) underscores the importance of the Colburn School to the future of classical music. Grigor will be recognized for her invaluable contributions to the school, and her philanthropic leadership in supporting dance and classical music in Los Angeles and around the world. 

Grigor joined the Board of Directors of the Colburn School in 1980 and has served as Chairman since September 2013. Under Grigor’s leadership, the school has expanded its commitment to financial aid for Colburn Community School students through the Herbert Zipper Scholars program and increased donations for this purpose. She also played a leadership role in the 2010 founding of the Colburn School’s Music Academy, and the inauguration in 2014 of the Colburn Dance Academy, led by former New York City Ballet principal dancer Jenifer Ringer. In February 2015, she endowed the school’s Colburn Grigor Piano Chair, held by Fabio Bidini, with a $5 million gift. “Carol is a true champion of performing arts education, both in Los Angeles and abroad,” says Colburn School Vice Chairman and Chairman Elect Andrew Millstein. “She has guided the Colburn School through periods of tremendous growth, and the humility with which she serves as our Chairman only demonstrates her steadfast commitment to furthering the performing arts. Supporting organizations large and small in LA, she is one of a small group of philanthropists who can claim to have made real, positive change in our city. Carol is a consummate role model for my fellow board members and me, and it is with honor that we dedicate this gala to her and her legacy.”

Danielle de Niese began studying classical voice and dance at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts at age 10, when her family immigrated to Los Angeles from Australia. Today she appears in the world’s most prestigious operas, and is a successful recording artist and role model for  aspiring performers. She rose to fame as Cleopatra in Glyndebourne’s 2005 production of Giulio Cesare under David McVicar’s direction. Her 2015 Glyndebourne performances of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortilèges won her unanimous critical acclaim. De Niese sang at both Last Night of the Proms opposite Jonas Kaufmann, and at Proms in the Park alongside The Jacksons, Alison Balsom, and Russel Watson, charming and astounding British and worldwide television audiences.  Colburn School President and CEO Sel Kardan says “Danielle de Niese’s success is a testament to what a gifted and dedicated student can achieve with the support of the school’s exceptional programs and faculty. We are extremely proud of the stellar career she has forged, and pleased to honor her at this year’s gala with the Richard D. Colburn award.”

For the gala concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Colburn Orchestra welcomes Stéphane Denève, Chief Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic. Featuring lyric soprano and Colburn School alumna Danielle de Niese and Colburn Conservatory student and top-prize winner of the 2013 Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition Rodolfo Leone, the concert highlights the Colburn School’s high standards of excellence. The concert is part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Sounds About Town series. Colburn Gala Co-Chairs are Judy and Tom Beckmen, Eva and Marc Stern, Rosemarie Fall and Andrew Millstein, and David D. Colburn.

Event Information
Friday, April 24, 2016 at 7 pm
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Danielle de Niese, artistic honoree
Carol Colburn Grigor, civic honoree
Stéphane Denève, guest conductor
Rodolfo Leone, piano
Danielle de Niese, soprano
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1
RAVEL Daphnis and Chloé Suite No. 2
Annual Gala Dinner, 8:30 pm
at the Colburn School
Cocktail Attire
Colburn Gala Co-Chairs
Judy and Tom Beckmen
David D. Colburn
Rosemarie Fall and Andrew Millstein
Eva and Marc Stern
This concert is part of the LA Phil’s Sounds About Town series.

Tickets start at $15. Visit for more information.
Gala concert and dinner tickets start at $1,000.

For more information contact Michael Fuller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (213) 621-1047.

About Carol Colburn Grigor
Grigor also serves as Chairman of the Colburn Foundation, which funds classical music and danceprogramming and education in Los Angeles and throughout the country, including such organizations athe Los Angele Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, USC’s Thornton School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles Children’s Choir, and the New School’s New York String Orchestra Seminar. She serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Marlboro Music Festival, and on the Board of Visitors for the Yale University School of Music.

Grigor is President of Dunard Fund USA, and a director of the Colburn Collection, the Colburn Music Fund, and Dunard Fund in the UK. A resident of Edinburgh, Scotland, since 1984, Grigor is an influential philanthropist and advocate for classical music in Europe, and her contributions to classical music and the visual arts have been recognized with many prestigious honors. She is a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and a Chevalier of the Ordre des arts et des lettres. Grigor was the inaugural recipient of the Prince of Wales Medal for Philanthropy, and is an Honorary Life Member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra Board of
Directors. In August 2013, she was named Honorary Vice President of the Edinburgh International Festival Society.

Grigor is a trained concert pianist, with her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and her Master of Musical Arts degree from the Yale University School of Music. She has an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Edinburgh Napier University, and has extensive experience as a concertizing artist and as a teacher.

About Danielle de Niese

Lyric soprano Danielle de Niese has gained wide recognition for her superb stagecraft, assured singing, and her ability to communicate on every level. She regularly appears on the world’s most prestigious opera and concert stages and is a prolific recording artist, TV personality, and philanthropist. Her discography includes Handel Arias, The Mozart Album, and Diva and Beauty of the Baroque. De Niese is
an ECHO Klassik Award winner, a recipient of Orphee D’Or by the Academie Du Disque Lyrique, and a Classical Brit Award for Female Artist of the Year nominee.

Following her critically acclaimed Glyndebourne Festival return in the Ravel’s L'heure espagnole and L'enfant et les sortilèges, de Niese starred in a historical double header for the BBC Proms, singing at both Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall opposite Jonas Kaufmann, broadcast worldwide, and at Proms in the Park in Hyde Park alongside The Jacksons, Alison Balsom, and Russell Watson. Further operatic engagements during the 2015–2016 season include Roxanne Coss in the world premiere of Jimmy López’s Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; a return to Theater an der Wien to sing Poppea in Robert Carsen’s new production of Handel’s Agrippina under Thomas Hengelbrock; and a European recital tour alongside Omer Meir Wellber. After moving from Australia to Los Angeles at age 10, de Niese took classical voice at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts, where she studied with Francis Young, Lorraine Baeza, Nmon Ford Levine, and Margaret Meland. About the Colburn School Four academic units comprise the Colburn School, united by a single philosophy that all who have a desire to study the performing arts should have the opportunity and access to excellent training. The degree-granting Conservatory of Music, the open enrollment Community School of Performing Arts, the Music Academy for pre-college musicians, and the pre-professional Dance Academy, a program of the Colburn School’s Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, provide training to over 2,000 students from the Los Angeles area and across the world. The renowned teachers, performers, and scholars that make up Colburn’s dedicated faculty serve as invaluable mentors to guide students’ artistic development.

The Community School of Performing Arts acts as an entry point to performing arts education, offering beginning to pre-collegiate training in music, dance, and drama to students of all ages and skill levels. Young musicians from around the world study at the pre-college Music Academy, which features a rigorous curriculum of conservatory preparatory training to high school aged students. The preprofessional Dance Academy prepares a select class of young dancers for careers in ballet. Dance classes at the Community School and the Dance Academy are programs of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute. Finally, the Conservatory of Music is one of the preeminent training grounds for classical musicians, with undergraduate and advanced degrees in music performance. A robust community engagement initiative delivers sequential performing arts education to low-income students in the surrounding areas through outreach and scholarship programs. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Colburn School’s campus boasts state-of-the-art performance and rehearsal spaces. Each season, the school presents over 300 concerts and performances, many of which are free and open to the public, at its downtown home and throughout Southern California.

About the Colburn Orchestra Founded in 2003, the Colburn Orchestra is the flagship ensemble of the Colburn Conservatory of Music. Under the direction of Music Director and Conductor Yehuda Gilad, the Colburn Orchestra performs for Southern California audiences at venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ambassador Auditorium, Royce Hall, Segerstrom Concert Hall, and the Valley Performing Arts Center. Since its inception, Gilad and the esteemed faculty at Colburn have invited guest conductors, soloists, and composers to work with the Colburn Orchestra to mirror a professional orchestral experience. The Colburn Orchestra has made four commercial recordings, and concerts have been broadcast on Southern California’s independent television station KCET for the arts series Open Call, as well as classical music radio station KUSC. Dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community, the Colburn Orchestra performs for schools in neighboring communities twice a year giving five concerts in a one-week period to school children of all ages.

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